Now it’s too hot for FUN! Killjoy officials CANCEL raft of events including fetes, markets, country walks and carnivals over fears of ‘extreme’ three-day 100F heatwave from Sunday

  • Events called off this weekend include markets, dog shows, school fairs, carnivals and brewery open days 
  • Rail bosses say trains may have to be cancelled and speed restrictions imposed, doubling journey times
  • Roads could also be shut and air travel affected while some hospitals have declared ‘critical incidents’ 
  • Patients are already suffering ‘handover waits’ of up to 24 hours in A&E because of extreme temperatures
  • Temperatures are set to hit 30C (86F) today, before dipping to 27C (81F) between tomorrow and Saturday
  • They will then soar again from Sunday with Met Office saying there is 30% chance of hottest day on record 

Summer events from fairs to markets and carnivals to dog shows due to take place this weekend have been cancelled because of the extreme heat alert, amid warnings of unprecedented 40C (104F) temperatures in Britain.

Among the events called off this Sunday due to the heat forecast are a cheese market in Chiswick, West London; a dog show in Bude, Cornwall; a school fair in Steeple Bumpstead, Essex; and a carnival in Hungerford, Berkshire.

Other events falling due to the 72-hour Met Office warning in place for this Sunday until Tuesday include an animal sanctuary event in Lincolnshire; a brewery open day in Silchester, Berkshire; and country walks across the UK. It follows a series of sports days being cancelled at schools this week due to the weather being too hot for children.

It comes as councils have warned binmen may be forced to halt collections and unions have urged firms to allow staff to work from home or leave the office early to avoid overheating at their desks or on their daily commute.

And wildfires continued to rage across Britain amid warnings that the country could be crippled by the extreme temperatures from Sunday – as the heatwave is set to cause chaos to transport, the NHS and other key services.

Rail bosses say trains may have to be cancelled and speed restrictions imposed due to high track temperatures, doubling journey times for passengers – while the Met Office said roads could also be shut and flights cancelled.

Some hospitals have already declared ‘critical incidents’ and every ambulance trust in England is on the highest level of alert, with patients already suffering up to 24-hour handover waits in A&E because of the heat.

The Met Office today extended its amber ‘extreme heat’ warning to include all of next Tuesday, having previously issued it for Sunday and Monday. Forecasters said the ’emphasis on the peak of the hot spell’ had now shifted from Sunday, to Monday and Tuesday – but that the risk of ‘widespread impacts on people and infrastructure’ remained.

The UK Health Security Agency and Met Office expect the weather to be life-threatening with forecasts that the mercury could top 40C (104F) in Britain for the first time at some point between this Sunday and Tuesday.

People are being encouraged to try to keep their homes cool, such as by closing blinds or curtains and keeping bedrooms well ventilated at night, drink plenty of fluids, avoid too much exercise, and stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day. In some areas, the heatwave follows months of below-average rainfall, and water companies are urging households to save water, as demand surges in the face of the high temperatures.

Temperatures are set to hit 30C (86F) again today, before dipping slightly to 27C (81F) between tomorrow and Saturday – then soaring again from Sunday. Temperatures of up to 38C (100F) are currently forecast for London next Monday and Tuesday, and no respite is expected until next Wednesday when highs of 25C (77F) are due.

It continues the prolonged hot spell that has seen highs of 31.7C (89.1F) in Surrey yesterday after 32C (90F) in London on Monday, 30.1C (86.2F) last Sunday, 27.5C (81.5F) last Saturday, and 29.3C (84.7F) last Friday.

Last night was the second ‘tropical night’ in a row – a declaration made when temperatures do not fall below 20C (68F) all night. The lowest temperature in London overnight was 21.5C (70.7F) on what was the UK’s warmest night of the year so far – one day after minimum overnight temperatures of 20.5C (68.9F) in Sheffield on Monday night. 

Despite the heat in recent days, June 17 still stands as the hottest day of 2022 so far when 32.7C (90.9F) was recorded in London. The UK’s highest ever temperature was 38.7C (101.6F) in Cambridge on July 15, 2019.









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Events such as cheese markets, brewery open days and dog sanctuary visits are being cancelled due to the UK heatwave




Some schools have cancelled their summer sports days for pupils because of the heat , according to these Twitter users



Smoke continued to billow from fires on Salisbury Plain today, after the Ministry of Defence confirmed that three blazes were caused by live firing in military training on Monday – with locals urged to keep their windows shut.

The MoD said the largest fire near Urchfont is still ‘well alight’ although military personnel and firefighters have stopped it spreading further, while another near Enford is almost extinguished with damping down continuing. The fires are all within the ‘impact area’, which is the part of the MoD’s training area which ordnance is fired at. 

There was also a major grass fire on the Pembrokeshire coast near the popular seaside resort of Tenby – after other blazes at a solar farm in Dorset, and in fields in Norfolk and North Yorkshire, all sparked by the blistering weather.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said it was called to the grass fire near Monkstone Beach in Tenby at 2.35pm yesterday. Crews from two stations were deployed to the ten hectares of gorse and undergrowth on fire.

