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UK spring/summer and fire season 2022

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UK_Palms

Well as we transition from winter to summer, I think this probably warrants a post. Some devastating bush fires on Saturday evening in northwest England. It's like something you would expect to see in Australia or Greece during their summer. I'm now hearing that a cigarette butt may have caused this inferno below near Liverpool! An entire nature reserve lost and 800 people evacuated from their homes.

 

How the actual hell does a 'wetland' catch on fire in March!? 

 

This is crazy...

 

The scale of the damage on Sunday morning

 

As if that isn't enough, another fire was absolutely raging in Cumbria as well on Saturday. Language warning on this one but the video is absolutely crazy for northern England in March. I suggest you mute the sound before you play the video. This looks like the Hollywood hills during fire season.

 

There was another one burning in Derby on Saturday night as well...

 

Here's another one burning away in Mannings Heath...

 

Another on Shawforth Moor...

 

A forest fire in Oldham, Manchester in early hours of Sunday morning too

 

Wildfire at Dawns Glaw in Wales on Sunday...

 

Northern England must have been the most fire-active place in the world on Saturday 19th March 2022. Over 20 separate fires recorded this weekend now. I know Texas is having them as well.

 

Lots of dry weather coming up now as we go into the warmer, drier period. April's have become exceptionally dry in recent years averaging just 0.1 inches. It could be a bad fire season this year. The peak isn't usually until about June, with fire season typically running from April - September. In recent years May and June have seen the worst fires with some in July. It may have started earlier this year due to the drier than average autumn/fall and winter. It will be interesting to see how this develops going into April.

751161680_Screenshot2022-03-20at18_09_04.thumb.png.c6245df74b99bb7b678c7dd157064364.png

 

Edited by UK_Palms

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Tyrone

This is really ominous for the UK. You shouldn’t really have finished winter before the equinox. In those pictures I don’t really see much green either. It looks like mid summer 100kms inland from my place. The deciduous trees haven’t even got leaves yet. If we got fires like that mid September (Southern Hemisphere) we would be freaking out. In my part of the world fire season doesn’t officially start until October but it’s usually so wet and green then that nothing actually happens until December January. 

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UK_Palms

@Tyrone It has been a relatively dry winter period, starting back in November when there was only 0.2 inches of rainfall here. December was closer to average, but still slightly below for me here, however January again was very, very low with only 0.1 inches here. The frequency of abnormally dry months is clearly increasing in the UK. I saw a combined total of 98mm for the 3 winter months and I have only seen 107mm since the start of November up to now. So about 4 inches of rainfall over the last 5 months. The driest period is typically April - June so this could escalate quickly. I had 0.04 inches of rainfall last April and ZERO rainfall in May 2020, so it is definitely a cause for concern.

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February was wetter than average for most of the UK, but not in the south where it was pretty average again, or even below in a few spots. The rainfall we did receive came in the space of 24 hours during cyclone Eunice and the rest of the month was actually quite dry down here.

38837A63-5F05-4A73-9AC1-61E2324BECD4.png.6b2157ce198a887aadce0233ff5e93ed.png


So no above average rainfall months for southern England. 3 below average months and 2 closer to average months since November. During March so far I have seen 18mm of rainfall or 0.7 inches and looking at the forecast we will be lucky to get any more than that. The March map will be pretty brown like November and January. 

Even southwest Scotland had a fire on the Dee marshes near the wind turbines, which I haven’t posted about. It seems quite a lot of ‘wetlands’ are igniting for some reason this year. I’m guessing they’re just not very ‘wet’.

It’s surprising how these recent fires have effected northern England and Scotland more, despite southern England being even drier. It’s a ticking time bomb down here waiting to go off. 20C / 68F forecast on Tuesday for London and southeast England, which may cause some fire problems due to dry conditions. We’ll see. 

Edited by UK_Palms

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Tyrone

Those winter rainfall figures are pretty dismal. Here in WA that would be a total catastrophe if we got such low figures in winter. I don’t even think the wheatbelt could operate on 98mm over winter, and if it was sporadic rainfall and not consistently spread the crops would just germinate then die. This must be unprecedented for the uk. 

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UK_Palms

There was also a fire in Edinburgh, Scotland over the weekend, which is way up at 55N. The northern parts of the UK have been getting ravaged.

 

Another in the Scottish Highlands last night

 

Another near Dornoch up in the Scottish Highlands. 

