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Moments Wildfires across southern England destroyed five houses.
Britain experienced its hottest day on record with temperatures soaring past 40C (104F) amid growing rail travel chaos as schools shut again in the extreme heat.
The wildfire which broke out today happened in Wennington, East London, and appeared to have destroyed at least five houses.
There is major fires that took hold of nearby land in Upminster and across the Thames at Dartford in Kent; on a day when millions of people were working from home. There was also a major gorse blaze at Zennor in Cornwall.
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About the wildfire that broke out today
The extreme heat has been caused by a plume of hot air from north Africa and the Sahara and an ‘Azores High’ subtropical pressure system creeping further north than usual – which experts say is a result of climate change.
Forecasters said an absolute maximum of 43C (109F) is possible later on – and the highs in England are equal to the warmest spots anywhere in Europe today. The UK is also hotter than Jamaica, the Maldives and Barbados.
The ‘extreme heat’ also led to thousands of homes in the North East being left without power as electrical equipment overheated during the record temperatures.
About the wildfire destruction of 5 houses
The fire is believed to have started in grassland before spreading to nearby buildings close to a fire station. Aerial footage has shown smoke covering the village while nearby grassland and outbuildings continue to burn.
And smoke drifted over the M25 as almost 200 firefighters and 30 fire engines tried to extinguish a corn field blaze in Upminster. Firefighters in London said they were battling ‘several significant fires’ including these ten.