They fought the blaze using two jets and beaters, and it was eventually brought under control, but some hotspots were left to smoulder overnight because of their inaccessible location. Fire crews continue to monitor it today.

Meanwhile in Chorley, Lancashire fire crews in eight fire engines were fighting a huge blaze at the commercial premises of Clayton Hall landfill site – with the incident creating a large plume of smoke affecting nearby homes. 

Very high temperatures are also being seen in Spain, Portugal and France this week – with Seville hitting 42C (108F) amid a lack of rainfall, wildfires visible in Lisbon and temperatures of up to 39C (102F) in parts of France. 

The UK Government said ministers and officials are drawing up plans with the NHS and councils amid fears the lives of vulnerable people, such as children, the elderly or those with existing health conditions, could be at risk.

A group of women in the sea off Bournemouth beach in Dorset this morning as they enjoy the warm weather


Two women enjoy the warm weather on Bournemouth beach today as the heatwave continues across England

A group of young people play a ball game in the sea off Bournemouth beach this morning as they visit the Dorset coast


People go into the sea and enjoy the warm weather on Bournemouth beach today as the heatwave continues across England

Two men and a woman walk along the beach  towards the sea at Bournemouth today as they enjoy the warm weather

A woman poses for a photograph while enjoying the warm weather on Bournemouth beach in Dorset today

Two people run along the promenade of Bournemouth beach in Dorset today as the heatwave continues across England

A woman sits in the sunshine on Bournemouth beach today as she enjoys heatwave which continues across England

Three people walk along the promenade at Bournemouth today as sunseekers head to the Dorset coast

A man takes a photograph of a woman on Bournemouth beach in Dorset this morning as the heatwave continues

 

Two women walk along the promenade of Bournemouth beach in Dorset today as the heatwave continues across England

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: ‘There is significant work going on across government in making sure those who are most vulnerable to high temperatures are looked after and given the requisite advice.’

What are the potential impacts of extreme heat during amber warning?

The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning for extreme heat for the whole on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, covering most of England and some of Wales. 

The extreme heat warning system ranges from yellow to red and indicates how likely and how much of an impact the weather will have on public life. An amber warning states that temperatures are likely to have a high impact.

The warning for Sunday states: ‘Some exceptionally high temperatures are possible during Sunday and could lead to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure’.

Forecasters say the heatwave could impact the health of everyone – not only the vulnerable – while it could also impact electricity, gas and water supplies. Here is how it could impact different parts of daily life:

RAIL TRAVEL

The Met Office says that delays and cancellations to rail travel are possible with ‘potential for significant welfare issues for those who experience even moderate delays’. 

Network Rail has warned that services across the UK may be subject to speed restrictions to avoid tracks buckling, with South Western Railway and Heathrow Express among the operators warning of potential disruption. West Midlands Trains imposed a 20mph limits yesterday on the route between Stratford-upon-Avon, Leamington Spa and Kidderminster.

ROADS 

The Met Office says that delays on roads and road closures are possible during the heat alert period. 

The RAC has urged motorists to ‘think carefully before they drive, and do everything they can to avoid a breakdown’. It says motorists should check the coolant and oil levels under the bonnet when the engine is cold. 

It added: ‘If temperatures were to go as high as around 40c as some are predicting, then people should question their decision to drive in the first place.’

Hampshire County Council is preparing to deploy gritters in response to melting roads, saying that the machines will be spreading light dustings of sand which ‘acts like a sponge to soak up excess bitumen’.

Motorists who find tar stuck to their tyres are advised to wash it off with warm soapy water.

AIRPORTS

The Met Office has warned that air travel could also be disruption during the heat. This is because planes can become too heavy to take off in very hot weather due to reduced air density resulting in a lack of lift.

This happened during a heatwave in summer 2018 at London City Airport when some passengers had to be removed so the services become light enough to take off on the relatively short runway.

UTILITIES

The Met Office has warned that a failure of ‘heat-sensitive systems and equipment’ is possible. This could result in a loss of power and other essential services, such as water, electricity and gas. 

Hot weather can lead to high demand on the power network because people are turning on fans and air conditioning – and the heat can also lead to a drop in the efficiency of overhead power cables and transformers.

WORKPLACES

The Met Office says that ‘changes in working practices and daily routines will be required’ in the extreme heat. 

There is no specific law for a maximum working temperature, or when it is too hot to work.

But employers are expected to ensure that in offices or similar environments, the temperature in workplaces must be ‘reasonable’. Companies must follow follow health and safety laws which include keeping the temperature at a comfortable level, known as ‘thermal comfort’; and providing clean and fresh air.

The Trades Union Congress says that during heatwaves staff should be allowed to start work earlier, or stay later, leave jackets and ties in the wardrobe and have regular breaks. It is also calling for an absolute maximum indoor temperature of 30C (86F) – or 27C (81F) for strenuous jobs – to legally indicate when work should stop.

