There have been almost 500 more wildfires this year than the whole of 2021, a fire chief has said.
Mark Hardingham, chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), said hot and dry weather had combined to create the perfect conditions for wildfires.
So far in 2022, he said there had been 745 wildfires in the UK – more than a 200% increase from the total figure of 247 for all of last year.
Fire chiefs are urging people not to bring combustible items to open spaces.
Mr Hardingham told BBC Radio 4 on Sunday that hundreds of grass and woodland fires happen in the UK every day.
But he said there had been 745 larger and more dangerous blazes in 2022, including 150 in the past week alone.
Wildfires are classified as being large enough to cover an area the size of at least two-and-a-half football pitches.
Firefighters have been responding to these incidents “day in, day out” before the record-breaking temperatures of 40C (104F) in July, he said.
“They are physically exhausting and…