Risk of ‘extraordinarily severe’ wildfires in Sussex this weekend

A fire service has urged people not to make bonfires over the weekend after the Met Office warned of the possibility of serious wildfires across Sussex.

The National Weather Service’s Fire Safety Index put most of Sussex, including Chichester, Lewes, Crawley, Littlehampton and parts of Brighton, in its highest rating on Saturday and warned any fires that break out could be “exceptionally serious”.

Sussex's Argus: A Fire Safety Index map for Saturday - the red indicates the potential for exceptional fire severityA Sussex Fire Safety Index map for Saturday – the red indicates the potential for an exceptional fire severity

The West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service encouraged people to stay safe and avoid open fires, including bonfires, extinguish cigarettes properly and take home litter, particularly glass.

It comes after multiple wildfires broke out across the county in recent days, including one in the village of Houghton near Arundel, which have affected over 370 hectares of crops.

Six fire engines, six SUVs and two water carriers were at the scene yesterday and crews from Worthing, Littlehampton and Shoreham were called out to help tackle the blaze.

The Argus: A fire ravaged hundreds of acres of land near Arundel yesterdayA fire ravaged hundreds of acres of land near Arundel yesterday

The Met Office has issued an extreme heat weather warning for all of Sussex and much of southern England, effective from Thursday through the end of the week.

Temperatures are expected to hit 30C tomorrow, with mercury rising higher towards the weekend.

The Met Office’s deputy chief meteorologist Dan Rudman said: “Thanks to ongoing high pressure over the UK, temperatures are set to rise by the day this week and an extreme heat warning has been issued.

“Temperatures are expected to peak at 35C on Friday and Saturday, or even an isolated 36C on Saturday. Elsewhere, temperatures will drop well into the high 20s and low 30s Celsius.

“Coupled with the high daytime temperatures, there will be some warm nights, with temperatures not expected to drop below the low 20s Celsius in some areas to the south.”

The National Weather Service warned of an increased risk for water safety and fire-related incidents as more people travel to coastal areas, lakes and other beauty spots, as well as adverse health effects for those exposed to the extreme heat.

The latest heatwave follows the driest July on record in Sussex, with both parts of the county raining a fraction of the expected monthly average. Risk of ‘extraordinarily severe’ wildfires in Sussex this weekend

Fry Electronics Team

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