HEALTH 

The Met Office has said that adverse health effects could be ‘experienced by all, not just limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat, leading to serious illness or danger to life’ during the amber warning. 

In addition, charity Asthma and Lung UK has warned up to three million asthma sufferers could be affected by high pollen levels, so should use their inhalers. 

SCHOOLS  

Plans to cope with the heat, created by the NHS and UKHSA, say children should not do ‘vigorous physical activity’ when temperatures rise above 30C (86F).

Some sports days have been cancelled this week, while official advice suggests moving school start, end and break times to avoid the hottest points in the day.

Official word from the Government on how schools should respond to the heat could be sent later this week – but it may be left to headteachers to decide.

But critics questioned the need for a national emergency response, saying it was indicative of the ‘snowflake Britain’ we now live in.

Sir John Hayes, chairman of the Common Sense Group of Conservative MPs, told the Daily Telegraph: ‘It is not surprising that in snowflake Britain, the snowflakes are melting.

‘The idea that we clamour for hot weather for most of the year and then shutdown when it does heat up is indicative of the state in which we now live.’

The Trades Union Congress called for a maximum indoor temperature of 30C (86F) – or 27C (81F) for those doing strenuous jobs – to indicate when work should legally stop. No official limit currently exists.

It also wants companies to allow staff to come in earlier or stay later to ‘avoid the stifling and unpleasant conditions of the rush-hour commute’, adding: ‘Bosses should consider enabling staff to work from home while it is hot.’

In the UK, while workers have been seen walking with fans in an attempt to cool down, those Britons not at work are making the most of the balmy temperatures as they flock to beaches or splash about in fountains and streams. 

This morning, the Met Office extended its rare ‘amber’ warning for extreme heat across large parts of England and Wales into the first two days of next week.

The warning initially covered all day Sunday but will now run until 11.59pm on Tuesday, forecasters said. It is only the third time such a warning has been issued.

The amber warning covering Sunday, Monday and Tuesday says there could be a danger to life or potential serious illness, with adverse health effects not just limited to the most vulnerable.

There could also be road closures, and delays and cancellations to rail and air travel.

Met Office forecaster Matthew Box said: ‘As we get into Sunday it looks like we could see temperatures rise into the high 20s and into the low 30s as well but potentially a few spots getting 34C or 35C by Sunday and probably the same again on Monday.

‘We could see by Monday temperatures getting towards the mid or high 30s and there’s about a 30 per cent chance we could see the UK record broken, most likely on Monday at the moment.’

High temperatures may also last into Tuesday. ‘It’s looking like things are going to become hot or very hot as we go through the weekend and into next week,’ Mr Box added.

He explained the heatwave is a result of hot air flowing to the UK from the continent.

He said: ‘What happens as we get into the weekend, the high pressure becomes centred to the east of the UK and that allow a southerly flow of air to drag up, the very warm air that’s over France at the moment, and drag it northwards to the UK over the weekend, perhaps more so on Sunday and into Monday.’

Temperatures were hottest in London and the South of England yesterday as people flocked to beaches such as Bournemouth and Brighton.

Others enjoyed city centre fountains and streams, such as in the River Darent in Eynsford, Kent. 

However, it was slightly cooler and cloudier in northern areas, with some light showers reported in the North West and Yorkshire.

Overnight temperatures are also much warmer than normal, forecasters said.

Monday night was officially ‘tropical’ in parts of Yorkshire and the East Midlands, with overnight temperatures not dipping below 20.5C (69F) in Sheffield.

The hot weather is already causing problems across some services, with all ambulance trusts in England on the highest level of alert due to extreme pressures caused by high temperatures and Covid-19 absences among staff.

One hospital reported an ambulance delayed for 24 hours outside A&E on Monday evening.

Another trust, which runs the Queen Alexander Hospital, in Portsmouth, declared a ‘critical incident’ due to the weather and staff sickness.

London Ambulance Service urged the public to support it as the heat continues by only calling 999 in the event of a life-threatening emergency, keeping hydrated and staying out of the sun during the hottest periods of the day.

And South Oxfordshire District Council warned that bin collections may have to stop because of the heat – with residents advised to leave bins out for two days after their scheduled collection if they are not emptied.

Warnings over delays to bin collections have also been issued for residents in Greenwich, South East London.

Network Rail also said it was gearing up to implementing widespread speed restrictions to prevent tracks buckling.

The firm, which is responsible for 20,000 miles of track in the UK, said that when air temperatures top 30C the temperature on the steel rails can be as much as 20C higher.

A spokesman said journey times could be substantially longer due to the slower services and urged passengers to take plenty of water with them.

Although water firms are not yet bringing in hosepipe bans, they admitted reservoir supplies are lower than average because of less rainfall than usual in 2022.

