Risk of wildfires across UK’s parched landscapes ‘remains significant’, forecasters warn | UK News

The risk of wildfires catching hold across Britain’s parched landscapes is still “significant”, it has been warned.

A number of fires broke out on Saturday, with firefighters warning people are continuing to hold barbecues in parks and drop cigarettes out of car windows despite repeated requests not to.

And Met Office meteorologist Dan Stroud said with the weather continuing to be very dry across the south on Sunday, there was still a chance more could occur.

“It has been extremely dry for an extended period and the ground and vegetation has been baked dry, so there is a significant risk,” he said.

An amber heat alert remains in place until midnight on Sunday across parts of England and Wales.

People sunbathe on dry grassland by a tree in Eastville Park, Bristol

Meanwhile, thunderstorms are expected in northern parts of the UK, with yellow warnings in place from noon on Sunday until 6am on Monday for most of Scotland and Northern Ireland, and from 10am until midnight for Wales and southern England.

“As we move into Sunday, a slight change with low pressure starting to arrive from the south,” Mr Stroud said.

“There is an increasing risk of some isolated showers across Devon and Cornwall, very early on Sunday.

“Most places will still be generally dry and fine, with some strong August sunshine, with those temperatures rising rapidly during the course of Sunday morning and into the afternoon.”

Firefighters are battling a blaze in Enfield. Pic: London Fire Brigade

The blaze in Enfield. Pic: London Fire Brigade


Ten fire engines and around 70 firefighters were called to a blaze in Enfield, north London, on Saturday afternoon.

“The smallest of sparks can start a blaze which could cause devastation,” London Fire Brigade said.

“Despite our continued warning over the last few weeks, we know there are still people who are barbecuing in parks, dropping cigarettes out of car windows and leaving rubbish lying around.”

Heavy smoke rising from the scene on Studland Heath

Fires crews across the country have seen little let-up in call-outs like this one in Studland

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service battled a large wildfire in the town of Camborne.

And Nottinghamshire Police are appealing for information following a large fire in a field in Mansfield.

While Kent Fire and Rescue Service said it had sent 10 fire engines to a crop fire in the village of Wye.

In Dorset, the local fire service said a disposable barbecue was the most likely cause of a big blaze on Friday.

Ninety firefighters and ten fire engines – including some called in from neighbouring areas – were sent to the scene in Studland.

There was “evidence of a little camp where someone had used a disposable barbecue”, the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) said.

“Fires don’t just start on their own,” a spokeswoman said.

Handout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @JD_GardenM of heavy black smoke rising from the scene on Studland Heath, Dorset, as a drought has been declared for parts of England following the driest summer for 50 years. Picture date: Friday August 12, 2022.

Firefighters worked through the night to bring the flames under control.

In the first 10 days of August, DWFRS said it had attended 180 wildfires.

In the same period last year, it was 34.

An official drought was declared in eight areas of England on Friday by the National Drought Group, which comprises representatives from the government, water companies, the Environment Agency (EA) and others.

England’s drought could persist into the next year, according to the EA.


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