Latest UK weather news: Heatwave destroys 41 homes as fire services ‘stretch to the limit’

UK heat wave: Wildfire in Dartford hits motorway as temperatures hit record high

Some 41 properties, including homes and warehouses, were destroyed in the capital as Tuesday’s heatwave was the busiest day for London Fire Brigade (LFB) since World War II, according to Sadiq Khan.

A union said fire services were being “stretched to the limit” in their response to incidents caused by extreme temperatures, which it blamed on the government’s major job cuts.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said its resources had been “under attack by government budget cuts for more than a decade”, adding that 11,500 firefighter jobs had been cut since 2010.

Operating in 40C heat on Tuesday, firefighters took around 2,600 emergency calls and responded to more than 1,000 fire calls, the Mayor of London said. Sky News.

Of the 16 firefighters who suffered “heat-related injuries”, two were hospitalized, said LFB assistant commissioner Jonathan Smith. Both have since been released.

Elsewhere, Simon Clarke, the chief secretary to the Treasury, told the broadcaster the fires were a “warning sign” about the impact of climate change.


Johnson thanks firefighters for ‘tremendous efforts’


Firefighters “stretched to the limit”

The fire service has been ‘stretched to the limit’ in its response to incidents sparked by extreme temperatures, which a union has blamed on major government job cuts.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said its resources had been “under attack by government budget cuts for more than a decade”, adding that 11,500 firefighter jobs had been cut since 2010.

Firefighters have been asked to forego leave to assist due to understaffing and there have been a number of injuries among FBU members over the past two days, including hospital admissions, added the union.

Matt Wrack, FBU General Secretary, said: “We have warned of the growing threat for years, but our concerns have fallen on deaf ears. The brutal truth is that government ministers and fire chiefs ignored the warning signs that were obvious to all.

“The stark reality is that frontline firefighters and local communities have been disappointed by the combined failure of fire chiefs and politicians to deal with the scale of the challenge. It is simply untrue to say that they have not been warned year after year of the risks posed by climate change.

“The same people then tell frontline firefighters to tighten their belts and take a pay cut.”


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

More women than men could die during the UK heat wave because they are “more vulnerable” to high temperatures, an expert has said.

The UK recorded its hottest temperature in history before noon on Tuesday – with temperatures soaring to over 40C (104F).

Mike Tipson, a professor of human physiology and applied to extreme environment laboratories, said The Independent women seem more exposed to heat waves for both physiological and sociological reasons.

Our female correspondent Maya Oppenheim reports:


Cambridge University Botanical Garden announces new temperature record

The University of Cambridge Botanic Garden recorded its maximum temperature on Tuesday at 39.9C – higher than the previous UK heat record of 38.7C set in 2019 – but lower than the current provisional record of 40, 3C set yesterday in Coningsby, Lincolnshire.

The attraction said in a tweet that the high of 39.9C was reached at 2.02pm yesterday.

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Speaking after readings were taken for the previous 24-hour period at 10am on Wednesday, attraction manager Professor Beverley Glover said: ‘We are appalled at the high temperatures recorded and incredibly concerned by the implications for plants, people and the planet.

“This is a stark reminder that we all need to take climate change and its impact very seriously.”


Three-quarters are worried about the climate crisis with concern that the 40C heatwave is a ‘serious health concern’

Three-quarters of Britons are worried about the worsening climate crisis and want the government to do more to tackle it, according to a poll, as the country sweltered in 40C temperatures that fueled the fires Across the country.

The survey by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, which supports informed debate on energy and climate change in the UK, found that 70% of the public agreed that climate change was a driver of the recent heat wave, with only 17% saying they didn’t I don’t believe that was a factor.

The Independents climate correspondent Saphora Smith see you:


Highways England has tweeted a travel alert about delays on the M25 caused by Just Stop Oil protesters.

He said: ‘There are delays of over an hour on the M25 counter-clockwise in Surrey due to an ongoing incident led by Surrey Police within J10 ( for A3, Guildford). 3 lanes (out of 4) are currently closed.

“If this incident impacts your planned route, please allow additional travel time as there is over nine miles of congestion approaching. Plan ahead, you may wish to change your route or even delay your trip.


Heatwave: Fire crews still battling blazes after ‘busiest day since World War II’

A number of fire departments declared major incidents on Tuesday as the number of fires and demand increased during the heatwave.

Fires destroyed homes and wildfires scorched acres of land across the country in what has been called the busiest day for London firefighters since World War II.


M25 blocked as climate protesters declare it ‘site of civil resistance’ after hottest day in history

Climate protest group Just Stop Oil halted traffic on the M25 this morning, declaring the London Orbital Motorway a ‘site of civil resistance’ after record high temperatures on Tuesday.

The group said it aimed to block the highway from Wednesday to Friday, demanding the UK government immediately end licenses and consents for fossil fuel exploration, development and production in the UK.

Our environment correspondent Harry Cockburn has this breaking story:


Police ‘face up’ to Just Stop Oil protest on M25

Surrey Police said officers were dealing with the Just Stop Oil protest on the M25.

A statement said: ‘We are dealing with a protest on the M25 just past junction 10 of the carriageway anti-clockwise this morning. Three lanes are currently closed.

“We will keep you posted on future updates. In the meantime, please avoid the area.”

According to the National Motorways website, the action caused nine-mile traffic jams on the M25 counter-clockwise, leading to warnings of delays of more than an hour.

Here is what the protesters have to say:


Heatwave-related travel chaos continues