They urged people to help conserve supplies, by turning off taps when brushing their teeth or washing dishes, running dishwashers only when full, switching the garden hose for watering cans, reusing paddling pool water for plants, letting the lawn go brown and avoiding washing cars.

Smoke billows from a grass fire today above Monkstone Beach between Tenby and Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire, Wales

A grass fire has taken hold of land above Monkstone Beach between Tenby and Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire today

Smoke billows from a grass fire today above Monkstone Beach between Tenby and Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire, Wales

A grass fire has taken hold of land above Monkstone Beach between Tenby and Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire today

Smoke billows from a grass fire today above Monkstone Beach between Tenby and Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire, Wales

A grass fire has taken hold of land above Monkstone Beach between Tenby and Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire today

Smoke billows from a grass fire today above Monkstone Beach between Tenby and Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire, Wales

A grass fire has taken hold of land above Monkstone Beach between Tenby and Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire today

Smoke billows from a grass fire today above Monkstone Beach between Tenby and Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire, Wales

A grass fire has taken hold of land above Monkstone Beach between Tenby and Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire today

Smoke billows from a grass fire today above Monkstone Beach between Tenby and Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire, Wales

Residents in Chorley have been warned by firefighters to keep their doors and windows closed as they tackle a blaze today

In Chorley, Lancashire, fire crews in eight fire engines were fighting a huge blaze at the Clayton Hall landfill site today

Yorkshire Water said it pumped 200 million litres more water than normal on Monday, an amount equivalent to supplying another city the size of Leeds.

What are Britain’s ten hottest days on record? 

1)   38.7C – July 25, 2019

2)   38.5C – August 10, 2003

3)   37.8C – July 31, 2020

4)   37.1C – August 3, 1990

=5)  36.7C – July 1, 2015

=5)  36.7C – August 9, 1911

7)   36.6C – August 2, 1990

8)   36.5C – July 19, 2006

=9)  36.4C – August 7, 2020

=9)  36.4C – August 6, 2003

The hot weather has already claimed the lives of two 16-year-old boys, with police and charities urging teenagers to think twice about jumping into rivers, lakes and reservoirs to cool off.

The body of Jamie Lewin, from Southport, Merseyside, was recovered from a quarry in Appley Bridge, near Wigan, on Saturday.

And Alfie McCraw, who was out celebrating the end of his GCSE examinations with friends, drowned after getting into difficulty while swimming in the Aire and Calder Navigation, near Southern Washlands, West Yorkshire, on Monday evening.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK warned people about the dangers of trying to cool off in lakes, quarries, rivers and other waterways in the extremely hot weather.

Meanwhile a sun cream brand is to stop producing products with an SPF of lower than 50 for children and 15 for adults to encourage customers to lower their risk of developing skin cancer.

Boots’ own-brand Soltan has stopped making SPF 30 products for children and SPF 8 products for adults as part of a partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support to improve awareness of sun safety.

SPF (Sun protection factor) refers to the amount of UVB protection a product provides from the damaging effects of the sun. 

The higher the SPF, the greater the protection from UVB rays and sunburn and the lower the risk of developing skin cancer.

It comes as all ambulance services in England are on the highest level of alert and are under ‘extreme pressure’.

Commuters travel on the Jubilee Line this morning during stifling temperatures on the London Underground network 

Passengers commute to work on the Jubilee line this morning as they continue to face high temperatures on the Underground

Passengers commute to work on the Jubilee line this morning as they continue to face high temperatures on the Underground

Passengers wait for the doors to close on a Jubilee line train at Bermondsey station in South East London this morning

Three people run into the sea at Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside early this morning as the heatwave continues

People in the sea at sunrise off Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside this morning amid the hot weather

A beautiful sunrise over the River Thames at Gravesend in Kent this morning as the heatwave continues

The sun rises over the River Thames at Gravesend in Kent this morning with more high temperatures on the way 

A beautiful sunrise over the River Thames at Gravesend in Kent this morning as the heatwave continues 

The sun rises over the River Thames at Gravesend in Kent this morning with more high temperatures on the way 

A combination of Covid absences among staff, difficulty caused by the hot weather and ongoing delays in handing over patients to A&E has left ambulance trusts struggling to cope.

Islanders are struck by severe water shortage for second day running after SECOND main pipe burst

Thousands of residents and holidaymakers on a Kent island have been struck by a severe water shortage for the second day running after a second main pipe burst as temperatures continue to soar.

Homes and businesses on the Isle of Sheppey off the north Kent mainland have either been left with no water or seen tap pressure drop after a pipe burst yesterday.

A number of schools were even forced to close because of the incident as well as supermarkets – but islanders are facing further misery after water bosses revealed there had been a second burst pipe.

Water bottle stations have been set up around the island, which has a population of more than 40,000 people not including holidaymakers. Around 300,000 litres of water has been delivered to the emergency bottle banks which opened at the seaside resort.

Southern Water said today that it had repaired the pipe which had initially bust yesterday, but added that it was then hit by a second burst overnight.

