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Tinderbox Britain: Firefighters fight dramatic bushfires as scorching summer continues

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Firefighters were called in to fight a dramatic nighttime blaze that ripped through a field near Leeds on Thursday as Britain baked into its driest July since the record began.

Drone footage captured firefighters in the eerie red-colored fields as the fire engine’s blue sirens flashed into the night and the flames scorched parallel lines through the corn.

Multiple West Yorkshire fire brigades and more than 40 firefighters attended the blazing cornfield on Spitalgap Lane in Pontefract around 9:30 p.m. and fought well into the night.

The fire was brought under control Friday morning with no injuries or material damage.

Having already broken the heat record for the UK in July, when the mercury reached 40 degrees on July 19, the heat wave has dried out England’s fields and parks, making conditions ideal for the spread of bushfires.

Firefighters were called in to fight a dramatic nighttime blaze that ripped through a field near Leeds on Thursday as Britain baked into its driest July since the start of the record

Multiple West Yorkshire fire brigades and more than 40 firefighters attended the blazing cornfield on Spitalgap Lane in Pontefract around 9:30 p.m. and fought late into the night

Multiple West Yorkshire fire brigades and more than 40 firefighters attended the blazing cornfield on Spitalgap Lane in Pontefract around 9:30 p.m. and fought late into the night

The fire was brought under control Friday morning with no reports of injuries or material damage

The fire was brought under control Friday morning with no reports of injuries or material damage

After already breaking the heat record for the UK in July, when the mercury hit 40 degrees on July 19, the heat wave has dried out England's fields and parks, making conditions ideal for the spread of bushfires

After already breaking the heat record for the UK in July, when the mercury hit 40 degrees on July 19, the heat wave has dried out England’s fields and parks, making conditions ideal for the spread of bushfires

On the hottest day on record, fires swept through London and surrounding areas, destroying at least 19 homes in the village of Wennington, Essex.

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) said it was the busiest day since World War II, with crews attending 1,146 incidents.

Many fires start as grass fires that spread to residential areas, propelled by wind, extreme temperatures and bone-dry conditions.

This year alone, England and Wales have seen 442 bushfires so far, compared to just 247 for all of 2021.

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) attributed this in part to climate factors, and their tactical adviser, David Swallow, told the BBC that ‘services should recognize the risk they now have’.

This year alone, England and Wales have seen 442 bushfires so far, compared to just 247 in all of 2021. Pictured: parched fields in Dorset

This year alone, England and Wales have seen 442 bushfires so far, compared to just 247 in all of 2021. Pictured: parched fields in Dorset

Aerial view of the parched fields around the village of Abbotsbury in Dorset, where the grass has been scorched by the hot sun and lack of rain during the summer drought conditions

Aerial view of the parched fields around the village of Abbotsbury in Dorset, where the grass has been scorched by the hot sun and lack of rain during the summer drought conditions

“If they don’t, they’re naive,” he said. ‘There are very urban services that think wildfires are low on the risk list. I understand the need to prioritize resources, but there needs to be a review.”

Andy Roe, the head of London’s fire brigade, called the fires in the capital ‘unprecedented’ last month, adding: ‘I saw things this week that I hadn’t expected as a firefighter in London.’

South East and central southern England averaged just 5.0mm of rain last month, while East Anglia had 5.4mm of rain.

For both areas, it was the lowest amount of July rainfall since the Met Office records began nearly 200 years ago, in 1836.

Under these circumstances, a second garden hose ban came into force affecting millions of households in Hampshire, Isle of Wight South East Water in Kent and Sussex, and Welsh Water in Pembrokeshire as the dry spell continues.

(Stock Image) About 2.2 million people in Kent and Sussex will be affected by the ban on garden hoses

(Stock Image) About 2.2 million people in Kent and Sussex will be affected by the ban on garden hoses

Holidaymakers and families are packing the beach as they soak up the hot sun at Weymouth in Dorset yesterday

Holidaymakers and families are packing the beach as they soak up the hot sun at Weymouth in Dorset yesterday

Crowds of people swim in the sea at Woolacombe in North Devon yesterday, in anticipation of another heatwave coming next week

Crowds of people swim in the sea at Woolacombe in North Devon yesterday, in anticipation of another heatwave coming next week

Southern Water begins the ‘temporary use ban’ yesterday – a week before South East Water restrictions on Kent and Sussex begin, affecting 2.2 million people. The 85,000 people on the Isle of Man have been banned since last Friday.

Now Welsh Water has also announced restrictions on 200,000 customers in Pembrokeshire and a small part of Carmarthenshire from August 19 – blaming the driest conditions since the 1976 drought.

And Brits are gearing up for another heat wave next week with temperatures set to soar towards 100F (38C) for the second time in less than a month – with a hot weekend also ahead as the mercury hits 27C (81F).

The Met Office said it expects temperatures to reach “low or even mid-30°C (mid-90Fs)” by the end of next week, thanks to a high pressure area from the Atlantic Ocean to the south and southwest of England.

The Met Office confirmed that the mercury is unlikely to reach the same highs it did in July next week and therefore no new records are expected – but there could still be a few days of very high temperatures.

Meanwhile, a massive wildfire broke out in Truro this afternoon. There was a photo of a resident frantically muffling the grass around his house as the fire spread.

A massive bushfire broke out in Truro, Cornwall near Boscawen Park on Saturday afternoon

A massive bushfire broke out in Truro, Cornwall near Boscawen Park on Saturday afternoon

At least four firefighters have been dispatched to the Boscawen Park area of ​​Truro to fight the bushfire

At least four firefighters have been dispatched to the Boscawen Park area of ​​Truro to fight the bushfire

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service confirmed it had been called 22 times since 11:18 this morning

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service confirmed it had been called 22 times since 11:18 this morning

A photo of a resident frantically muffled the grass around his house as the fire spread closer

A photo of a resident frantically muffled the grass around his house as the fire spread closer

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service confirmed it had been called 22 times since 11.18am this morning. At least four firefighters have been dispatched to the Boscawen Park area of ​​Truro.

A local resident confirmed the police and four fire engines at the scene. A Truro fire engine was immediately dispatched to the scene and firefighters called for further assistance.

A Cornish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: ‘Critical Control began receiving 999 calls at 11:18 am regarding a bushfire in the area of ​​Boscawen Park, Truro.

‘One Truro aircraft was immediately mobilized. The crew at the scene have called in the help of two more aircraft and an officer, who are en route from Tolvaddon to the incident. A total of 22 calls have been received to this incident at this time.’

At 12:40 a.m., a spokesman added: “The crew has requested that a fourth aircraft be mobilized at the scene. An aircraft from St Austell has been mobilized and is underway.’

CornwallLive reporter Olivier Vergnault said: ‘It’s huge. I’ve been told to get out.’ He added: “The wind is pushing the fire towards the residential area, as it appears to have started near Sunny Corner.

“The flames are now two meters high. And you can hear the tall grass rustle as they light up and burn in the heat. Large pine trees are licked by the flames as the fire pushes towards the houses.’

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