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UK weather news – live: Thunderstorms sweep in after fire destroys homes on 40C day

·30-min read
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Thunderstorms were set to sweep across Britain as the warmest day recorded in the country’s history came to a close.

Fires broke out across England and Wales as the UK recorded a temperature above 40C for the first time ever, causing schools to shut down and leaving the transport system in disarray due to the extreme heat.

Major fires damaged property in London, Yorkshire and Kent, as hundreds of firefighters desperately tried to extinguish the blazes amid very dry and stifling conditions. Several fire brigades declared major incidents due to pressure on services.

The UK’s new record breaking temperature, 40.3 C, was recorded today at Coningsby in Lincolnshire. The record before Tuesday stood at 38.7C at Cambridge Botanic Garden on 25 July 2019.

Millions of Britons experienced sweltering temperatures on Monday night, with provisional data suggesting it was the warmest night on record.

Rail users are warned of delays, cancellations and changes to train services, while dozens of schools have closed, ahead of warnings of further disruption due to thunderstorms on Wednesday.

Key points

  • UK record 40C temperature for first time in history

  • ‘Unprecedented’ 22 major wildfires across UK

  • Fire services declare major incidents on day of record heat

  • UK experiences ‘warmest night on record’ with temperatures hovering around 25C in some places

Khan urges Londoners to avoid barbecues and jumping into water

09:03 , Emily Atkinson

Londoners have been urged not to have barbecues on Wednesday despite temperatures dropping, because the grass is still dry and will allow fire to spread rapidly if it catches alight.

The capital’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, told Sky News: “These are exceptional times and, because of the ease with which grass is catching fire and the speed at which it spreads, we are advising people not to have barbecues - not to have barbecues on your balcony, parks, or in your private garden for today.

“None of us wants to be a party pooper, but how would you feel if you had a barbecue in your back garden, and some of the grass, which is like hay, caught fire and it spread, damaged your property and spread to your neighbours?

“Our firefighters are working incredibly hard, they were the heroes yesterday, and they need some respite as well.

“A very simple thing we can do is just another day without a barbecue, and please also, if you’re near water, don’t be tempted to jump in, whether it’s the Thames, whether it’s a canal, or whether it’s other forms of water.”

Tory leadership candidates ‘not talking about climate change’, says London mayor

08:50 , Emily Atkinson

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he is “angry” that the Tory leadership candidates are not prioritising tackling climate change despite the heatwave demonstrating the consequences.

He told Sky News: “One of the things that really makes me angry is that, what we’ve seen in the last few days, this extreme weather, this heatwave.

“At the same time there’s a leadership contest to choose the next prime minister, and no-one’s talking about the elephant in the room, which is climate change causing the heatwave where temperatures are exceeding 40C.

“We’ve got a situation where we have heatwaves every two or three years rather than every 10 or 15 years.

“What we should be doing is dealing with the consequences of climate change and air quality, but also dealing with the causes as well.

“What we’re doing in London is dealing with the causes of climate change and air quality by having policies that reduce carbon emissions, reduce particulate matter - like the Ultra Low Emission Zone - planting record numbers of trees, having water fountains across our cities, air-conditioned new trains, but what we need is support from the government as well, because we can’t do it alone.”

08:37 , Emily Atkinson

Images capture the smouldering ruins of houses and surrounding landscape after a series of grass fires broke out in Wennington, England amid an intense heatwave.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Lincolnshire fire service stands down major incident status

08:24 , Emily Atkinson

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue service said it had stood down its major incident status after what it described as “searing” conditions on Tuesday.

The service said in a social media post: “We have now stood down from major incident status, and whilst we still have crews at some incidents this morning, we have returned to business as usual.

“With conditions remaining dry for some time, we’re appealing to our communities to remain vigilant.

“Please follow the advice we have given especially around outdoor fires - avoiding the use of campfires and barbeques unless they’re on a designated hardstanding area, and being especially careful to dispose of cigarettes and glass properly.”

London heatwave leads to firefighters’ busiest day since WW2

08:16 , Emily Atkinson

Sixteen firefighters were injured fighting fires in the capital in the busiest day for London’s Fire Bridgade (LFB) since World War 2, according to Sadiq Khan.

Operating in 40C heat on Tuesday, firefighters took an estimated 2,600 emergency calls and responded to over 1,000 fire calls, the London mayor told Sky News.