 

They've had temperatures of 20C / 68F up in northern Scotland on Saturday, which is pretty warm for 57N in March.

 

Much cooler today with a max of just 17C / 63F in London, but still very sunny and bone dry. Expecting 20C / 68F quite widely tomorrow across the southeast of England tomorrow with increased fire risk. Cold at night though under the near constant clear skies.

682766928_temperature_max_2022-3-21_0Z_infoclimat.fr(1).thumb.png.f80d68df440ddd2388adfd25766fadc8.png

 

The fires have spread to Ireland this evening with active ones currently in Dublin and Belfast...

 

This fire is happening right now tonight in Belfast, Northern Ireland and is ongoing...

 

@Tyrone The situation is worsening over here. The fire in Wales is also gaining momentum tonight. These are the latest pictures coming out. People are quick to suggest arson, which it may well be, but a cigarette butt is often to blame. Probably too early in the year for mini/disposable BBQ's. This is just one of about 10 active fires burning right now across the UK. 

 

Dreading the next 72 hours looking at the forecast. Sunny and bone dry. There will be more fires.

Edited by UK_Palms

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Ryland

It's strange that there have been fires in the northwest.  Going by the Met Office maps, the only month that was below average for precipitation was January here.  February, as confirmed by the map, was soaking.  I'm very much enjoying the sunny, dry days now.  It seems pretty normal from my recollection that we get a handful of such days in March and April every year.  It'll get cold again.

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UK_Palms

Another day, another BIG round of fires in the UK. Temperatures exceeded 20C / 68F in places like London and Wales, which further exacerbates the already dry conditions. I'm expecting a dry, sunny 20C / 68F day again on Wednesday in southeast England and on Thursday too. These fires will only get worse over here, as if they aren't bad enough. 

 

Thankfully the fire crews managed to put out the hillside fire in Wales this morning, however another 20 or so more fires have broken out this afternoon. Many are still ongoing now.

 

Things are getting fricking crazy here. This is up in Scotland at 55N this afternoon...

 

This video is nuts for March in Scotland... it's like something out of southern California :o

 

There is an ongoing fire at Ben Lomand in Scotland as well this evening, apparently due to a bloody cigarette again...

 

Dartmoor National Park has gone up in flames as well in Devon...

 

I can't believe Nutley in Sussex caught fire. I was there back in October. It's not far from me. Thankfully the fire crews are quick on the scene and well equipped.

 

It's like a fire pandemic going on now there is just so many...

 

Ongoing incident tonight in Swansea...

 

This is horrendous! The most recent pictures coming out from the current fires are unreal. I'm pretty sure this wouldn't have been happening 25 or 50 years ago.

 

No chance of any rain this week for us to alleviate the fire risk. We're still 9-10 weeks away from the start of summer as well. 

1750606503_thumbnail_image0(36)gg.thumb.jpg.21141128d472e6182694c17938aa0c93.jpg

 

11 active fires right now as we approach midnight. A lot of these ones have been smallish and containable, but sooner or later we will get a bigger one again like in 2018 or 2020. 

 

Edited by UK_Palms

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Exotic Life
10 hours ago, Ryland said:

It's strange that there have been fires in the northwest.  Going by the Met Office maps, the only month that was below average for precipitation was January here.  February, as confirmed by the map, was soaking.  I'm very much enjoying the sunny, dry days now.  It seems pretty normal from my recollection that we get a handful of such days in March and April every year.  It'll get cold again.

I don't know if March is just as dry over there as here (litterly no rain untill now) but the top-layer of the soil is bone dry currently.  Even here in Holland they have outstanding fire warnings for the south/southeast and our winter have been more wet than the posted rainfall maps in the start of this topic.  Also if I see the pictures in this topic most of it are mainly "grassy" lands that are on fire not really big forests and this is the perfect source for wildfires.  Pines are always a "great addition" within this fires to spread. 

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Exotic Life
9 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

 

No chance of any rain this week for us to alleviate the fire risk. We're still 9-10 weeks away from the start of summer as well. 

 

Recorded 22.7C as maximum yesterday, first day with 20C or higher this year.  Sunny and dry here the rest of the week as well, afterwards it looks like it will cool down a bit due the fact high pressure is moving the wrong way for us.  Until now this March have been a beautiful month temperature/sunshine wise where the amount of hours could break a record. 

