Thanks to the joint efforts of firefighters and farmers, a major field fire in Ongar, in danger of spreading to valuable crops and property, was brought under control.

Approximately 20 acres of stubble field in Harlow Road, High Laver, was damaged by the fire on Wednesday afternoon last week (July 13), which is thought to have been caused accidentally.

At the fire’s peak, firefighters along with 12 appliances from Essex and Hertfordshire fought the burning stubble, using hose reel jets, back-pack sprayers, beaters, a drone, water bowser and two specialist off road vehicles.


Farmers assisted the effort by digging fire breaks with a plough. Even members of the public helped in the difficult task by supplying much-needed drinks.

Epping Forest Guardian:

The fire in High Laver Picture: David Jackman/Everything Epping Forest

Station manager Jon Ford said: “I would like to say a huge thanks to all the crews involved in this incident. It covered a wide area. Our control room staff guided us to the right places when access was difficult.”

Other field fires last week included one in Norton Lane, High Ongar, which was put out quickly by firefighters last Thursday afternoon (July14). The 50x50 metre blaze is thought to have been caused accidentally.

Epping Forest Guardian:

Scorched earth left by the fire in High Laver Picture: David Jackman/Everything Epping Forest

Crews were also called to a field fire in Romford Road, Stanford Rivers, at 8.06pm last Thursday night. A total of 20x20 metres of cut hay was alight in the accidental blaze.

Also in Ongar, on Thursday, just before 9pm, firefighters worked quickly to bring two fires in a Woolmongers Lane scrapyard under control. Two heavy goods vehicles, a car, a skip lorry and five tonnes of refuse were destroyed.

The cause is undetermined, either accidental or deliberate.