'Most intense wildfires around the world than ever before,' scientists say

  • Video report by ITV News Science Editor Tom Clarke

Record temperatures, strong winds, embers blowing ahead of the flames - just about everything that could make the Australian wildfires worse, is happening.

But scientists in Europe said 2019 has seen more intense wildfires around the world than ever before.

Watching over the warming world, scientists at Kings College London have released a wildfire map from heat sensing satellite data, revealing where they have broken out.

Professor Martin Wooster unveils the map to ITV News Science Editor Tom Clarke. Credit: ITV News

Professor Martin Wooster, from Kings College London, said: "If the climate changes in certain ways, it will have an impact on fire activity, and you've seen that in places like the Canadian Bora fires for example, where warming is typically faster than other parts of the planet."

His comments come as a fire in the Blue Mountains near Sydney covered an area greater than Lancashire.

Three times more property has been destroyed in this area than in any fire season in history

And it may get worse as winds are forecast to strengthen and temperatures could hit 46 degrees in Sydney by the end of the week.

A fire in the Blue Mountains near Sydney covers an area greater than Lancashire. Credit: AP

Former Commissioner of the New South Wales Fire and Rescue, Greg Mullins said: "We have a heatwave coming, who knows what that will do, and the driving force behind this is climate change."

He added: "In our decades of service, we've seen Australia become drier, hotter, and extreme weather conditions far more severe."

However not all fires are wild - in August the Amazon rain-forest the lungs of the world, were destroyed - burning at a rate not seen in decades.

And Indonesia too saw some of its most intense fires.

But these were caused by people clearing land for farming.

Natural burning is crucial for many forests and grasslands to thrive.

But its hard to argue man's influence on fires is improving lives on the planet, including our own.