UK heatwave: Major incident declared as fires rage across South Yorkshire in 40C heat

  • Video courtesy of Lianne Arnison.

A major incident has been declared in South Yorkshire after a number of large wildfires broke out in unprecedented temperatures – and spread to nearby homes.

Firefighters were called to incidents across South Yorkshire – amid unconfirmed reports that Doncaster had seen temperatures hit 40C.

South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said their resources were having to be prioritised based on risk levels.

In Barnsley, homes in Woodland Avenue were engulfed in flames, with people offered refuge in a nearby school.

Writing on Facebook, Sophie Wilson said: "Six houses now on fire, praying everyone’s ok."

Properties were also evacuated in Lambrell Avenue and Stockwell Avenue, in Kiveton Park, near Rotherham. Rother Valley Labour Party's Facebook page said: "Unfortunately houses have been lost in Kiveton, a very sad day."

A section of Sprotbrough Road, Doncaster, was closed, with reports that homes were evacuated.

Smoke engulfed the road in Sprotbrough.

Monisha Rockett, who drove through the area, posted a picture on Facebook of a smoke-filled sky and said: "It was just orange darkness driving through then. Ash falling from the sky."

Kate-Elisia Mynett, writing on Facebook, said: "Our fence has gone, our next door neighbour's shed has gone up and most of their garden, and our conservatory has started to melt, and there is no power.

"Been evacuated by the police... and the house full of smoke and raining ash in front and back garden."

A fire at the Newton Arms pub in Sprotbrough, Doncaster. Credit: Newton Arms/Facebook

A local pub, the Newton Arms, posted a picture of a fire close to its beer garden. The pub said it had closed because of the risk.

Local residents later helped to damp down once the flames had subsided.

Doncaster Council said a diversion would be put in place, but in the meantime drivers are recommended to use the A638 York Road and A635 Barnsley Road, Blacksmiths Lane and Hangmanstone Lane.

Meanwhile, South Yorkshire Police said officers were assisting at the scene of a field fire on Haugh Road in the Rawmarsh area of Rotherham. Haugh Road and Cortworth Road are both closed at the junctions with Angel Lane and Hoober Lane.

Other fires were reported in Maltby and Dinnington.

Footage posted on social media also showed a field fire in Laughton en le Morthen village, near Rotherham.

  • Video courtesy of Ellie Holmes

South Yorkshire Police said: "The emergency services working across South Yorkshire have now declared a major incident due to the demand on services from fires across the county.

"The fires are being prioritised in relation to risk to life and risk to property. All of the agencies are working closely to bring resources together and minimise risk.

"Please avoid calling 999 unless life is at risk."