In a statement, Southern said: ‘We are extremely sorry that homes and businesses on the Isle of Sheppey are still without water as people wake up this morning*- and the hot weather continues.

‘Our teams worked tirelessly to repair the burst main last night, and while the initial burst was fixed, when the network filled unfortunately another took place. Teams onsite are working to fix this as quickly as possible.

‘Our priority remains providing water to all those affected. Bottled water stations are open and we are continuing to deliver to our priority services customers.

‘Thank you to the community for their understanding and patience during this difficult time, and to our partner agencies, including the emergency services, who are helping with this effort.’

Southern Water said it had repaired two large leaks in its network and and supplies returned the Island just after 9pm last night. But it stressed that it would take time to ‘recharge the network’.

Swimming pools on the island also closed their doors because there was no water for toilets.

Angela Harrison, a councillor for Swale Borough Council on the island said: ‘It’s about time they replaced all the pipes. The one thing that is essential is water, and these pipes keep on bursting, which is not good at all.

‘All of the main supermarkets are closed and the water delivery was late this morning. There were around 500 people waiting for water and piles of cars queuing from all directions.’

All 10 ambulance services have confirmed they were on the highest level of alert after the Health Service Journal (HSJ) first reported they were.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said it had been on the highest level of alert – known as REAP 4 – for a few months, while South Central Ambulance Service said it was also at REAP 4, which means trusts are under ‘extreme pressure’.

South Central added that it had also declared a critical incident ‘due to current pressures on our services’.

It said in a statement: ‘We continue to prioritise our response to those patients with life-threatening and serious emergencies but, due to the current levels of pressure we are seeing, there will be delays in responding to other patients with less urgent needs who are assessed as requiring an ambulance response.

‘We are experiencing an increasing number of 999 calls into our service, combined with patients calling back if there is a delay in our response to them. As a result, our capacity to take calls is being severely challenged.

‘This is combined with the challenges of handing patients over to busy hospitals across our region and a rise in Covid infections, as well as other respiratory illnesses, among both staff and in our communities.

‘This week we are also faced with high temperatures across our region which we know will lead to an increase in demand on our service. All of these issues combined are impacting on our ability to respond to patients.’

A North West Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘As a result of the recent warm weather and increased demand, we have decided to step up to Level 4 of Resource Escalation Action Plan (REAP).

‘In moving to REAP Level 4, we will be maximising all available resources, increasing staffing levels in emergency call centres and on the road.

‘We urge the public to reserve the 999 service for emergencies only and consider if their GP, pharmacist or 111.nhs.uk could provide them with the medical help they need.’

South East Coast Ambulance Service confirmed it moved to REAP 4 this week.

A London Ambulance Service spokesman said it had moved to REAP 4 ‘as a result of a sustained demand on both our 999 and 111 services, and with hot weather set to continue over the next few days’.

He added: ‘The public can support us by only calling 999 in the event of a life-threatening emergency and by taking steps to keep hydrated and stay out of the sun at the hottest periods of the day.’

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust also confirmed it was at REAP 4, as did the East Midlands Ambulance Service, the East of England Ambulance Service and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

North East Ambulance Service said it increased its alert level on Monday.

Donna Hay, strategic commander at the service, said: ‘As a result of sustained pressure on our service and wider system pressures, as well as anticipated pressure continuing over the next week, including a potential increase in heat-related incidents, we made a decision to increase our operational alert level to four on 11 July.

‘The public can continue to support us by only calling 999 in a life-threatening emergency.’

A very dry Tooting Common in South London is pictured today following weeks of little rain amid the heatwave

Dry ground on Tooting Common in South London is seen from the air today following weeks of low rainfall

A very dry Tooting Common in South London is pictured today following weeks of little rain amid the heatwave



An ‘amber’ extreme heat Met Office warning covering much of England and Wales on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday says there could be a danger to life or potential serious illness, with adverse health effects not just limited to the most vulnerable

Smoke billows from wildfires on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire yesterday after live firing during military training on Monday

Training safety officials at the scene of the Salisbury Plain wildfires in Wiltshire yesterday – which are continuing today

Dozens of ambulances are pictured queuing outside the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske on Monday at about 4.30pm

Shadow health secretary, Wes Streeting, said: ‘Twelve years of Conservative mismanagement has left our ambulance service in crisis. Patients are left for far longer than is safe and lives are being lost as a result.’

According to HSJ, West Midlands had more than half of its ambulance crews queued outside hospitals at one point on Monday. 

A spokesman for the trust said one ambulance crew had to wait 24 hours to hand a patient over.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of an acute trust in the Midlands region told HSJ: ‘We had a very very challenged night for handovers last night, possibly the worst ever and it is only July.’

Martin Flaherty, managing director of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, said: ‘The NHS ambulance sector is under intense pressure, with all ambulance services operating at the highest level of four within their local resource escalation action plans, normally only ever reserved for major incidents or short-term periods of unusual demand.




