A major forest fire on the Crown Estate could happen any time during the current hot spell.

That is the warning from estate managers, who are calling on visitors to exercise extreme caution Their warning comes as the Met Office’s Fire Severity Index (FSI) is set to very high for the Windsor Estate.

Rob Gazzard, wildfire subject matter advisor for Forestry Commission England, said: “The long dry spring has left our forests particularly vulnerable in this hot weather.

“Windsor Estate, like forests and heathlands all over the country and specifically in the south, are facing a heightened risk of wildfire.

"With more people likely to be coming into the UK’s forests in the coming weeks and more dry weather predicted, we are urging everyone to be mindful of potential fire risks.”

There is more than 8,000 acres of forest in the Crown Estate, much of it specially designated areas with a range of wildlife.

Chief forester John Deakin said: “We want people to enjoy the estate as they always do, but with the severity level at very high we’re asking everyone to exercise additional caution to help keep the forests safe.

“It is important that visitors do not drop cigarette butts in the forest, even if they are stubbed out. Cigarette butts should be taken out of the forest and safely disposed of in a bin.”

If you see smoke in the forest, call the fire service on 999 or call a forest ranger on 07833 543025 and get to a place of safety, ideally at an entrance point.

Back in April 30 firefighters faced a two hour battle to prevent the woodland blaze at Englemere Pond, off Swinley Road near Ascot spreading.

It is only six years since fires blazed for days on the Crown Estate, occupying 200 firefighters across the Ascot area.