“On a normal day the fire service receives - roughly speaking - 350 calls, and on a busy day 500 calls,” he added.

Of those firefighters who suffered from “heat-related injuries”, two were hospitalised, LFB assistant commissioner Jonathan Smith said. Both have since been released.

Mr Smith added that, although the weather is now cooler, the ground is “still absolutely tinder-box dry” and he warned people not to have barbecues in parks or discard glass on the ground where it could catch fire if hit by the sun’s rays.

Government to ‘step in’ to help those affected by major fires

08:00 , Emily Atkinson

Simon Clarke, the chief secretary to the Treasury, has promised that the government will “step in” to help families hit by major blazes sparked by the extreme heat.

In particular, two “large-scale” incidents took place in Upminster and the village of Wennington, in east London on Tuesday as temperatures surged to record-breaking levels across the UK.

He did not say specifically what help the government might provide to those without insurance, whose homes or belongings were destroyed.

“The government will stand by people who need assistance,” he told Sky News.

“The government will be looking carefully at what we can do to make sure that everyone receives the support they need.

“And obviously, the first thing is to make sure that they have the support in the very immediate term - people may have lost all their belongings, their identity documents.

“I know our local councils will be stepping up to look after people who’ve been affected across the country by fires, but clearly central government stands ready as always to step in as needed.”


Rail chaos continues as engineers race to repair damage after record heatwave

07:50 , Emily Atkinson

Commuters faced further chaos in the wake of the UK’s hottest ever day as Britain’s flagship rail line remains closed to and from London while engineers work to repair damage caused by extreme heat.

The East Coast main line, which links King’s Cross station in the capital with Yorkshire, northeast England and Scotland, was still closed south of Peterborough on Wednesday morning.

LNER, the leading train operator on the artery, said: “Due to urgent repairs to the railway between KingsCross and Peterborough, all lines are blocked.

Our travel correspondent Simon Calder has more:

Rail chaos continues as engineers race to repair damage after record heatwave

‘Brutal’ heatwave a ‘game changer’ for fire services

07:39 , Emily Atkinson

“What the hell just happened?” asks a West Yorkshire Fire Service chief in the wake yesterday’s heatwave, who says that ferocious blazes akin to those in London shared widely in the media yesterday also “happened the length and breadth of England.”

Tuesday was a “game changer” for the fire service, DCFO Dave Walton tweets, adding: “It’s about demand for fire engines and firefighters far, far outstripping the numbers that any reasonable person would expect to available at any one time.

“It’s about a completely and fundamentally different operating environment where fires burn with such ferocity, and spread with such speed in suburban areas that you CAN’T STOP THEM.”

He continues: “Your Fire & Rescue Service staff are heroes - every one of them - but they can’t work miracles. Today was about climate change, the hottest UK day on record - EVER! If you don’t believe in climate change ask a firefighter who has been on duty in the last two days what they think about it.”

Read Mr Walton’s thread in full here:

Apocalyptic scenes of homes going up in flames dominate UK’s front pages

07:15 , Stuti Mishra

Britain’s record temperature of 40.3 which caused a huge surge in fires on Tuesday remains on the front pages of all leading newspapers with dire warnings of what’s to come as planet heats.

“The day Britain burned,” declares The Independent’s front page today, featuring an image of homes completely alight. The paper adds that 22 wildfires broke out within the space of a few hours yesterday.

Climate scientists call the historic temperature reading a “wake-up call” in The Guardian’s splash which includes experts calculating that “close to 1,000 people are likely to die as a result of the current hot spell”.

Metro, The Sun, the Daily Mirror, and the i carry similar scenes of homes engulfed by flames, accompanied by the respective headlines: “Burning hot Britain”, “Hellfire”, “Britain’s burning” and “Tinderbox UK ignites at record 40.3°C.”

Check out more front pages here:

What the papers say – July 20

Dramatic lightning strikes pictured as thunderstorms hit several parts

06:56 , Stuti Mishra

Dramatic images of lightning strikes were captured as showers and thunderstorms hit several parts of the UK last night after the hottest day ever recorded in the country’s history.

Photographer James Bell shared the photos of the lightning spotted in the night sky from Elmley, Kent.

The Met office has announced a yellow alert for thunderstorms today in parts of southeast, east and central England in the afternoon and evening.