I truly wondering how this spring/summer will further evolve after the bad one last year.  Besides the rainfall the last 2 weeks in the southern parts of Europe it have been a drier than normal winter for there. This could influence the heatwaves that we sometimes getting specially if your own region is also dry. 

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Samuel

Pretty unsusal for March to see fires but I doubt it’s due to the dry weather as soils are still pretty damp as for the rest of spring/summer it will most likely be a wet one perhaps very wet if the ongoing La Niña continues La Niña often brings our worst summers like 2012/2007

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UK_Palms
14 hours ago, Exotic Life said:

Recorded 22.7C as maximum yesterday, first day with 20C or higher this year.  Sunny and dry here the rest of the week as well, afterwards it looks like it will cool down a bit due the fact high pressure is moving the wrong way for us.  Until now this March have been a beautiful month temperature/sunshine wise where the amount of hours could break a record. 

I truly wondering how this spring/summer will further evolve after the bad one last year.  Besides the rainfall the last 2 weeks in the southern parts of Europe it have been a drier than normal winter for there. This could influence the heatwaves that we sometimes getting specially if your own region is also dry. 

The maximum I recorded today was 22.1C / 72F here near Guildford. Clear sunny skies all day long under high pressure, which is a recipe for fires, especially after a below average rainfall winter. A drying easterly wind doesn't help things either, as fires have continued to spread today and tonight as you will see. We are desperate for rain here and today I had to water all of my potted plants/palms. The nights are still pretty cold though due to the clear skies with zero cloud cover.

848459614_thumbnail_image0(36)j.thumb.jpg.f2de11eab827273d50297f1f9d5c8285.jpg

 

As you mentioned, they are mostly grass fires around moors, heaths, gorse etc. I suspect that is due to open grassy areas being the first areas to dry out. I imagine the forests are still pretty damp and retain more moisture, compared to open grassland or heaths. There have been several forest fires though, including a big one today, but it is undoubtedly mostly grass fires. 

The fire situation is still ongoing here in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. In fact it is getting worse. 

 

Sickening amount of damage done already in places. It will take decades to replace this. The Exmoor fire in Devon down south was deliberate apparently. The loss of habitat and animal life from that fire is unthinkable. As soon as this fire was put out the crews and helicopters had to go straight to another fire, working 24 hours straight.  

 

The fires in Wales are concerning tonight...

 

This is so sad. Marsden Moor in Yorkshire is currently burning away as I type this tonight. There is no way the firefighters are going to get control of it in the dark.

 

Fire crews are desperately trying to get this under control tonight as it is close to residential areas.

 

This is insane and happening right now. Boris Johnson may have to declare a state of emergency if these fires continue.


@Tyrone Things have escalated dramatically since you first commented a few days back. This is becoming unprecedented for March in the UK now. It certainly raises the whole climate change question/debate as this is just getting ridiculous. It's probably only going to get worse in the coming days as well. 

P.S. don't quote the last post itself as the thread is already getting quite long now.

Edited by UK_Palms

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UK_Palms

Unbelievable efforts by fire crews up and down the UK. Over 130 wildfires have now been contained over the past 7 days. A lot has happened in the past 24 hours too. We had slightly cooler temperatures on Thursday with my maximum being just 18.4C / 65F here and fire crews have done well to control the blazes and minimise damage. The fires are still rampant here though and with no rain whatsoever on the horizon, this will likely continue. 

 

Fires raging from the crack of dawn on Thursday...

 

The devastation... :o

 

A lot of stores are suddenly banning disposable BBQ's now as they reckon 25-30% of all UK wildfires are caused by these. Confirmation of several mini BBQ's starting wildfires today.

 

Humidity was down to 23% here this afternoon. Not ideal given the current fire risk. Inland regions of south England down to 20-30%, in March. 

 

The Isle of Skye in Scotland is currently on fire tonight at 57N. On fire in March. Madness. 

 

There are currently 16 active fires as of midnight on Thursday, of which 3 are considered quite serious. 

Edited by UK_Palms

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Samuel

Most of those fires should ease into next week it’s currently looking like turning very unsettled very typical of La Niña years in the uk 

10D9BF20-E17D-4A24-A0BA-9865FD9C79BB.png

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Phoenikakias

Welcome to the club! You will find out that warm and dry has its price.

