Record Year for Wildfires in the UK

May 1, 2019

The UK set its record for the most major wildfires in a year in 2018, but that record was broken in the first four months of 2019, Earther reports.

The European Forest Fire Information System labels wildfires greater than 62 acres as “major fires,” and the UK has already had more than 105 of these fires this year. There were several fires Easter weekend, the warmest Easter on record for all four nations in the UK, according to the Independent.

Record-setting warm weather and an exceptionally dry winter led to a series of fires in February, as well. All told, the 105 major fires in 2019 easily bested the 79 throughout all of 2018.

The UK isn’t the only nation in the EU experiencing more wildfires recently. Romania has seen nearly seven times its annual average area burned, and countries like France, Spain and Norway have had more fires than in years past.

Researchers have linked warmer temperatures and drier seasons to the higher number of wildfires, saying climate change made extended heat waves twice as likely.

Record Year for Wildfires in the UK