Twitter users posted memes saying it was ‘too hot to sleep’ last night as parts of England experience an official ‘tropical night’

‘Severe delays in ambulance crews being able to hand over their patients at many hospital emergency departments are having a very significant impact on the ambulance sector’s ability to respond to patients as quickly as we would like to, because our crews and vehicles are stuck outside those hospitals.

‘Added to this, we have a number of staff absences due to a rise in Covid cases as well as additional pressure caused by the current hot weather, which is making things even tougher for our staff and of course the patients they are caring for.’

He urged people not to call 999 back to ask about an estimated arrival time unless the patient’s condition has changed.

A spokesman for NHS England said: ‘Near record levels of 999 calls, challenges discharging patients to social care settings, increasing Covid cases – leading to more than 20,000 staff absences – and the current heatwave is inevitably having an impact on NHS capacity.

‘It, however, remains vital that the public continue to dial 999 in an emergency and use 111 online, or their local pharmacy for other health issues and advice.’

Firefighters’ warning after a disposable barbeque fire destroys man’s home – EIGHT HOURS after it was used 

Firefighters have issued a warning after a disposable barbeque fire destroyed a 77-year-old man’s home eight hours after it was used.

The single-use grill, which cost around £2.50, was cooling off outside when it sparked a huge house fire in Little Walden, Essex, during the heatwave.

Terry Archer, 77, said he had cooked four pork chops on the BBQ for lunch before leaving it on bricks on an outdoor decking on Sunday, when temperatures neared 30C.

At around 11pm, a fire broke out and gutted Mr Archer’s semi-detached council home which he shared with son David, 52.

Fire chiefs warned that hot weather means barbeques take longer to cool off, creating a risk of embers spreading and causing a fire.

A disposable barbeque fire destroyed a 77-year-old man’s home in Little Walden, Essex – eight hours after it was used

At around 11pm, a fire broke out and gutted Mr Archer’s semi-detached council home which he shared with son David, 52

Mr Archer, a retired CNC miller, said: ‘We had a BBQ on the decking as we always do and left it on some bricks. When I was in bed, I smelt this horrible burning paint. A neighbour was shouting the house was on fire.

‘This guy made me get up and got my son, who has terrible hearing, out of the building too. We just watched the house burn. It was horrendous. There was a six-foot-wide wall of flames.’

Mr Archer, a widower, said the fire had ‘gutted’ his home, where he had lived for 52 years with his late wife Carol and raised sons David and John.

Pictures show the two-floor home blackened after the fire, which also caused smoke damage to the adjoining house.

Mr Archer said that home insurance will cover most of the damage and he is currently being housed by the council.

Mr Archer said that home insurance will cover most of the damage and he is currently being housed by the council

Mr Archer said the fire had ‘gutted’ his home, where he had lived for 52 years with his late wife Carol and raised sons David and John

Paul Curtis, of Saffron Walden Fire Station, said people should be extra cautious when using disposable barbeques in hot weather.

He said: ‘With the weather being so hot and dry, this fire spread very quickly across the decking, through screening and to the houses.

‘During this hot weather, we’d advise that you’re extra cautious when using disposable BBQs, they stay hot for a lot longer than people think and all it will take to start a fire in this hot and dry weather is an ember and a slight breeze.

‘Make sure they are completely cooled before you leave them unattended, you can use water to help cool them faster.’

‘Infernal’ 45C (113F) heatwave hits Europe with thousands of holidaymakers forced to flee wildfires in the night in French tourist hotspots

  • French authorities have evacuated 6,000 campers and locals as wildfires rip through the Gironde
  • Similar blazes have devastated parts of Spain and Portugal amid Europe’s blistering summer heatwave
  • The heat has led to warnings of ‘extreme risk’ and potential loss of life after second heatwave in two months 

 

Thousands of holidaymakers have been forced to flee to safety in the middle of the night after wildfires ripped through France as Europe continues to roast in a blistering heatwave.

Airborne firefighters and hundreds of emergency crew battled to bring the blazes under control in the Gironde department in southwestern France which is in the grips of a ‘furnace’ according to its national media.

Similar fires have devastated parts of Portugal, where temperatures are tipped to reach 45C (113F) this week. In the Spanish town of Ourense, a thermometer registered 47C (116F) with news outlet El Diario calling the sweltering conditions in the country ‘infernal’.

The biggest of the two Gironde fires is located around the town of Landiras, south of Bordeaux, where roads have been closed, with the blaze having already burnt more than 1,000 hectares.

The other one is along the Atlantic Coast, close to the iconic Dune du Pilat – the tallest sand dune in Europe – located in the Arcachon Bay area, where 6,000 people from surrounding campsites have been evacuated.

Terrified campers revealed how they were woken in the early hours and told to evacuate taking only essentials with them.  

