Warning issued on wildfire dangers as temperatures continue to rise - The Evesham Observer

Warning issued on wildfire dangers as temperatures continue to rise

Evesham Editorial 12th Aug, 2022   0

OPEN SPACES in Evesham and Pershore are at risk of wildfires becoming ‘exceptionally severe’ as county’s parched ground again swelters in temperatures above 30 degrees celsius.

The Met Office’s Fire Severity Index (FSI) is currently at Level 4 or ‘very high’ but is a risk it could rise to be at Level 5 ‘exceptional’ by Friday and into the weekend.

The Met Office’s FSI is an assessment of how severe a fire could become if one were to start. It is not an assessment of the risk of wildfires occurring.

The FSI shows the current day’s fire severity and a forecast of likely fire severity over the coming five days.

With further heatwave conditions likely this week, there is no sign of the significant rainfall needed by the parched ground on open spaces such as Kempsey Common, on the Malvern Hills and in other areas.

In the latest incident faced by firefighters, crews were called to a field fire of straw crop at Hinton-on-the-Green.

Monday’s (August 8) blaze saw firefighters from Evesham, Pershore, Worcester and Gloucester use multiple hose reel jets, beaters and backpack sprayers to tackle the fire.

Worcestershire has seen nearly 80 fires on the county’s open spaces, weeks after fires ravaged a swathe of Lickey Hills Country Park and Hartlebury Common.

The blaze has again prompted HWFRS to urgently remind people to take extreme care with no sign of significant rainfall for the parched ground.

Discarded litter such as food packaging, empty tins, coffee cups and even footballs and other waste material is combustible with the potential to spark off more fires.

This applies particularly to cigarette ends which may not be completely extinguished when discarded, and bottles and glasses which are known to concentrate sunshine onto dry vegetation.

Group Commander Thom Morgan of the HWFRS protection department said: “It is highly unfortunate litter continues to be dropped in large quantities despite the many reminders we’ve issued about the dangers this causes.

“I would urge people not to discard litter of any kind, and above all please don’t take disposable barbecues out into the countryside.

“Have fun on our open spaces but please behave responsibly and remove all litter, either by disposing of it in official waste bins or taking it home with you. We’re grateful to you for your support.”

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