Temperatures drop by over 10C as Met warns of heavy showers

06:26 , Stuti Mishra

A showery breakdown of the heat will take place today as temperatures are set to plummet over 10C with the Met office putting a yellow warning for thunderstorms in place for parts of south east, east and central England in the afternoon and evening.

It warns people to expect flooding or lightning strikes, delays and some cancellations to train and bus services, spray and sudden flooding, road closures and possible power cuts.

It will be fresher for most places, although some parts of East Anglia will still see temperatures reach as high as 30C.

The Met says today’s rain, where it occurs, will be much heavier than yesterday.

The latest satellite and radar imagery, tweeted by the Met, shows where rain pushed through last evening, with some lightning too.

How heatwave is exposing scale of leadership vacuum on climate

05:34 , Stuti Mishra

Across Western Europe the newspaper front pages are all varying shades of red and yellow – the colours of the wildfire flames and weather-maps brought by a brutal, record-setting heatwave which is estimated to kill thousands of people, writes Harry Cockburn.

For decades, climate scientists have warned that rising greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel usage would mean more frequent and more ferocious heatwaves.

Yet emissions are still rising, and not one country has a coherent plan in place to rapidly wind down the pollution and divert us from the suicidal path we are being dragged down.

Read more:

Mass deaths and wildfires: Heatwave exposes scale of leadership vacuum on climate

At least 10 people die in open water during UK’s searing heatwave

05:15 , Stuti Mishra

At least 10 people have died after getting into difficulty in water during the unprecedented heatwave currently gripping the UK.

A boy aged just 13 was the youngest person to lose his life in recent days and one charity warned that the toll may climb as schools break up for the summer holidays.

With temperatures hitting 40C in England for the first time in history on Tuesday, the Met Office had also put in place its first “red” alert for heat. It warned of “significantly more people visiting coastal areas, lakes and rivers, leading to an increased risk of water safety incidents”.

Read more:

At least 10 people have died in open water during UK’s searing heatwave

Fires still burning across UK after temperatures hit 40C

04:56 , Stuti Mishra

Fires are continuing to ravage through houses and buildings across the UK after temperatures topped 40C in the UK for the first time ever.

A total of six sites, mostly in Greater London, saw temperatures reach or exceed 40C.

Scotland experienced its hottest day on record, with the temperature reaching 34.8C in Charterhall in the Scottish Borders, Met Office provisional figures showed.

Amid the sweltering heat, two “large-scale” incidents took place in Upminster and the village of Wennington, east London, where black smoke billowed into the air, while flames destroyed buildings and ravaged nearby fields.

Several other significant incidents also occurred in the capital, with people urged not to have barbecues or bonfires due to the “unprecedented” challenges crews face.

Read more:

Fires still burning across UK after temperatures hit 40C on hottest ever day

Body of missing 14-year-old swimmer found in River Thames

04:00 , Liam James

Police have found the body of a 14-year-old boy who drowned while swimming in the River Thames.

The teenager is believed to have got into difficulty after entering the water at Tagg’s Island in Richmond, west London, on Monday during the UK’s record-breaking heatwave.

The Metropolitan Police first received reports of the incident at 4.43pm on Monday and officers headed to the scene along with paramedics and firefighters.

The three emergency services began a search with members of the public for the boy but called it off at 6.40pm without finding him.

Later in the evening police announced the boy was presumed to have drowned.

Another search was launched and the boy’s body was recovered from the river around 3.30pm on Tuesday.

Body of missing 14-year-old swimmer found in River Thames

Drone photos show huge fire at Welsh beach as UK temperatures soar

03:00 , Liam James

Drone footage shows flames and smoke billowing from a hill above Newgale beach in Pembrokeshire, where blazes broke out on both Sunday and Monday (Andy Gregory writes).

Rou Chater, a 46-year-old surfer who captured the footage, was out on the water when he spotted the fire, which he described as “totally out of control” and “the biggest one the area has seen for some time”.

By the end of the day all of the ground towards a nearby campsite and surrounding a holiday home had burned, he said.

Drone photos show huge fire at Welsh beach as UK temperatures soar

Fire services declare major incidents as record heat fuels blazes across UK

02:00 , Liam James

Emergency services in London, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire declared major incidents due to a surge in fires on the hottest day ever recorded in Britain.

Firefighters tackled at least 22 wildfires and hundreds of smaller fires across England and Wales as temperatures above 40C were recorded for the first time in the UK.

