A Dartford MP has praised firefighters who are still tackling the “perilous” Dartford Heath fire near the A2, 24 hours later.

12 fire engines were called to the scene at 12.35pm yesterday after a fire broke out on Dartford Heath and spread quickly into a wildfire.

Progress was made overnight, with the operation scaled down to four fire engines, but the blaze continued and this morning resources at the scene were increased again.

Gareth Johnson, the MP for Dartford, said that the Kent Fire and Rescue Service “literally threw everything they had at these fires despite incurring heat exhaustion and injuries themselves.”

He added that the hot and dry weather meant everyone had been expecting and “dreading” an event like this happening.

The fire near Rochester Way is ongoing, but smoke which was previously seen across the A2 is now minimal.

The fire service is no longer warning drivers on the A2 about impaired visibility from the smoke and says that good progress is being made.

A spokesperson for the Kent Fire and Rescue Service said: “The fire on Dartford Heath near Rochester Way and the A2 is ongoing, and crews have worked overnight to prevent fire spread.

“As firefighters continue to tackle the fire today and damp down hotspots, the number of fire service resources at the scene will increase.

“Smoke from the fire is now minimal and drivers shouldn’t expect to see large amounts of smoke drifting across the A2.”

Gareth Johnson said: "We’d all been dreading something like this happening.

“The ground is so dry that it was not going to take much for a large fire to occur. "I have been given regular updates from Kent Fire and Rescue Service and it is not unfair to say that they faced a perilous situation which was declared a major incident and threatened a large part of Dartford.

“They literally threw everything they had at these fires and despite incurring heat exhaustion and injuries themselves, they managed ultimately, to bring the fire under control.

"This fire was so serious that it genuinely threatened the area.

“We owe them all a huge debt of gratitude.

“We have all been shocked at the video of the fire by the A2 and the fire by the horse sanctuary near the bridge was also awful.

“Thankfully, it seems that we have avoided serious injuries or anyone losing their home."

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