FRANCE: Firefighters attempt to control a forest fire spread on the communes of Landiras and Guillos in the country’s southwest this morning

SPAIN: The mass of hot air which pushed temperatures above 104F in large parts of the Iberian Peninsula in Spain was set to spread to the north and east in the coming days

PORTUGAL: A wildfire burns forest in the surroundings of the village of Memoria, in the central municipality of Leiria

Holidaymakers at the Dune du Pilat campsite lie in survival blankets after being evacuated from their campsite in the early hours of this morning

Aerial pictures show the scale of fires ripping through woodland in Landiras, southwestern France, today

A Canadair firefighting aircraft dumps water over a wildfire in Landiras, southwestern France, this morning

A fire in progress since Tuesday afternoon has burned 600 hectares of pine forest near Landiras south of Bordeaux, leading to evacuations

A helicopter flies during forest fire extinction works near Becerril de la Sierra, on the outskirts of Madrid yesterday

A thermometer reads 47 degrees in a square in Ourense in Spain yesterday with Europe in the grips of a sweltering heatwave

Much of Europe is set to suffer soaring temperatures on Wednesday, with a heatwave in Western Europe fuelling wildfires across vast stretches of forestland

‘Other campers woke us up at around 0430 in the morning. We had to leave immediately and quickly choose what to take with us. 

‘I had forgotten my ID, luckily someone took it for me. But I don’t have my phone (…) and we don’t know what is going to happen,’ Christelle, one of the evacuated tourists, told BFM TV.

On the eve of Bastille Day, the Gironde prefecture has forbidden all fireworks until Monday, July 18 in towns and villages in close proximity to forests.

‘Four aircraft and a lot of firefighters are mobilized with help coming from neighbouring departments,’ said the local authority for the Gironde department.

France, already hit by several wildfires over the last few weeks, is suffering – like the rest of Europe – from a second heatwave in as many months.

Tourists and local beach-goers lay down on towels under parasols on the beach of Port-la-Nouvelle, southern France

Beachgoers enjoy the water at Carcavelos Beach, outside Lisbon, as people across Europe flock to the beach for the hot weather

Why is hot weather affecting the world? 

It is not only Europe, but also the US and China that are suffering from dangerous heatwaves this summer.

The Azores High pressure system which usually sits off the coast of Spain has grown larger and moved north, bringing warmer temperatures to France, the UK and the Iberian peninsula.  

On top of this, southerly winds from northern Africa and the Sahara are bringing hotter than usual temperatures, combined with July’s already warmer weather.

The result is a heat dome over much of Europe, a mass of stagnant hot air.

A similar area of heat-trapping high pressure is blanketing the US, while anticyclones have driven upt he temperatures in China.

Spain today is set to see sweltering temperatures of 113F, the hottest day of the heatwave so far, with some regions under a red alert meaning an ‘extreme risk’.

Dania Arteaga, a 43-year-old cleaner in a shop in central Madrid, said: ‘It’s hell.’

The previous such phenomenon to blight France, Portugal and Spain occurred in mid-June.

‘We do expect it to worsen,’ World Meteorological Organisation spokeswoman Clare Nullis told a briefing in Geneva on Tuesday.

‘Accompanying this heat is drought. We’ve got very, very dry soils,’ she said.

She added that despite being early in the summer, ‘it’s been a very bad season for the glaciers’.

Last week an avalanche triggered by the collapse of the largest glacier in the Italian Alps – due to unusually warm temperatures – killed 11 people.

The high temperatures are expected to spread to other parts of western and central Europe in the coming days.

Spain’s health ministry warned the ‘intense heat’ could affect people’s ‘vital functions’ and provoke problems like heatstroke. It advised people to drink water frequently, wear light clothes and ‘remain as long as possible’ in the shade or in air-conditioned places.

But for those who make a living working outdoors, it was a struggle.

 Children play in the water at Carcavelos Beach, outside Lisbon, amid a heatwave that led the government to declare a state of alert from Monday

Men fight a wildfire burning in the village of Aventeira in Portugal that caused the closure of the A1 highway between Pombal and Leiria

Tourists shelter from the sun, outside the Wax Museum during the second heatwave of the year, in Madrid

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has called on government ministers to be ready to deal with the consequences of the heatwave, which is forecast to last for up to 10 days (pictured: southern France)

In southern France since Tuesday afternoon, a wildfire ripped through 800 hectares of pine trees just south of Bordeaux, pushing residents to evacuate their homes

About 6,000 campers near the dune were evacuated overnight as a precautionary measure, fire department official Lieutenant Colonel David Annotel told local news channel BFMTV

Beach-goers bathe in the Mediterranean sea in Port-la-Nouvelle, southern France, during the record-breaking heatwave

Firefighters in Portugal are combating an inferno which has torched some 2,000 hectares of land in the central municipality of Ourem since last week

The whole country is under a ‘situation of alert’ for wildfires until at least Friday, raising the readiness levels of firefighters, police and emergency medical services

With temperatures set to climb past 104F, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa urged ‘a maximum of caution’

The current inferno is stirring memories of devastating wildfires in 2017, which claimed the lives of over 100 people in Portugal

‘It’s hard because the temperature is a bit oppressive,’ said Miguel Angel Nunez, a 54-year-old bricklayer at a construction site in central Madrid.