Here is a full recap of the fires that swept the country:

Fire services declare major incidents as record heat fuels blazes across UK

Nine of Britain’s hottest days occured in past 20 years

01:00 , Liam James

Nine of the UK’s 12 hottest days on record since 1884 have occurred within the last two decades.

Tuesday’s provisional record high at Coningsby in Lincolnshire of 40.3C means that four of the top five hottest days have taken place between 2019 and 2022.

Only one of top 12 hottest days took place before 1990.

Met Office figures show that spikes in the UK’s daily maximum temperature are becoming both more frequent and more recent.

A similar trend is evident in figures showing the UK’s annual average maximum temperature.

Seven of top 10 annual average maximum temperatures since 1884 have occurred since the start of this century, with 2020 ranking in fourth place and 2018 seventh.

The year 2014 currently holds the record for the highest average maximum temperature, while 1976, often recalled for its long summer heatwave, ranks 42nd.

Heat health alert lowered as record day comes to close

Wednesday 20 July 2022 00:01 , Liam James

England will no longer be under the highest level of heat alert as Wednesday is set to be cooler than the record heights of Tuesday.

The level 4 heat-health alert has been lifted from all nine regions of England as of Wednesday 20 July, the UKHSA said.

The East Midlands, East of England and Yorkshire and Humber regions will remain under a level 3 alert until 9am on Thursday 21 July.

The UKHSA said this means it is important to carry on following public health advice in these regions.

Temperatures for the rest of the week are unlikely to reach beyond 30C as the country cools down from a period of extreme heat but Britain is likely to see similar high points again due to climate change.

Dr Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection at the UKHSA, said: “The very high temperatures have peaked for this week but they have been a wake-up call about the very real effects of climate change and the serious impacts it will have on our health.”

Residents evacuated due to fire worry their homes are gone

Tuesday 19 July 2022 23:10 , Liam James

Residents in Wennington have described the blaze which has destroyed homes as their “worst nightmare”.

Locals were evacuated from their homes in the east London village on Tuesday afternoon as black smoke billowed into the air while flames destroyed buildings and ravaged nearby fields.

A rescue centre for residents was set up at the Premier Inn on New Road.

Riminta Maceikaite, 38 and her son Nikas Janulevicius, 13, said their neighbours’ homes were burned down but as far as they can see from TV aerial shots, their house is still standing.

Ms Maceikaite said they were “very anxious” about their home, adding: “When you look on a camera when it shows you from the sky it just freaks you out.”

Nikas said: “Our house is on the news and it’s the only house that hasn’t been burned so far.

Resident Janet Hickey, 70, who has terminal pancreatic cancer, said she was forced to leave all her cancer drugs behind as they were evacuated.

“I’m terminally ill so it’s not great to lose all that. I’m also an artist and all my paintings are there,” she said.

Her husband Patrick Hickey, 71, added: “We had to leave everything. We’re hoping against hope that our house is still there.”

Several houses were destroyed in the fire (Sky News)
Several houses were destroyed in the fire (Sky News)
From a distance smoke can be seen spreading far and wide (Getty)
From a distance smoke can be seen spreading far and wide (Getty)

All 34 places which beat UK temperature record today

Tuesday 19 July 2022 22:20 , Liam James

On Tuesday, Britain’s temperature record of 38.7C was smashed at Coningsby in Lincolnshire and 33 other locations across England.

Met Office has released a full list of places, temperatures and the times they exceeded the record:

