The fire started soon after 2pm on fields behind Tilstone Close before a change of wind sent it racing towards houses in Cornwall Close and Queens Road.
Two fire crews from Slough were joined by teams from Langley and Maidenhead as the flames threatened to jump the small stream cutting them off from many of the threatened houses.
Eton’s deputy mayor and deputy mayoress John and Ann Lovell were watching from the window of their home.
Mrs Lovell said: “I first noticed all this stuff flying by the window. I thought ‘it can’t be snow in the middle of summer’, then I saw all the smoke coming towards us.”
The firefighters’ crew manager James King was in charge of the operation and the teams managed to douse the flames enough to stop them threatening homes. But they stayed on site for hours damping down he smouldering remains.
The weekend is going to be tense as residents wait for the heatwave to ease off and the risk of more fires starting to ease.
One firefighter said afterwards: “If we had been five or 10 minutes later it could have been a catastrophe.”