In its eastern region of Extremadura, some 300 firefighters backed by 17 planes and helicopters battled a wildfire Tuesday which ravaged 2,500 hectares, local officials said.

The blaze began Monday due to a lightning strike and ‘will probably last several days’, the head of the regional government of Extremadura, Guillermo Fernandez Vara, told reporters.

Between January 1 and July 3, more than 70,300 hectares of forest went up in smoke in Spain, the government said – almost double the average of the last ten years.

Firefighters in neighbouring Portugal were combating a similar inferno, which torched some 2,000 hectares of land in the central municipality of Ourem since last week.

Helicopters trying to extinguish a wildfire collect water from the Navacerrada reservoir on the outskirts of Madrid

A woman fills a bottle of water during a heatwave in Seville as Western Europe faced its second heatwave in less than a month

A tourist gives coins to a street performer during the second heatwave of the year, in Ronda, southern Spain

The blaze was brought under control Monday but flared up again by Tuesday.

With temperatures set to climb past 104F, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa urged ‘a maximum of caution’.

‘We have experienced situations like this in the past and we will certainly experience them in the future,’ he said.

The whole country is under a ‘situation of alert’ for wildfires until at least Friday, raising the readiness levels of firefighters, police and emergency medical services.

The current inferno is stirring memories of devastating wildfires in 2017, which claimed the lives of over 100 people in Portugal.

Officials in the town of Sintra near Lisbon closed a series of tourist attractions such as palaces and monuments in a verdant mountain range popular with visitors as a precaution.

Children sit on a raft in the calm sea at Carcavelos Beach, outside Lisbon where temperatures could even reach as high as 115F

A man jumps from the Dom Luiz Bridge into the Douro River to cool off during a hot day in Porto

Firefighters evacuate elderly people from a nursing home in the village of Memoria, in the municipality of Leiria, in the centre of Portugal

Now drought-hit Italy is hit by LOCUSTS: Billions of insects ravage crops in Sardinia in worst invasion in more than 30 years

Farmers in Sadinia have seen swarms of billions of locusts ravage their land in the worst invasion for more than three decades.

The invasion is projected to affect an area of around 60,000 hectares this year, double that of 2021 and compared with just 2,000 hectares in 2019.

Farmer Rita Tolu said that many of her colleagues ‘might have to shut down their businesses’ as the plague of locusts adds to the impact of drought and rising fuel costs on farmers.

She and her family run a dairy farm of 200 hectares near the village of Noragugume, where crops and animal fodder such as ryegrass and clovers are also grown and around 1,000 sheep graze.

This year, Tolu was able to collect just 200 stacks of hay against 1,000 in 2021, she said, with some of it harvested early as a precaution and losing some of its nutritional quality.

In 1946, about 1.5 million hectares of land, accounting for two-thirds of the island’s territory, were affected as locusts spread quickly across fields abandoned during World War Two.

Depopulation and uncultivated lands are main reasons behind the natural event.

Rising temperatures and lack of rain also play a big role as dry and compacted soil makes it easier for locusts to lay their eggs.

The Civil Protection authority said 300 people were evacuated from several villages due to the wildfires. In the nearby municipality of Leiria, some houses burned down, with the blazes causing the closure of three main highways.

Joaquim Gomes, a 75-year-old retiree who has lived in a tiny village in Ouem for five decades, said he was afraid the wildfire could reach his home but was willing to do everything in his power to help fight it.

‘I don’t remember anything like what is happening today,’ he said near the village’s bar where locals were gathered. ‘It (the fire) is everywhere.’

Many locals have complained there were not enough firefighters and resources to combat the fires.

‘We are talking about complex situations, a lot of resources to manage and a very large affected area,’ said Civil Protection commander Andre Fernandes, warning the situation would only get worse over the next few days.

Around 1,700 firefighters backed by 501 vehicles were tackling 14 active blazes across the country, according to the Civil Protection. More than half of the country is on ‘red alert’, the highest level.

In the Portuguese capital, which is buzzing with tourists, people were trying to keep cool by drinking water, eating ice cream or heading to the riverside or nearby beaches.

At a small beach area by the river Tagus, a British couple and their toddler enjoyed the morning sunshine before it got too hot to be out.

‘We kept an eye on the weather before we came, and we knew it was going to be hot … it’s quite similar back in the UK but we don’t have air con there,’ 28-year-old Megan Slancey said.

Britain’s Met Office has issued an extreme heat warning as temperatures continue to increase this week and early next week in much of England and Wales.

Clare Nullis, a World Meteorological Organisation spokesperson, told a U.N. briefing on Tuesday that although the heatwave, Europe’s second this year, was mainly affecting Portugal and Spain, it was likely to spread elsewhere.

‘It is affecting large parts of Europe and it will intensify,’ Nullis said.

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