Brian May thanks firefighters after Surrey forest fire threatens his home

The Queen guitarist said that he had been "rescuing as many precious things from my house as was practicable" at the height of the nearby fire

Brian May has praised fire crews for combatting a forest fire which threatened his Surrey home over the weekend.

The Queen guitarist detailed in a lengthy Instagram post yesterday (August 10) how he was forced to evacuate his home and studio property after the wildfire broke out and spread through Chobham Common on Friday (August 7).

“I never imagined it could happen here in leafy, and normally damp, Surrey, England,” May wrote in a caption to accompany a series of images showing the aftermath of the wildfire. “We supported the fight against the immense fires in Australia, and watched sadly as fires ravaged California, but to see this happen in my own home county has been shocking and traumatic.

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“These pictures show [Save Me Trust’s] Anne Brummer and I this afternoon, surveying the forest fire which is still smouldering less than a mile from my own house and studio, and the fond relics of my entire life.”

Surrey County Council said yesterday that the situation has been stabilised, but fire crews will remain at the scene for the rest of the week in case the fire returns.

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FIREFIGHT in SURREY. I never imagined it could happen here in leafy, and normally damp, Surrey, England. We supported the fight against the immense fires in Australia, and watched sadly as fires ravaged California, but to see this happen in my own home county has been shocking and traumatic. These pictures show Anne Brummer and I this afternoon, surveying the forest fire which is still smouldering less than a mile from my own house and studio, and the fond relics of my entire life. Today Se were able to begin to thank the amazing firefighters who risked their lives to contain this huge and treacherous wild furnace on the heath land of Sunningdale Golf Course – which actually adjoins my property. 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. Today my prayers were answered – the fire is under control, but the danger is not over. While this dry heatwave lasts there is still a massive risk of a flare-up leading to disaster. Perhaps even more shocking was learning today that this wonderful force, which is alert 24 hours a day to protect us all, has become tragically undersupporyed in recent years. Just as the Government cuts sent the NHS into battle hideously crippled by lack of funding, the same lack of vision has rendered this country vulnerable to fires – with a fire fighting service criminally cut back in manpower and resources. Something has gone terribly wrong with our leaders’ decision-making process. As long as we prioritise short-term economic gains over the lives of our people and the welfare of those who protects us, we will be a nation continually in danger. It becomes more and more clear that a radical rethink is needed. THANK YOU, firefighters of Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire, and the maintenance team of Sunningdale Golf – for saving all our skins. And thanks Callum and Emily, George, and the nice man from Barcelona for giving us a backstage tour today. Incredible. Photo of Bri and Anne by Callum Strachan. Swipe for stereo views showing the still smoking edges of the huge area of destruction. Bri

A post shared by Brian Harold May (@brianmayforreal) on

May continued: “Today Se [sic] were able to begin to thank the amazing firefighters who risked their lives to contain this huge and treacherous wild furnace on the heath land of Sunningdale Golf Course – which actually adjoins my property. 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.

“Today my prayers were answered – the fire is under control, but the danger is not over. While this dry heatwave lasts there is still a massive risk of a flare-up leading to disaster.”

May went on to thank the firefighters of Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire and called for more funding and support for the force.

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“Just as the Government cuts sent the NHS into battle hideously crippled by lack of funding, the same lack of vision has rendered this country vulnerable to fires – with a fire fighting service criminally cut back in manpower and resources,” May wrote. “Something has gone terribly wrong with our leaders’ decision-making process.

“As long as we prioritise short-term economic gains over the lives of our people and the welfare of those who protects us, we will be a nation continually in danger. It becomes more and more clear that a radical rethink is needed.”

Last month, May spoke about his long-rumoured collaboration with Black Sabbath‘s Tony Iommi and said there’s still “a chance” that fans will be able to hear it in the future.

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