Heatwave results in spate of grass fires

FIREFIGHTERS in South Yorkshire issued a warning yesterday after a spate of grass fires kept crews occupied for “hours” in the blazing heat on Sunday.

One fire developed after a camp fire set in woods near Lodge Lane in Rivelin, Sheffield, spread.

Fire crews were called to the scene at 10am on Sunday morning and spent more than four hours putting out a “deep-seated” fire in trees.

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A spokesman for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said yesterday: “Doncaster and Adwick crews used backpacks and beaters to put out a stubble field fire off Almholme Lane, Arksey, on Sunday.

“They were called at 1.20pm and were there over an hour. It’s believed to have been started accidentally.”

At 2.30pm on Sunday, 100 sqaure metres of grassland accidentally caught fire off Hollow Gate in Cadeby, Doncaster.

Meanwhile, a fire on crags off Manchester Road in Stocksbridge broke out at around 6.30pm and took crews more than three hours to put out.

The spokesman added: “South Yorkshire communities are being asked to prevent fires in this hot weather by extinguishing cigarettes properly and not throwing cigarette ends on the ground, avoiding using open fires in the countryside, not leaving bottles or glass in woodland, only using barbecues in a suitable and safe area and immediately reporting any fires spotted in the countryside.”

Meanwhile, forecasters said today could be the hottest day of the year yet, and the heatwave is forecast to continue into next week.

Forecasters said highs of 27C (80F) were measured in pockets of England early yesterday afternoon, a shade off the year’s record which was 27.2C at Heathrow on Sunday, June 30.

Tom Tobler, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, said yesterday: “Parts of London have seen 27C, while the east Midlands, Yorkshire and East Anglia have all been past the mid-20s.

“We haven’t had the best of it yet.”