Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


PICTURES: Field fire near M11

Strethall Road, Littlebury
17/07/2022 @ 16:04
Incident Number: 172643
In attendance: 2 x Harlow, 1 x Stansted, 1 x Saffron Walden, 1 x Newport, 1 x Thaxted, 1 x Epping, 3 x Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service


Crews have worked tirelessly to extinguish a fire affecting 400 acres of fields and a disused building.

A total of 15 crews, two off-road vehicles (Stansted and Chelmsford), Southend's Aerial Ladder Platform and our Urban Search and Rescue team were at the incident at its height.

The fire was extinguished by 9.30pm. However, firefighters from Thaxted and Old Harlow are still at the scene, checking the perimeter and building for hotspots. Crews will return in the morning to carry out further checks.

Station Manager Dave Bond said: "It was a fast-moving fire due to the weather conditions and crews worked really hard to protect the M11 and nearby houses.

"Unfortunately, embers set fire to the roof space of an unused two-storey building at Great Chesterford train station. The roof sustained significant damage but crews prevented further damage to the building. 

"I'd like to pay tribute to our Control officers who have been extraordinarily busy dealing with calls and managing resources and to our crews, many who have gone from one arduous incident to the next." 

Station Manager Kevin Jenner said: "Crews worked exceptionally hard today in extreme conditions - I can't praise them enough for their efforts.

"I'd also like to thank members of the community for their support, including offering crews additional refreshments."


A total of 14 crews are now in attendance, including Cambridge (x2), Linton, Sawston and Cottenham from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Crews are tackling a field fire in Littlebury, close to the M11.

Our Control teams were called today at 4.04pm and crews from Harlow (two), Stansted, Saffron Walden, Newport, Thaxted, Epping and three crews from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service attended.

A further four crews, in addition to an Off Road Vehicle and Aerial Ladder Platform, were requested because the fire was close to a house, railway line and M11.

In addition, the changing wind directions are making the incident even more challenging.

Firefighters are working hard, with the assistance of the farmer, to stop the fire from spreading.

We are working with Essex Police and other agencies to bring the incident to a safe conclusion, but please avoid the area if you can.

It was one of a number of calls field fires attended by firefighters across the county today. Incidents included:

  • Unsupervised bonfire set a hedgerow alight in Cranham Road, Little Waltham at 10.13am. Crews from Chelmsford and Witham extinguished it by 11.07am.
  • Trees and shrubland, measuring 60 metres and 60 metres, was alight in Grangewood Avenue, Grays at 12.14pm. Crews from Grays and Orsett extinguished it by 1.38pm.
  • Three acres of fields and 80 metres of hedgerow alight in Highfield Stile Road, Braintree at 12.33pm. Crews from Halstead and Thaxted extinguished it by 1.06pm.
  • Haystack fire in Paglesham Road, Paglesham, Rochford at 1.16pm. Crews from Southend, Rochford and Wickford are in attendance.
  • Fire in a field measuring 100 metres by 100 metres in Biggin Hill Lane, Chadwell St Mary at 1.48pm. Crews from Grays and Basildon extinguished it by 3.03pm.
  • Five acres of field alight in Bentfield Bower, Stansted at 2.54pm. Crews from Stansted, Newport and Saffron Walden extinguished it by 5.27pm.

Incident Images

  • Littlebury fire 2
  • Littlebury fire 3
  • Littlebury fire 4
  • Littlebury fire 5
  • Littlebury fire 6
  • Great Chesterford Railway Station 2
  • Great Chesterford train station
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