An orange alert has been issued in Sardinia due to an outbreak of wildfires across half of the island, with Greece and Sweden already battling devastating fires. Friday parts of England were hit by thunderstorms and fires while California’s wildfires have become the new normal.
The Telegraph: A danger to life warning has been issued as intense thunderstorms brought Britain’s heatwave to a dramatic end on so-called Furnace Friday with possible sudden flash flooding. The hot weather is already causing widespread travel problems, with rail services disrupted by lightning strikes that have started fires and damaged rail signalling.
But by Friday night, deafening claps of thunder and huge bolts of lighting filled the London skies as rain poured down, ending the weeks-long drought in the south east. The Met Office has upgraded its weather warning by issuing an amber alert for parts of England – a step up from yellow – with fears that heavy storms could cause a threat to life.
Parts of the UK had been expected to hit a record high of 37C (98.6F) on Friday, but were instead greeted with huge downpours as the Met Office widened its weather warnings.
AP/NYT : A wildfire that roared with little warning into a Northern California city claimed two lives as thousands of people scrambled to escape before the walls of flames descended from forested hills onto their neighbourhoods, leaving at least 500 structures destroyed in its wake, officials said Friday.
Residents who gathered their belongings in haste described a chaotic and congested getaway as the embers blew up to a mile ahead of flames and the fire leaped across the wide Sacramento River and torched subdivisions in Redding, a city of 92,000 about 100 miles south of the Oregon border.
The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, is predicting that warmer and drier-than-average temperatures, combined with large amounts of grass, below-average snowpack and increased potential for lightning is likely to create “above average to extreme” wildfire activity this year.
Express: Heatwave conditions across Sweden have caused conditions perfect for fires to spark, drying out grass and forest floors.
Temperatures have reached highs of 30C in the Scandinavian country, which is unusually hot as summer temperatures usually average 23C.
Sweden had issued a plea for international help in controlling the wildfires, as the scale of the fires increased day by day.
In Sardinia, Oristano, Medio Campidano and Cagliari are also affected by fires, with the rest of the island currently set on yellow warning (signaling average danger).
The alert follows two reports of fires breaking out in La Maddalena with fire crews rushing to the scene of a fire sparked in a house under construction and a further blaze ignited Bari Sardo.
For both fires, two helicopters from the regional fleet were sent in.
In the Cagliari area a large fire developed on the outskirts of the town of Elmas.