Multiple fires on a prairie and city frontage in Greater London destroy dozens of homes
The North London wildfire danger on Tuesday reached an “extremely severe” stage which is about three degrees of altitude, followed by “very high” and “very severe”.
The highest temperatures ever recorded were in the United Kingdom. London Heathrow Airport was among six locations that reached 104 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Celsius) on Tuesday, breaking Britain’s all-time temperature record after the country declared a national emergency, well above the 2019 record of 101.7 degrees (38.7 degrees Celsius).
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Twitter: “London Fire Brigade just announced a major incident in response to the massive rise in fires across the capital today. This is critical: LondonFire is under tremendous pressure.”
The agency recorded 11 fires they were dealing with on Tuesday at 3 p.m. local time. At least 10 of them include vegetation:
- Thirty fire trucks deal with a grass fire at Pea Lane in Upminster.
- Fifteen fire trucks deal with a fire at The Green in Wennington.
- Twelve fire trucks deal with a fire involving garden fencing and trees on Uxbridge Road in Benner.
- Ten fire engines tackle a restaurant fire in Green Lanes in Southgate.
- Eight fire engines tackle a grass fire on Oaks Road in Croydon.
- Eight fire engines tackle a lawn fire on Ballards Road in Dagenham.
- Eight fire engines tackle a Broadway fire at Wembley.
- Six fire trucks tackle a grass fire at Sunningfields Crescent in Hendon.
- Four fire engines treat a lawn fire at Chapel View in Croydon.
- Four fire engines treat a fire on Sedkup Road in Altham.
Other bushfires also occur in the UK.
Hundreds of deaths have been attributed to the high temperatures in Spain and Portugal since last week, and wildfires have forced tens of thousands of people to leave their homes there, as well as in France.
In Spain, a man who was building a fire dam with an excavator abandoned equipment when it was engulfed in flames. He escaped through a field with his clothes on fire and was taken to the hospital.
In southwest France, wildfires have destroyed at least 19,000 hectares (47,000 acres) as temperatures soared to 108.8 degrees (42.7 degrees Celsius) on Monday, When dozens of sites set their all-time highs. Conditions eased Tuesday when a cold oceanic air mass arrived overnight.
Temperatures rise at night in the United States, which can affect fuel moisture, fuel temperature, and lower-than-average relative humidity, resulting in a higher risk of wildland fires. It also appears to be happening in Europe, at least recently.
From the Washington Post:
Not only did the UK have the highest temperature recorded during the day, but it also had its highest temperature ever Maximum temperatures overnight – With some locations not dropping below the upper 70s (25 to 26°C). The lack of night cooling has been a major concern for health officials because only a small percentage of British homes have air conditioning.
By Wednesday, the heat core is expected to focus on central and eastern Germany, Poland and southern Scandinavia as the heat dome is pushed eastward.
From Friday to weekend, a new thermal dome will be built over southern Europe with extremely high temperatures over Spain, France and Italy, which have already suffered multiple bouts of extreme heat this summer.
Head of Science and Technology at the Met, Professor Stephen Belcher, talks about the UK breaking 40°C for the first time pic.twitter.com/d57FGJx8To
Met Office July 19, 2022