‘Brutal’ 40C day leaves UK reeling after wave of fires tore through homes | UK News
Many parts of the UK are now bearing the cost of the country’s hottest day on record, with homes and businesses claimed by wildfires as temperatures soared above 40C.
Flames ripped through homes as Britain scorched in extreme heat and the country glimpsed what could be the new reality of the summer months.
A ring of fire in and around London saw a major incident declared in the capitalwith people evacuated and many taken to hospital.
Firefighters across the country were inundated with calls, with a fire chief calling the “brutal” day a “game changer” and a glimpse into the effects of climate change.
The Met Office said 34 viewing sites across England have tentatively broken the previous all-time recordranging from Bramham, West Yorkshire, to Charlwood, Surrey, while five others had matched it on Tuesday.
Temperatures are expected to drop as low as 10C in some areas on Wednesday, with heavy downpours and thunderstorms to hit parts of the country, potentially causing localized flooding.
However, other parts of the UK will still see temperatures of up to 30C and with little rain for months in some areas, the threat of wildfires remains.
In the village of Wennington on the outskirts of east London, several homes were destroyed and others badly damaged after grass fires broke out, engulfing properties, as black smoke billowed escaped into the air.
Aerial footage showed flames tearing through dry fields and approaching a historic church.
Asked about the conditions, a firefighter present at the scene replied: “Absolute hell”.
A total of six sites, mostly in Greater London, saw temperatures reach or exceed 40C.
Major incidents were also declared by firefighters in Leicestershire and South Yorkshire as dozens of fires broke out amid the sweltering heat.
Dave Walton, assistant fire chief for the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said Tuesday was a “look into the future” amid huge demand for firefighters.
He said: “This is a completely and fundamentally different operating environment where the fires are burning with such ferocity and spreading with such speed through suburban areas that you cannot stop them.
“We have seen the kind of conditions faced by our international colleagues within a few miles of our capital, and in towns, villages and cities across the country.
“Today was on climate change, the hottest day on record in the UK!”