Fears of deliberate grass fires increasing amid new heatwave

The scene after a blaze in the village of Wennington, east London after temperatures topped 40C in the UK for the first time ever, as the sweltering heat fuelled fires and widespread transport disruption. Picture date: Wednesday July 20, 2022.
fire in Feltham, west London.

Emergency services fear the number of deliberate fires could rise in the next few weeks as the temperature is set to soar again in London.

This comes after the Met Office issued a four day amber weather warning for extreme heat, less than a month after the hottest day of the year.London Fire Brigade said the number of fires started deliberately could rise after a blaze was started last week in Feltham where six hectares of land was set alight.

No one was injured, and no homes were destroyed.

The London Fire Brigade has attended more than 425 grass and open fires across the capital just this year alone.

Fire in Wennington on 19 July, at least 17 houses were destroyed in the huge grass fire Credit: Press Association

Although deliberate fires have steadily decreased since 2001, the department said: "We are still seeing too many fires being started deliberately.

“The last few years have certainly shown us how important our parks and green spaces are, with many of us spending more time than ever outdoors with friends and loved ones, so we need Londoners to help look after them.

“Whilst the dry and sunny spells of weather will be great for families looking to spend time outside over the summer holidays, it also means that the risk of grass fires is going to increase as the ground becomes drier.”

This warning comes after several fires broke out in the capital last month, including in Wennington and Upminster, east London, and Southgate, north London due to the heat.

Temperatures are set to reach 35C this week in London, close to the record highs of 40C seen last month.

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