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Wales faces ‘very high’ risk of wildfires as heatwave intensifes over weekend

11 Aug 2022 3 minute read
Wildfire. Photo Swansea University

The south-east of Wales face an “exceptional” risk of wildfires as an amber heat warming comes into place, with much of the south of Wales and Powys facing a “very high” risk as well.

The Met Office has raised the Fire Severity Index to exceptional – the highest level. It covers much of southern England, but also stretches as far west as Monmouth in Wales, for this coming Sunday.

Met Office meteorologist Marco Petagna said that the risk of wildfires was very high.

He said: “Going into Friday and the weekend, it starts to increase further, going into the highest category of exceptional risk.”

Mark Hardingham, the chairman of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) told The Telegraph that he “can’t remember a summer like this” in his entire 32-year career in the fire service.

He said: “We’re not going to see temperatures as hot as we saw three weeks ago, but that doesn’t matter because the ground couldn’t get any drier than it already is.”

Mr Hardingham added: “The wildfires are as prevalent in semi-urban areas as they are in rural communities so it’s difficult to know where the next one will be.”

Flooding

The Met Office has issued an amber heat warning running between Thursday and Sunday, which could see temperatures peak at 36C across eastern Wales.

Mr Petagna said that the temperatures would “widely” be in the 30s, peaking locally in the mid-30s on Saturday.

“I think the hottest day will probably be Saturday, where we could see 36C in one or two spots,” he said.

There is also a heat health alert in place from the UK Health Security Agency, with experts advising people to look out for those who are older or with existing health conditions, as well as young children.

It comes as the driest first seven months of the year in decades and hot spells have left parts of the UK facing looming drought, prompting hosepipe bans and warnings about the impact on agriculture, rivers and wildlife.

The latest analysis from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH) has warned that low or even exceptionally low river flows and groundwater levels are likely to continue for the next three months in southern England and Wales.

Mr Petagna said that rain could be on the horizon early next week.

“There are signs that we could get some rain next week, but details at the moment are uncertain,” he said.

He added that the UK needs “a few weeks” of light rain to water the ground.

“What we really need is a few weeks of light rain to soak into the ground,” he said.

“Thunderstorms are more likely to cause some flooding issues because the ground is hard the water can’t sink in.”


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The original mark
The original mark
1 month ago

I predict an influx of idiots to llyn y fan fawr with their portable tin foil barbies

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

Awful lot of thick people around who think no further than the immediate gratification of some idiotic urge. This leads to fires in some cases. In other cases the idiots fall off mountains which is likely to happen if wearing a pair of cheap trainers, or they drown just cos a pool looks cool and inviting. No boundaries when it comes to being daft.

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago

Better than trying to kidnap politicians though I’ll wager

Glen
Glen
1 month ago

So what were always known as grass fires are now called ‘wildfires’ purely for dramatic effect.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 month ago
Reply to  Glen

Could it be that Grass Fire rather implies that somebody has set it going whereas Wild Fire implies that it is natural. We should resist the name change since we need to remind folk that everybody should be responsible when in dry areas.

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago
Reply to  Glen

Wild as in out of control? But agreed “British” media is sensationalist clickbait

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago

Torygraph “journalists” spotted in Eryri with bags of firelighters

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