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A view of wildfires
Photograph: Richard Whitcombe / Shutterstock

Yikes: the number of summer wildfires quadrupled in England in 2022

A whopping 800 blazes were recorded on a single day last summer

Written by
Faima Bakar

It might be hard to remember right now given the extremely cold weather, but 2022 saw the hottest British summer on record – with parts of the country reaching 40C in July for the first time ever.

New data has now revealed that as a result of the scorching temperatures, England saw unprecedented number of wildfires. Freedom of information requests obtained by PA Media revealed that fire services in England recorded at least 24,316 wildfires from June to August 2022. 

For the same period in 2021, that figure was 6,213, meaning that the number of wildfires recorded nearly quadrupled within a year. It was also a significant increase from the number recorded in 2020, when there were 9,369 summer wildfires.

During the hottest day of 2022 – July 19 – there were more than 800 wildfires recorded in total. August also saw mid-30C weather, bringing with it around 600 recorded fires each day from August 11 to 14. Meanwhile, in London alone, firefighters put out a total of 2,639 wildfires from June to August – nearly five times the number for 2021.

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