Brian May thanks firefighters for saving his house from Surrey wildfires

11 August 2020, 17:55 | Updated: 11 August 2020, 18:30

Brian May and the Surrey wildfires
Brian May and the Surrey wildfires. Picture: Chung Sung-Jun/David Cannon/Getty Images

The Queen guitarist has given "all respects" to the emergency services who tackled the blaze.

Brian May has thanked firefighters for controlling a wildfire that threatened his home in Surrey.

The Queen guitarist lives a mile away from the Sunningdale Golf Course, which was under threat from a bush fire that started on Friday (7 August) on nearby Chobham Common. At one point, the musician was preparing to evacuate his treasured Queen memorabilia from the house, in case the flames came too close.

May posted on Instagram: "I never imagined it could happen here in leafy, and normally damp, Surrey, England. To see this happen in my own home county has been shocking and traumatic.

"Yesterday, I was rescuing as many precious things from my house as was practicable, under threat of the whole thing going up in flames, but praying that the horror would not happen."

It's been a stressful year so for for the 73-year-old legend. In May he suffered a small heart attack, from which he is still recovering.

A heath fire rages behind the tenth tee area that caused play to be suspended during day three of The Rose Ladies Series on The West Course at Wentworth Golf Club, 7 August 2020
A heath fire rages behind the tenth tee area that caused play to be suspended during day three of The Rose Ladies Series on The West Course at Wentworth Golf Club, 7 August 2020. Picture: David Cannon/Getty Images

The blaze was brought under control by Monday (10 August), but with the heatwave still taking hold of the South of England, there are continued worries that the fire may re-ignite. May added: "While this dry heatwave lasts there is still a massive risk of a flare-up leading to disaster."

The Surrey Wildlife Trust has reported that 74 acres of heathland and wildlife habitat has been destroyed,

James Adler, director of biodiversity at SWT, told Surrey Live: "We are very concerned that climate change is leading to an increase in the frequency of wildfires, which present a danger to human life, people’s homes as well as wildlife.

"Wildfires are unpredictable, dangerous and particularly damaging to precious habitat, which has taken years of management to get into optimum condition for reptiles, such as adders and sand lizards, as well as woodlarks and Dartford warblers and thousands of invertebrate species."

An aerial view of the aftermath of a fire on Chobham Common on August 9 in Surrey.
An aerial view of the aftermath of a fire on Chobham Common on August 9 in Surrey. Picture: Chris Gorman/Getty Images

Brian May paid tribute to the people who brought the blaze under control: "All respects to the firefighters and volunteers who helped them overpower the conflagration, and save many a wild animal and an untold number of homes."

In February 2020, May was one of the artists who performed at a special benefit show to aid people whose homes and businesses were destroyed by the terrible bushfires in Australia.

Read more: Which Queen songs did Brian May write?

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