Scale of fires raging across UK on hottest day revealed in satellite images from NASA database

·2-min read

There was a huge surge in fires on the hottest day ever recorded in the UK.

Many of the blazes on Tuesday were identified by NASA's FIRMS database, which uses satellites to detect fires around the world in real time.

FIRMS data can be accessed by NASA's open-source satellite tool, NASA Worldview.

The image below shows the fire alerts recorded across the UK by NASA's satellite on Tuesday.

The red dots indicate thermal anomalies, like fires. The system does not record the cause of the fire, but we know from the emergency services that many of the incidents on Tuesday are thought to be linked to extreme heat.

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Many of Tuesday's FIRMS alerts are in the east and in places where the land appears noticeably drier than it does in other parts of the country.

Buckinghamshire (1), North Yorkshire (2), Nottinghamshire (3), Humberside (4), London (5), Cheshire (6), Leicestershire (7), Bedford (8), Hertfordshire (9), Norfolk (10), Suffolk (11), Cambridge (12), Lincolnshire (13) and South Yorkshire (14) fire and rescue services all declared major incidents on Tuesday.

Major incidents are usually bigger, more complex incidents that endanger lives and require additional coordination, according to the National Fire Chiefs Council.

The number of fires detected by FIRMS on Tuesday is significantly higher than on the same day last year.

This year alone, England and Wales have had 442 wildfires, more than the 247 last year.

In London, the fire services responded to 1,146 incidents on Tuesday - its busiest day since the Second World War.

Intense wildfires have been burning for weeks across Europe, forcing thousands to be evacuated from their homes.

The FIRMS database shows alerts recorded in France, Spain, Portugal and Italy among others.

Firefighters across the continent continue to tackle blazes brought on by soaring temperatures and exceedingly dry weather.

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