High temperatures cause fires to breakout across Wales as country braces itself for thunderstorms

Firefighters across Wales have been battling fires over the last 24 hours as parts of the country have basked in temperatures of up to 28°C.

A blaze at Penglais Woods near Aberystwyth took hold on Friday night as some residents within the local area were evacuated from their homes.

At Pantside near Caerphilly, it was a similar story, with the smell of fire still in the air today.

Blackwood South Town Councillor, Rhys Mills, said "the smoke has sort of filtered down into the town, instead of rising up and blowing away.

"It's something that's been an ongoing issue across South Wales, as we've seen.

"I'm reminded of what happened just up the way in Abertillery last week, where the fire service tackled quite a big blaze on the hill there. They've been tackling them across the Rhondda in the past few weeks."

In Trebanog on outskirts of the Rhondda Valley the fires took a while to be put out.

Dean Loader, the Head of Operations at South Wales Fire & Rescue Service, has said "we've had a significant rise in wildfires over his hot period that we've experienced across the South Wales Valleys.

"It does increase the risk and danger to our firefighters. They're up on these mountainsides for considerable amounts of time.

"The terrain is often very arduous and uneven on the feet. So even just getting to these locations is quite difficult."

Wales' three fire services are now urging people to take care in the countryside and not to leave disposable barbecues or light a fire on purpose.

Ross Evans from the Welsh Countryside Charity says that these fires have impacts on us, as well as our wildlife.

"You've got red kites up there. Peregrine falcons up there. There's fish in the lake. There's deer up there. So something like this will destroy habitats.

"If you think of rural Wales, and the windy or narrow kind of roads, you wouldn't want to get caught on one of them in the middle of a fire."

Meanwhile after such warm temperatures there are now concerns that flash floods are on their way with a weather warning issued after thunderstorms have been forecast across the whole of Wales and parts of England.

The warning, which is in place from 2pm to 9pm, and is expected to cover all of Wales, Manchester and down to London on Saturday afternoon states: “Whilst many places will be largely dry, thunderstorms with heavy rain and hail are likely to develop in some places on Saturday afternoon.”

High temperatures are expected to trigger a scattering of showers which are likely to be torrential and thundery, bringing 30-40mm in an hour.

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