Record summer sparked huge rise in fire calls

Big rise in summer fire calls.Big rise in summer fire calls.
Big rise in summer fire calls.
Record summer temperatures sparked a huge rise in fire call outs in the North East, according to new figures.

Government figures show Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service was called to 3,048 fires in July, August and September as the country saw the joint-hottest summer on record.

This was a 61% increase on the same period in 2021, when emergency crews were called to 1,899 fires.

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Of last summers’s calls, 506 of them were to 'primary fires' – in a non-derelict building, vehicles or outdoor structures – a 12% increase on 2021.

There were also 2,541 secondary fires – outdoor fires, not involving people or property – which was an increase of 76% on 2021.

Across England, July to September saw 68,278 fire calls – more than in any other three-month period for over a decade.

The figures sparked a warning that more extreme weather linked to climate change will mean more fire risks.

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Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said: "The Government has turned a blind eye to the obvious. Climate emergency means record breaking heatwaves, rising temperatures and an increase in dangerous fires.

"More fires mean more pressure on our fire service which has been cut to the bone over the last decade. It needs to be properly funded and resourced for the years to come."

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The Government is committed to ensuring fire services have the resources they need to keep us safe, including from wildfires, and, overall, fire and rescue authorities received around £2.5 billion in 2022-23.”