Multiple fire crews from Bristol were called to assist firefighters in another region on Wednesday (July 20). The record-breaking UK heatwave has led to an increase in fires up and down the county.
Crews from Clevedon, Portishead, Thornbury and Bath were called on a 48-hour deployment to help Norfolk Fire Station, which has been under “severe pressure”. Their first job led them to attend a 46-acre crop fire.
On Twitter, Clevedon Fire Station said: “At 0400hrs this morning, 2x FFs from Clevedon along with FFs from @AFRSPortishead @AFRSThornbury & @AFRSBath left in a pump & headed off on a 48hr deployment to help our friends at @Norfolkfire who are under severe pressure. First job 46acre cut crop fire.”
Firefighters have been battling blazes up and down the country as the nation surpassed 40C for the first time ever. The news comes as more than 400 calls reporting a fire were made to Avon Fire and Rescue Service in the past week – a 26 per cent rise in the space of a week.
A total of 418 calls were received between July 11 an 18, compared to 330 calls in the previous week. The fire service said the calls come as more bonfires, barbecues and other deliberate fires spread out of control due to soaring temperatures.
In a statement, the fire service said: “Many people are making the most of the heatwave and taking to the great outdoors to enjoy the sunshine. Some of the most popular heatwave traditions are lighting barbecues and spending warm evenings outdoors, next to a fire.
“Whilst we understand that many people will be tempted to light fires during this period, we would strongly urge you not to do this. Barbecues and bonfires pose a significant risk in high temperatures; with the surrounding areas being dry, fires can quickly spread out of control.
“Fires can also emit sparks which can travel sometimes metres from the seat of the fire and set light to grass, wood or even things like garden furniture and trees.”