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UK_Palms
3 hours ago, Samuel said:

Most of those fires should ease into next week it’s currently looking like turning very unsettled very typical of La Niña years in the uk 

10D9BF20-E17D-4A24-A0BA-9865FD9C79BB.png

 

Last year was a La Nina year too, yet April 2021 had no rainfall whatsoever where I am. Well actually I had like 1mm, but you get my point. That doesn't bode well for the fire situation as we move into April. I'm really not seeing much rainfall in the extended forecast for southern England. It is definitely going to turn much cooler next week, and we may even get a little bit of rain, hopefully, but it is almost impossible to forecast 2+ weeks ahead really, at least with any real accuracy. Who knows what this spring and summer will throw at us anyway. Given the extremity of these fires in March, I don't think anything is off the table now.

I agree that La Nina years generally doesn't favour warm, dry summers but a lot could change in the coming weeks. It will be interesting to see how things play out come May/June. Last year it was cool and wet, generally speaking. Surely it won't be the same again this year? Or maybe it will. We can only really speculate at this stage. This spring certainly can't be as bad as spring 2021 though! I suspect the summer will be warmer and drier than last year too, but we will have to wait and see. If I am not mistaken, La Nina looks to be weakening now anyway and may die out next month potentially? I am guessing it will flip to El Nino sometime in May, but I don't fully understand all that stuff to be honest.

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UK_Palms
1 hour ago, Phoenikakias said:

Welcome to the club! You will find out that warm and dry has its price.

It hasn't been overly warm though. No higher than 20-22C in places this week. We've had far hotter and drier conditions in summer and still not had wildfires as bad as this. It must be due to the abnormally dry November and January, or the dry winter in general. March has been pretty dry as well. The last measurable rainfall here was 11 days ago now. It certainly has to be a drought related issue, rather than heat. The past five April's here have averaged only 0.2 inches of rainfall, so it isn't looking good for next month.

There has been yet more fires across the UK again today and with 19-20C forecast for Saturday in London and clear sunny skies, I suspect this weekend is going to be a rough one. The fire crews will be very busy. When do the fires normally start in Greece? I know you guys get them bad in summer over there. Would you say the fires are getting worse each year as well? I wonder whether these UK fires are a result of climate change, or whether they would have happened anyway say 100 years ago? Maybe we have hit a tipping point.

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Phoenikakias
17 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

It hasn't been overly warm though. No higher than 20-22C in places this week. We've had far hotter and drier conditions in summer and still not had wildfires as bad as this. It must be due to the abnormally dry November and January, or the dry winter in general. March has been pretty dry as well. The last measurable rainfall here was 11 days ago now. It certainly has to be a drought related issue, rather than heat. The past five April's here have averaged only 0.2 inches of rainfall, so it isn't looking good for next month.

There has been yet more fires across the UK again today and with 19-20C forecast for Saturday in London and clear sunny skies, I suspect this weekend is going to be a rough one. The fire crews will be very busy. When do the fires normally start in Greece? I know you guys get them bad in summer over there. Would you say the fires are getting worse each year as well? I wonder whether these UK fires are a result of climate change, or whether they would have happened anyway say 100 years ago? Maybe we have hit a tipping point.

Wild fires start normaly July and especially in the second half of it  and the risk remains or grows bigger throughout August. Never, NEVER experienced a wild fire during March. The only time, if my memory serves me correctly, that that the dangerous season had begun as early as beginning of May, was last year, which was a very dry and warm year.

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UK_Palms
2 hours ago, Phoenikakias said:

Wild fires start normaly July and especially in the second half of it  and the risk remains or grows bigger throughout August. Never, NEVER experienced a wild fire during March. The only time, if my memory serves me correctly, that that the dangerous season had begun as early as beginning of May, was last year, which was a very dry and warm year.

Usually the grass fires don't start up until about April-May here and we don't really get forest fires until the summer during hot, dry periods. This year it appears to have started early due to the past 4-5 months being pretty dry. However even during droughts in summer, we don't usually get this many many fires. Given the time of year too, it is unprecedented. 

The fire saga continues here...  

 

Signs are going up everywhere and fines for anyone using BBQ's or acting irresponsibly...

 

Edited by UK_Palms

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Phoenikakias

This was the situation in the early January of 2021 in Attica. And during the 2/3 of the autumn of 2020 temperature reached every day the 30's. Still a wild fire in March would be inconceivable here.  Sorry but the situation in the UK currently seems to me more than extraordinary.

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