A GRASS fire damaged an area of Hounslow Heath equivalent to two football pitches this afternoon.
Firefighters spent more than an hour tackling the blaze at the eastern end of the nature reserve in Hounslow after being called at 2.30pm.
Peter Molloy, green watch manager at Feltham fire station, said it was the 25th such fire in the area staff from the station had attended in the last week as soaring temperatures turn London into a tinderbox.
He said most of the fires, including today's, are believed to be started deliberately by youths but some may be the result of discarded cigarettes or empty bottles mgnifying the sun's rays.
He urged people to take extreme care on grassland and, in particular, to avoid smoking, lighting barbecues or leaving bottles behind.
London Fire Brigade today said it was attending an average of 29 grass fires a day across the capital.