Dramatic pictures show thick plumes of black smoke billowing across the sky on the island off the northern coast of Kent, towards Brambledown. Multiple fire engines are at the scene. Kent has been hit with a number of wildfires, with at least six fires tearing through the fields and land across the county since the beginning of July due to the hot weather.
It comes as Met Office maps today revealed large swathes of the UK would suffer “severely” if wildfires break out over a three day period amid the second heatwave.
Forecasters released interactive maps, which show the risk of fires is high, largely due to the fact there is barely any rainfall predicted and temperatures are peaking at around the mid to late 20s for large parts of England.
On Thursday, August 11 parts of the south coast, including Kent, Sussex and Hampshire begin to illuminate red – which indicates an exceptional risk.
This only spreads as time goes on, with the entire south-east covered by Friday, August 12, and stretching to the midlands by Saturday.
On Sunday, August 14 this is scaled back with large parts of the east still under the highest level, but the majority of the south coast will return to level 4, which is dubbed “very high” by the Met Office.
Climate scientist for the Met Office, Professor Richard Betts, warned of the risk of wildfires.
He posted on Twitter: “With UK temperatures rising and very little rain, the landscape will dry out more, further increasing risks of wildfire.
“The Fire Severity Index is already Very High across wide areas By Friday, exceptional in many places, please be careful not to start fires.”
Meanwhile, Met Office forecasters also issued a four-day amber warning for extreme temperatures in parts of England and Wales as a new heatwave looms.
The warning, for Thursday to Sunday, comes as the forecaster predicted 35C in places – below last month’s record temperatures, which peaked above 40C in some spots
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