In its edition of July 16, 2010, the Herald reported ‘More than 135 acres of Frensham Common have been left devastated by a heathland fire which threatened homes as firefighters from three counties fought the blaze’. 

The article continued: ‘The fire, believed by police to be of ‘suspicious’ origins, broke out early on Sunday afternoon as hundreds of weekend visitors were enjoying the commons and ponds in the heatwave.’

A spokesperson from Waverley council – they managed the land in question - said: ‘It is inevitable that some wildlife will have perished in the blaze, though Waverley’s rangers are hopeful the heathland will regenerate fairly quickly.’

And the head warden from the National Trust, who managed adjoining land, commented: ‘Hats off to the Fire Brigade who have done a fantastic job. We are all overwhelmed by the scale of the damage and it is hard not to feel emotional’.

Inevitably, warnings came from Waverley, the fire service and the police about the common causes of heathland fires during dry conditions including barbecues and discarded cigarette ends.

The continuing risk of wildfires at Frensham was underlined in May last year when around 25 acres of the common was destroyed.

According to fire service figures, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service dealt with 553 wildfires in Surrey between April 2022 and 2023, and over 13,000 hours were spent attending incidents in the last year alone.

The brigade says the risk of wildfires is increasing because of drier summers, and they are common in Surrey due to the large areas of heathland around towns.

The above is a continuation of a series of articles compiled by Farnham Sports Council chairman David Gill looking back at the Herald archive to mark the 50th anniversary of the dissolution of the Farnham Urban District Council (FUDC) in 1974.