15.12: Coningsby, Lincolnshire, 40.3 — 12.20: Heathrow, west London, 40.2 — 13.55: St James’s Park, central London, 40.2 — 15.26: Gringley-on-the-Hill, Nottinghamshire, 40.1 — 12.28: Kew Gardens, south west London, 40.1 — 12.39: Northolt, west London, 40 — 13.29: Niab in Cambridge, 39.9 —11.06: Charlwood, Surrey, 39.9 — 14.05: Cranwell, Lincolnshire, 39.9 — 15.30: Scampton, Lincolnshire, 39.9 — 14.37: Wittering, Cambridgeshire, 39.9 — 15.02: Bramham, West Yorkshire, 39.8 — 14.55: Monks Wood, Cambridgeshire, 39.8 — 14.07: Watnall, Nottinghamshire, 39.8 — 13.19: Bushey Park, Teddington, southwest London, 39.6 — 15.08: Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, 39.6 — 13.49: Woburn, Bedfordshire, 39.6 — 14.35: Bedford, Bedfordshire, 39.5 — 15.50: Normanby Hall, North Lincolnshire, 39.4 — 13.59: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 39.4 — 14.28: Sutton Bonington, Nottinghamshire, 39.4 — 11.17: Wisely, Surrey, 39.3 — 11.39: Chertsey, Surrey, 39.2 — 13.39: Marham, Norfolk, 39.2 — 14.12: Holbeach, Lincolnshire, 39.1 — 14.01: Ryhill, West Yorkshire, 39.1 — 13.15: Writtle, Essex, 39.1 — 12.47: Santon Downham, Suffolk, 39 — 13.08: Wellesbourne, Warwickshire, 39 — 13.55: Coton in the Elms, Derbyshire, 38.9 — 12.20: Iver, Buckinhamshire, 38.9 — 13.04: Coleshill, Warwickshire, 38.8 — 13.24: High Beach, Essex, 38.8 — 14.57: Leeming, North Yorkshire, 38.8

Woman pictured in tears after fire tears through village

Tuesday 19 July 2022 21:54 , Liam James

The small village of Wennington on the outskirts of east London was torn apart by fire today.

Pictures from the scene show a woman in tears being comforted as a row of houses was destroyed in the fire.

More than 100 firefighters were sent to tackle the blaze in Wennington which spread across several acres of grassland and hit buildings.

A woman is comforted close to the blaze in the village of Wennington (PA)
A woman is comforted close to the blaze in the village of Wennington (PA)
Row of houses destroyed in the Wennington fire (PA)
Row of houses destroyed in the Wennington fire (PA)

Government accused of ‘pure greenwash’ as it launches Jet Zero aviation strategy on hottest day ever recorded

Tuesday 19 July 2022 21:36 , Holly Bancroft

Government plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation sector and meet the 2050 net zero deadline mean people “can fly guilt-free”, ministers have said, claiming future emissions will not rise above pre-pandemic levels.

The “Jet Zero” strategy, launched on Tuesday at Farnborough Air Show, on the hottest day in British history, has been strongly criticised by campaigners who have said measures to reduce the environmental impact of flying do not go far enough.

The plans, announced by the transport secretary Grant Shapps at the airshow, set out how the government says it will aim to reach the “hugely challenging” 2050 net zero target. It includes targets for domestic aviation to reach net zero by 2040, for so-called “sustainable aviation fuel” to account for 10 per cent of jet fuel by 2030, and for the creation of five plants making these fuels – which come from materials such as household waste, sewage, or used cooking oil.

Read the full story from Harry Cockburn here:

Government launches Jet zero aviation strategy on hottest day ever recorded

Recap: Scotland records its hottest day ever

Tuesday 19 July 2022 20:43 , Press Association

Scotland has recorded its hottest day ever as temperatures climbed to 34.8C.

The temperature was recorded at Charterhall, in the Scottish Borders, according to provisional Met Office figures, and beat an almost 19-year-old record by 1.9C.

Since August 2003, Greycrook - also in the Scottish Borders - held the temperature record north of the border when it experienced a high of 32.9C.

Mark Wilson, of the Met Office, said Tuesday was “officially the highest temperature recorded in Scotland since records began”.

The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning - for extreme heat in eastern, southern and central parts of Scotland - which is in force until midnight on Tuesday.

And, at the same time, the forecaster has issued a yellow warning for thunderstorms for areas across north-east England and the Borders which is in place until 8pm.

Elsewhere in Scotland Eskdalemuir in Dumfries and Galloway recorded a temperature of 32.3C, while in Threave, Dumfries and Galloway, the thermometer climbed to 31.2C, the Met Office said earlier on Tuesday.

Heatwaves are being made more intense, frequent and longer by climate change, and scientists said it would be “virtually impossible” for the UK to have experienced temperatures reaching 40C without human-driven global warming.

More women ‘could die’ in UK heatwave than men, expert warns

Tuesday 19 July 2022 20:25 , Holly Bancroft

More women could die in the UK heatwave than men due to being “more vulnerable” to hot temperatures, an expert has said.

The UK recorded its hottest temperature in history before midday on Tuesday - with temperatures climbing to over 40C (104F).

