Firefighters are braced for a busy weekend as weather watchers predict Northamptonshire toasting in temperatures topping 30°C.
Local forecasters @NNweather said: “A BBQ weekend to come as we see high pressure dominating bringing mostly sunny skies and a gentle breeze.”
That sparked a series of safety reminders from Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service over barbecues, wildfires and open water swimming.
Firefighters in attendance at another field fire spread across 30 acres in Northamptonshire
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Met Office experts expect the first prolonged hot spell of the summer with thermometers reaching 27°C on Sunday — and climbing even higher next week with no significant rain on the horizon for at least the next 10 days.
Met Office deputy chief meteorologist, David Oliver, said: “We’re at the start of a stretch of warm weather that could last for much of next week.
"In the short term, many can expect temperatures in the mid to high-20s over the weekend and then in the low-30s during the start of next week.
“Much of next week will remain warm for the time of year as well as dry and sunny.
“There are some runs, or solutions, that allow more extreme temperatures to develop into next weekend, which is something we will be monitoring closely over the coming days and adding more detail.”
Officials have put a level two heat-health warning in force across the East Midlands from Monday to Friday next week with advice to look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies; close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler; and drink plenty of fluids.
A Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service spokesman said: “It looks like it will be a busy weekend for our control room staff and crews.
“Please help us by keeping BBQs away from bushes, trees and fences and ensuring coals and ash are thoroughly cold before disposing.
“Even in the warmest of weather, water is still quite cold. Jumping in can lead to cold water shock and drowning.
“Our advice to people who are not experienced open water swimmers is to be prepared and understand the risks of open water swimming."
Five crews battled to control a field fire at Rushton, near Kettering, on Thursday (July 8). Investigators believe the blaze started accidentally but spread rapidly across tinder-dry grass.
Firefighters from Kettering, Rothwell, Desborough, Thrapston and Burton Latimer used beaters, hose reels and ultra high-pressure lances to get the flames under control.
Discarded cigarettes and even misplaced mirrors indoors can spark disaster.
The spokesman added: "Please make sure any smoking material is disposed of properly and not just tossed to the ground or from car windows.
"Ensure that any bottles, glasses or shards of broken glass are cleared to avoid this magnifying in the sun which can cause a fire.
“Fires have started caused by sunshine reflecting off mirrors.
“Your bathroom mirror may be in the shade when you leave for work but don't forget the sun moves throughout the day.