UK heatwave chaos: Farmers’ worst nightmare realised as huge fire devastates summer crops

UK weather: Carol Kirkwood outlines red and amber warnings

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Two fire engines are pictured from above wading between thick grass and crops as crews desperately try to control flames engulfing the rural area this afternoon, July 18. It is currently not known how severe the incident is. Drone pictures appear to show large swathes of a field completely burnt out. It comes as temperatures in the Derbyshire area top 37C, with the county blanketed under a Met Office red warning for extreme heat. 

Leading forecaster the Met Office had warned the country’s infrastructure was not cut out for such temperatures as part of its extreme heat warning issued last Friday. 

Scientists at the Met Office have predicted that temperatures could reach 40C as a result of climate change, warning that that figure “could be as much as 10 times more likely in the current climate than under a natural climate unaffected by human influence”.

Climate change, which has pushed average global temperatures up by around 1.2C and has caused drier soils, is making heatwaves longer, more intense and more likely. 

According to the Met Office’s fire severity index, which is a map detailing the risk of wild fires breaking out across the country, Derbyshire is under an amber alert, which means it is at a “very high risk.”

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