Yorkshire wildfires: Firefighters describe 'apocalyptic' scenes as homes, trees and green space burn
Yorkshire MP Ed Miliband has said ‘heroic’ firefighters battling wildfires in the borough described the ‘apocalyptic’ scene as homes, thousands of trees and green spaces went up in smoke during searing temperatures.
The Labour MP on a recent visit to the village of Clayton praised emergency service crews and revealed that South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYF&R) took more than 2,000 calls during the recent heatwave last month.
Temperatures topped close to 40 celsius in parts of Yorkshire which has been linked to a number of wildfires across the region on July 19 forcing emergency services to declare a major incident.
The UK temperature record was set in the Lincolnshire village of Coningsby on the same day as thermometers topped 40.3 degrees celsius.
Miliband also visited the site of a major tree planting project in Carcroft which burnt to the ground in the recent wildfires. Around 20,000 saplings were destroyed.
In Clayton, where homes were damaged, Miliband met firefighters in Adwick who described the fires as ‘apocalyptic’ and said in all of their career, ‘they hadn’t seen anything like it’. They were mobilised to 228 incidents across the region.
Miliband said: “I was here last November planting trees with volunteers and they’ve been burnt to the ground in the heat. This is a clear effect of the extreme temperatures that we’re facing as a country.
“This shows why we’ve got to tackle the climate crisis and the people who say let’s not go too far and what’s all the fuss about are completely wrong.
“We’ve got to tackle the climate crisis and we can in a way that can deal and tackle the cost of living crisis and create good jobs because we know that renewable energy is by far the cheapest form of power that we now have.
“It also shows we’ve got to be ready and be resilient as a country – this government is not taking this seriously enough. That’s about the resilience of our power systems, our homes and our transport infrastructure.
“The climate crisis is now just not a future reality, it is here now and we can’t shy away from it.”
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has been approached for comment.