Wildfires break out across UK as record heatwave rages

A number of fires have broken out as a severe heat wave grips the UK in the south of England and Wales.

Parts of London, Kent, Cornwall and Pembrokeshire saw wildfires raging as temperatures soared to a high of 40C in parts of the country.

The fire service is urging people to take care and dispose of rubbish such as cigarettes, matches and glass bottles quickly and which can cause serious damage.

Flames and a large plume of smoke were seen billowing from Shirley Hills in Croydon, south London Fire crews were called to the blaze on Oaks Road at around 12.07pm.

Four fire engines, as well as around 25 firemen and women, are tackling the blaze at one of the largest parks in south London, mainly Wood and Herland.

In Zennor, near St Ives, firefighters are battling a large bushfire that started last night (July 18) and was fanned by wind.

The blaze could be seen from miles away and residents of Cornwall said they could smell the smoke from afar. A nearby resident tweeted: “No more fumes and can see the field again. The wind has died but the sun is back and warm.

Flames and smoke can be seen from the Shirley Hills fire in south London

(BBC News)

In Kent, 12 fire engines are at the scene of a blaze in Dartford which has gutted several houses.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service is urging people driving on the A2 and nearby roads to take care due to smoke from the incident, which could affect visibility.

Fires on Newgale Beach in Pembrokeshire, south-west Wales, on both Sunday and Monday were captured by drone footage of plumes of smoke.

A spokesman for the London Fire Brigade said: “The recent hot and dry weather has made the ground extremely dry, which unfortunately means that lawns and parks can catch fire quickly when exposed to small sparks.

“Among the most common causes of grass fires are carelessly discarded cigarettes or matches, as well as rubbish such as glass bottles lying around, which can magnify the sun’s rays and start a fire.

Cornwall firefighters are at the Zennor fire


“Each of us can help reduce the risk of fires and keep our communities clean, litter is disposed of safely and cigarettes are always disposed of properly.

“If you see a grass fire, do not try to put it out yourself. Grass fires move very quickly and can change direction without warning. If you see any signs of smoking grass then call the brigade and let us know where the fire is.

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