Mike Tipson, Professor of Human and Applied Physiology at the Extreme Environments Laboratories, told The Independent women appear to be more at risk in heatwaves for both physiological and sociological reasons.

His comments echo research into heatwaves carried out in the Netherlands which found mortality rates were 15 per cent higher for elderly women than men - with researchers analysing statistics from the 2003 heatwave in France.

Read the full report from Maya Oppenheim here:

More women ‘could die’ in UK heatwave than men, expert warns

Do not have barbeques, London Fire Brigade urges

Tuesday 19 July 2022 19:52 , Holly Bancroft

London Fire Brigrade have urged people not to have barbeques as they tackle an unprecedented number of fires across the capital.

Around 15 hectares of grassland and undergrowth is alight on Western Avenue in Uxbridge, the service tweeted. London mayor Sadiq Khan has previously said that the fire service received more than 1600 calls for assistance today.

Heatwave leaves supermarket shelves empty as shoppers race to buy water and ice cream

Tuesday 19 July 2022 19:25 , Holly Bancroft

The UK’s heatwave has emptied out supermarket shelves as shoppers snap up water and ice-cream in the scorching weather.

The country has been hit by days of extreme heat, with its hottest-ever temperature - 40.3C - recorded on Tuesday.

And according to images of bare supermarket shelves, it seems like Britons are doing all they can to stay cool in the exceptionally hot weather.

Shoppers have come across empty sections where bottled water normally is during the heatwave, which was forecast to peak on Monday and Tuesday.

A number posted social media, saying they had turned up to supermarkets to find water gone or very little left.

Heatwave leaves supermarket shelves empty as shoppers race to buy water and ice cream

‘Unprecedented’ 22 major wildfires across UK

Tuesday 19 July 2022 19:00 , Chris Baynes

National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has recorded 22 major wildfires since 11am this morning and hundreds of smaller vegetation fires, reports The Independent’s climate correspondent Saphora Smith.

The NFCC’s reporting tool only records significant wildfires that meet one or more of its criteria, which includes that it impacts an area bigger than one hectare, has sustained flame lengths of more than 1.5 metres or presents a serious threat to life, environment, property and infrastructure.

Paul Hedley, the lead on wildfires for the council, said the volume of fires today was most likely unprecedented.

Leicester Fire and Rescue Service declares major incident

Tuesday 19 July 2022 18:40 , Holly Bancroft

Leicester Fire and Rescue Service has joined the London Fire Brigade in declaring a major incident as fires rage across the UK due to the heatwave.

Jonathan Smith, assistant commissioner of LFB, said earlier today that “we probably haven’t seen weather-related incidents on this scale before” as temperatures tipped over 40C in parts of the capital.

Leicester Fire and Rescue Service also said they were dealing with a grass fire off Bradgate Hill, Groby. They advised people to avoid the area and said that five pumps and a water carrier are at the scene.

New maximum temperature set in Scotland

Tuesday 19 July 2022 18:16 , Holly Bancroft

The Met Office have said that a new maximum temperature has been set in Scotland.

Charterhall in the Scottish Borders provisionally set a new maximum temperature record for Scotland on Tuesday, with the temperature rising to 34.8C earlier this afternoon.

This exceeds the previous record of 32.9C recorded in Greycrook on 9th August 2003.

Tuesday 19 July 2022 17:59 , Chris Baynes

Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has said it is dealing with two major fires, one in Walnut Tree in Milton Keynes and the second in Whitehouse Lane in Wooburn More.

Leicestershire fire service declares major incident

Tuesday 19 July 2022 17:51 , Chris Baynes

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service has declared a major incident due to the high number of call-outs it is receiving.

The brigade said: “We have declared a major incident due to high demand across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland We will not be attending Automatic Fire alarms. Please only call us if it’s an emergency.”

The service is the second today to declare a major incident, following the London Fire Brigade, which is battling blazes across the capital.

Met Office issue warning over thunderstorms

Tuesday 19 July 2022 17:48 , Holly Bancroft

The Met Office have issued a warning about imminent thunderstorms across parts of northern England and southern Scotland.

More pictures emerge of a fire in East London

Tuesday 19 July 2022 17:35 , Holly Bancroft

More pictures have emerged of a significant fire in East London. Several buildings have burnt down in Wennington with the fire spreading across the town’s fields. It comes after a huge grass fire broke out in Dartford, Kent.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service said twelve fire engines and a height vehicle had been sent to the scene near fire near Durrell Dene, in Joyce Green.

