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Rain won’t be enough to stop risk of more fires, Norfolk crews warn as hot weather returns

PUBLISHED: 15:14 31 July 2018 | UPDATED: 07:32 01 August 2018

Drone footage of the filed fire at Elveden. Picture: Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service

Drone footage of the filed fire at Elveden. Picture: Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service

Archant

Norfolk firefighters have warned the brief spell of wet weather will not be enough to dampen the dry conditions which sparked a string of fires.

Dry shrubbery and grass fire on Mousehold Heath.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYDry shrubbery and grass fire on Mousehold Heath. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service posted on Facebook to say that Tuesday morning’s downpour wouldn’t be enough to hold off more fires in the coming days caused by the recent dry conditions.

“Although it seemed like a lot of rain, it’s unfortunately not enough to make a huge different in the next few days as to how dry conditions will be, and with no more rain forecast, from our point of view we’re back where we were,” they said.

But they urged people to continue being careful with any flammable items - including cigarette butts, open fires and barbecues.

“More than 50pc of the incidents were are attending are either deliberate or careless,” they said. “With that in mind, it is the school holidays and always at this time of year we see a rise in the number of deliberate/careless fires.”

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service attended 163 incidents last weekend.         Picture: Norfolk Fire and Rescue ServiceNorfolk Fire and Rescue Service attended 163 incidents last weekend. Picture: Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

They said parents should remind youngsters how dangerous fires can be.

It comes after weeks of wildfires and open fires for Norfolk crews, with firefighters facing 163 incidents in one particularly hot weekend alone.

They fought 191 open blazes in the period from June 1 to July 18 - compared to 32 two years earlier.

The constant heat led to tinderbox conditions, meaning even small fires spread rapidly, particularly in fields, farmland or heathland.

On Tuesday, crews attended a large field fire in King’s Lynn, one at Thetford forest and another in the open at Walpole St Peter.

While the heatwave was interrupted by thunderstorms and downpours, leading to cooler temperatures, it looks set to return this week.

Forecasters expect Wednesday to reach 25C, increasing to 28C on Thursday and potentially 29C on Friday, with conditions forecast to remain dry and sunny.

The Met Office’s 10-day forecast predicts they will dip slightly again after that, back to 23C at the start of next week.

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