Bushfires ‘could burn across UK’ this bank weekend as temperatures rise

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Firefighters have been put on “high alert” as wildfires threaten to wreak havoc on the banks’ weekend.

The Wildlife Trust has warned there is a serious risk of bushfires across the UK after a prolonged drought, with something as simple as a stray cigarette or barbecue having the potential to set beautiful places ablaze.

Bushfires have been burning in Surrey, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Dorset and Teesside for the past 10 days, killing wildlife and burning swathes of land.

Firefighters in Scotland are on high alert as meteorologists predict temperatures will rise to 17 degrees Celsius.

Barring a few rare showers, Brits hope to enjoy warm weather over the Banks Weekend with temperatures higher than Madeira.

An aerial view of the charred remains of Canford Heath near Poole, Dorset, after a fire that nearly destroyed the entire area (Image: Getty Images) Read more related articles

Families had to be evacuated because what was described as the “biggest fire in years” engulfed a hill in Dorset.

A raging inferno is believed to have ravaged 1,000 meters from the ground at Canford Heath in Poole on Saturday (April 23).

In Surrey, a fire has engulfed 740 acres of rare and precious wasteland.

The Ash Ranges are home to rare and endangered wildlife, but it turned into a living hell when high winds lit up flames that wiped out the scientifically important site, leaving the land smoking for three days.

The reason is unknown, but the Wildlife Trust is asking Brits to host a picnic instead of a barbecue this weekend.

James Heard, Director of Conservation Management at the Surrey Wildlife Trust, warned: “One minute is a good family occasion where you’re cooking two burgers, but the next minute the wasteland is on fire.”

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A farmer attempts to create a fire with heather and gorse as bushfires rage through the hills of the Claudian Range in North Wales (Image: Getty Images) Read more related articles

“We are in a climate and natural emergency,” said Rob Stoneman, director of landscape restoration at Wildlife Trusts.

Our landscapes are under more stress than ever as temperatures rise and weather patterns change, which means they are more vulnerable to wildfires.

“A barbecue or a stray cigarette can set a loved and beautiful place on fire leading to devastation that would take decades to repair.”

“Often a carefree day can turn into tragedy when wildfires caused by careless behavior destroy wildlife and precious habitats,” he added.

“We want everyone to enjoy our wonderful wild places; please join us in looking after them and act responsibly.”

Wildlife Trusts ask rural visitors:

Have a picnic, not a barbecue, just use the barbecue or fire pits in approved places where fire extinguishers are available. Make sure you are safe and call 999 immediately Read more related articles Read more related articles

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