Crews are working to extinguish the roaring flames amid the hottest temperatures in Britain’s records. Multiple places including Heathrow airport and Kew Gardens have recorded temperatures of 40C.


Police smash car windows to free dogs trapped inside in record heatwave

Tuesday 19 July 2022 17:11 , Holly Bancroft

Police were forced to smash the window of a £25,000 electric car to save a dog trapped inside during the record heatwave.

Officers intervened after a member of the public spotted the trapped pet on Oxendon Street, in central London, on Monday, as temperatures soared past 37C.

The owner of another dog is facing animal cruelty charges after police smashed a car window to rescue it fin Barnet.

John Thompson, 35, spotted the dog in Oxendon Street, Westminister, along with other bystanders in the early evening and caught the moment police arrived to free the animal on camera.

He said: “I was just immediately scared for the dog and thought ‘Come on, it’s the hottest day of the year’.”

Police smash car windows to free dogs trapped inside in record heatwave

At least 29 places in England break all time temperature records

Tuesday 19 July 2022 16:59 , Holly Bancroft

At least 29 observation sites across England have provisionally broken the previous all time maximum UK record of 38.7 °C this afternoon, the Met Office have reported.

Temperature records were broken three times in one day in the UK on Tuesday, after temperatures hit 40.3C at Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

Full story: Temperature reachs 40.3C in Lincolnshire

Tuesday 19 July 2022 16:55 , Holly Bancroft

Temperature records were broken three times in one day in the UK on Tuesday, after temperatures hit 40.3C at Coningsby, surpassing two other records set just hours earlier.

The Met Office said a provisional temperature of 39.1C had been recorded in Charlwood, Surrey, at 10.40 am on Tuesday only for that record to be broken soon after.

London Heathrow reported a temperature of 40.2C at 12.50pm, followed by 40.3C at Coningsby at 4pm.

The highs exceeded the previous UK record of 38.7 in Cambridge in 2019.

UK temperature tops 40C for first time ever breaking record three times in one day

Breaking: 40.3C record temperature in Coningsby

Tuesday 19 July 2022 16:49 , Holly Bancroft

The Met Office have recorded another record temperature of 40.3C in Coningsby, a slight increase on the previous record set in Heathrow today.

Drone photos show huge fire at Welsh beach

Tuesday 19 July 2022 16:45 , Joe Middleton

A large fire has broken out above a beach in southwest Wales, as the UK’s unprecedented heatwave sparked warnings of a “very extreme danger” of wildfires.

Drone footage showed flames and smoke billowing from a hill above Newgale beach in Pembrokeshire, where blazes broke out on both Sunday and Monday.

Rou Chater, a 46-year-old surfer who captured the footage, was out on the water when he spotted the fire, which he described as “totally out of control” and “the biggest one the area has seen for some time”.

Andy Gregory reports.

Drone photos show huge fire at Welsh beach as UK temperatures soar

Prince Charles says tackling climate change is 'utterly essential' as heatwave grips UK

Tuesday 19 July 2022 16:30 , Joe Middleton

Firefighters tackle outbuilding blaze during record-breaking heatwave

Tuesday 19 July 2022 16:09 , Joe Middleton

Firefighters are tackling a blaze in Wembley that erupted during the UK’s record-breaking heatwave.

Around 60 crew members were at the scene on Tuesday afternoon.

Zoe Tidman has the latest on this breaking story.

Firefighters tackle Wembley blaze during record-breaking heatwave

Temperatures are now above 40C at a number of UK areas, say Met Office

Tuesday 19 July 2022 15:55 , Joe Middleton

The Met Office said said that temperatures are now “above 40C at a number of UK sites” but that “fresher conditions are now arriving across the far west of the country.”

Avanti West Coast passengers urged not to go to Euston due to suspended services

Tuesday 19 July 2022 15:50 , Joe Middleton

Avanti West Coast passengers have been urged not to go to Euston station as all services have been suspended for Tuesday.

A spokesman said: “Due to the extreme heat causing multiple incidents across the network all Avanti West Coast services have now been withdrawn for the rest of today, Tuesday July 19.”

Customers with tickets for Tuesday can use them on Wednesday or Thursday, or claim a refund.


Fire rages in Dartford as searing heatwave hits UK

Tuesday 19 July 2022 15:42 , Joe Middleton

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