Wildfires rage across Britain after hottest winter day on recordDIGGLE, England (Reuters) - Firefighters battled a series of wildfires in Britain on Wednesday, including a large moorland blaze outside the northern English city of Manchester, as the country experienced its warmest winter weather on record.
A fire started on Tuesday evening on Saddleworth Moor, an expanse of hills that is popular with hikers. It has since spread to an area about one-and-a-half square kilometers. Large flames could be seen rising from the hillside as witnesses described “apocalyptic” scenes. Laura Boocock, West Yorkshire Fire Service’s incident commander, told the BBC it was “one of the biggest moorland fires we’ve ever had to deal with”. Five crews and two specialist moorland firefighting units were trying to contain the blaze. There have been no reports of any injuries.
The fire comes after Britain recorded its warmest winter day with a temperature of 21.2 Celsius in Kew Gardens in London. Fire officials have not yet commented on what may have caused the blaze. Last summer a fire on Saddleworth Moor, which required army assistance to tackle, took more than three weeks to extinguish.
Separately, on Tuesday a wildfire started in woodland made famous in AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories.Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, the inspiration for Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood, suffered two fires that began within an hour of each other.The local fire service said that “unusual warm weather this week” meant that the ground was drier than usual and could lead to a greater risk of outdoor fires.
In Scotland, firefighters battled through the night to extinguish a large gorse fire on Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh.
Firefighters have been tackling a huge wildfire that's broken out on Saddleworth Moor.— ITV Granada Reports (@GranadaReports) 27 februari 2019
The fire has been burning all night and can be seen for miles around. More here: https://t.co/6YXirQewEW pic.twitter.com/iMzSy1l6eN
Significant #wildfires on hills outside Marsden, #Yorkshire, U.K. this evening 26th February. Rare to get wildfires in February.... photos Nick Lawton; #UKWeather #severeweather #ExtremeWeather pic.twitter.com/weC3DlOfnM— WEATHER/ METEO WORLD (@StormchaserUKEU) 26 februari 2019
Times photographer @glossophoto was at the scene of a wildfire at Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh last night.— The Times Pictures (@TimesPictures) 27 februari 2019
Firefighters were also working in Marsden, West Yorkshire this morning to contain a large moorland blaze that began yesterday, Britain’s warmest winter day on record. pic.twitter.com/ZpzYWx6uLo
Fires at Arthur's Seat (Edinburgh), Saddleworth Moor (Manchester) and the inspiration for the 100 Acre Wood , Ashdown Forest (East Sussex).— Amelia Womack ???????????????????????????? (@Amelia_Womack) 27 februari 2019
It's February! Our countryside shouldn't be a tinderbox! pic.twitter.com/6tFxbQcp7M