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Fire, Police and MOD partners ‘water bomb’ Hankley Common wildfire

Yesterday (Wednesday 27 July) Surrey Fire and Rescue Service received support in the form of water bombing, provided by the Ministry of Defence.

An Airbourne Solutions Eurocopter AS350 helicopter made numerous trips from Frensham Pond to Hankley Common yesterday in a bid to help the service mitigate the spread of the fire.

Yesterday marked day four of the incident and approximately 50 hectares of land have been affected, although there is not believed to be any damage to property on, or adjacent to the Ministry of Defence training area.

Whilst operations continue the public is urged to stay clear of the common. Local residents who were evacuated returned to their homes on Tuesday.

Waverley Police, the Ministry of Defence Police, and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation have been supporting Surrey Fire and Rescue in the response.

Acting Chief Fire Officer Dan Quin spoke of the joint effort: “This is the first time in Surrey that we have coordinated water bombing activities from a helicopter to support firefighting operations. This additional effort between ourselves, the Ministry of Defence and Surrey Police should go some way in helping us put an end to this wildfire. I am very proud of all of the crews and staff who’ve worked on this incident, it’s been another long incident in difficult weather conditions, but we are getting there. I’d also like to thank residents, local farmers and the Hankley Common Golf Club who’ve helped us along the way.”

Inspector Sam Adcock, Borough Commander for Waverley, said: “We have been supporting our colleagues at the fire service throughout the week to help contain the fire at Hankley Common, which included aerial firefighting exercises yesterday. A number of road closures were in place which have now been lifted.

“I would like to thank the residents of Waverley for their continued patience with the disruption caused by the fire. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Surrey Fire and Rescue who have been working around the clock to keep us safe.”

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