The Hollow Ponds area was evacuated by police this afternoon as fires broke out and smoke engulfed the pond and surrounding forest. Rowing boats were called in and people were asked to leave as fire engines moved in to tackle the fire towards the north end of the main and small ponds.
Fire engines had already attended a fire earlier in the day by Snaresbrook Road causing the road to be shut off to traffic and further traffic disruption was caused along Whipps Cross Road and surrounding roads as a result of the later fire.
This area sees small fires every summer, and barbecues and fires are banned from the forest with a maximum fine of £200, but these fires, the worst in many years, are a reminder that in exceptionally hot weather a dropped cigarette butt or even the sun reflecting off rubbish is all it takes to start a fire.
Hollow Ponds which is in Leytonstone is formally known as Leyton Flats. Leyton Flats is part of Epping Forest and run by the City of London Corporation.
The fire has been reported on national news including the BBC and ITV. ITV reported that smoke from the fire could be seen from the Olympic stadium in the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park.
Read more on the BBC website.