Firefighters feel the heat as dry weather brings rise in wildfires

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The Independent Online

A fire brigade chief claims wildfires are becoming more common earlier in the year in the UK, as services across the country fight to control blazes.

On Tuesday, wildfires threatened homes in South Wales, where residents used hosepipes to protect their properties, while in Surrey, 40 firefighters tackled a blaze at the historic Brookwood Cemetery. Fires were also reported on moorland in west and north Yorkshire. Alan Clark, fire service area manager for Surrey, said they were becoming increasingly common with the UK's dryer winters and warmer springs.

He said: "These fires can start easily. It only takes a dropped cigarette, a glass bottle or even a car exhaust on dry grass. With a bit of wind a small fire can get out of control in minutes."

A Met Office spokesman said: "Over the past few days we've seen very dry conditions, relatively high temperatures and it's breezy." The dry conditions are likely to persist over the weekend, but temperatures should drop.