Dry spell sparks wildfires in UK after one of driest Aprils in years

Britain ablaze: Dry spell sparks wildfires across the UK after one of the driest Aprils for years – but don’t bank on holiday sun

  • Firefighters were left battling countryside infernos across the UK following one of the driest Aprils in years
  • Huge areas of Snowdonia, in Wales, was set ablze as wildfires killed birds and sent up vast columns of smoke
  • Helicopters flew overhead to drop ‘water bombs’ and nine fire engines fought flames near Whinlatter Forest
  • Things will soon change though, with the Met office predicting that rainfall will sweep across northern areas 

Hundreds of firefighters battled countryside infernos across the UK at the weekend after one of the driest Aprils for years.

Acres of picturesque Snowdonia in Wales were set ablaze as wildfires killed birds trapped in nests and sent up vast columns of smoke seen from 30 miles away.

A helicopter dropping ‘water bombs’ and nine fire engines fought flames tearing through scrubland near Whinlatter Forest in the Lake District. 

Meanwhile, a huge blaze which raged for days in the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland finally started to die down yesterday.

Acres of picturesque Snowdonia in Wales were set ablaze as wildfires killed birds trapped in nests and sent up vast columns of smoke seen from 30 miles away 

Hundreds of firefighters battled countryside infernos across the UK at the weekend after one of the driest Aprils for years. Pictured: A huge gorse fire spreads across the Mourne Mountains in Co Down yesterday

Fire crews also battled major blazes in Cornwall, Dorset, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Orkney.

The fires mainly hit grass, gorse and scrubland, and experts said the prolonged dry spell had led to tinderbox conditions. 

Forecasters last night said arid April is set to come to an end this week – with showers on the way for the upcoming bank holiday weekend.

The Met Office said rain will move into the North today, with heavy downpours possible. 

The dry spell will finish in most areas by Thursday when London is expected to see its first rain of the month.

Forecaster Greg Dewhurst said: ‘There will be hit and miss showers affecting Britain over the next few days. At the moment, weather modelling shows low pressure across the UK for the bank holiday weekend, with temperatures around 16C (61F) in the South – average for this time of year.

‘There will be a mixture of sunny spells and showers across the country.’

He said temperatures in the North could be slightly below the 13C (55F) average for the time of year, while conditions could turn ‘wetter and windier’ on bank holiday Monday – May 3. 

The fires mainly hit grass, gorse and scrubland, and experts said the prolonged dry spell had led to tinderbox conditions

Forecasters last night said arid April is set to come to an end this week – with showers on the way for the upcoming bank holiday weekend. Pictured: A huge wildfire in Snowdonia, Wales, yesterday

He said temperatures in the North could be slightly below the 13C (55F) average for the time of year, while conditions could turn ‘wetter and windier’ on bank holiday Monday – May 3

The UK has experienced one of its driest Aprils on record so far, with an average of just 12.8mm of rain up to last Thursday – a sixth of the normal monthly average of 72.53mm. 

Dorset has had just 5 per cent of its average rainfall while the figure for Cornwall is 6 per cent.

April could beat the month’s record for dry weather that has stood since 1938 when just 14.1mm of rain was recorded.

In recent years the driest Aprils have been in 2007, when 26.6mm of rain fell, and last year which saw 29.1mm.

While lockdown-weary Britons enjoyed a taste of warm weather this weekend – with temperatures climbing as high as 66F on Saturday and 57F today – it could be short-lived. Pictured: People head to Bournemouth beach today to enjoy the warm weather

Pictured: A group of kayakers headed out on the River Avon yesterday to enjoy the nice weather

In a boost for British gardeners, but a blow for pubs, bars and restaurants, Met Office forecasters are warning of light and intermittent showers across large parts of the England next week. Pictured: People hire motor boats on the River Thames in Windsor, Berkshire, on Sunday

With the Jet Stream now set to pick up, experts are expecting more changeable weather conditions, including this Bank Holiday. Pictured: Cyclists enjoy the sunny weather at Ladybower Reservoir in the Upper Derwent Valley, Derbyshire

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