Deeside’s scorched landscape as seen from space
A striking satellite image captured as it passed overhead on Wednesday shows the devastating effect the heatwave is having on Deeside’s green landscape.
Large swathes of what was lush green grass have been frazzled by the baking sun and, with pressure rising again, there’s no end in sight to the long dry spell which is bad news for gardeners desperate for a spot of rain.
The satellite image was taken by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2A observation satellite, one of a pair of identical craft built by Airbus, in a “sun chasing” moving orbit 500 miles above the Earth every 100 minutes and 40 seconds. They are part of the ESA’s Copernicus mission, with more detail here on the ESA site.
John Murray, a Researcher in the Geographic Data Science Lab at University of Liverpool extracted the shots and processed them using the ESA’s free SNAP Software toolset.
Click HERE to see the image in full size.
With tinder-dry conditions and little prospect of rain for at least another week, according to forecasts – Flintshire Countryside Service has issued a warning about the increased risk of wildfires as the heatwave continues.
The wildfire risk in Flintshire, as measured by The Met Office –has reached the second highest possible – level 5 – ‘very high fire severity.’
The council is urging people to take extreme care in the countryside during the current hot spell and to take “all possible steps to prevent fires”.
[Gorse fire on Halkyn Mountain on Thursday – 📷 Wayne Jones]
Officials from the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley issued an “extreme fire risk” last week due to tinder-dry grass, bracken and heather on Moel Fammau and surrounding range.
On Thursday firefighters spent several hours battling a gorse fire on Halkyn Mountain, 500 square metres caught light, crews from Flint, Holywell and Deeside were called to deal with the fire.
Weather for the weekend remains hot and dry with Sunday looking to be the hottest of next three with temperatures forecast to reach 27ºC.
Kevin Roberts, Senior Fire Safety Manager, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said:
“In these dry conditions, fires involving grass, bracken and heather can develop extremely quickly, especially in raised winds, and fires can soon get out of control and spread to neighbouring properties or forestry, with the need for us then to attend to extinguish them.
So if you are out, it is more important than ever in these conditions to make sure that any smoking materials are discarded and extinguished properly.
If you are out camping, again make sure that campfires or barbeques are fully extinguished. Better still, avoid open fires altogether in this dry period.
These fires place tremendous pressure on our resources, with firefighters tied up for a considerable length of time working to bring them under control.
Quite often they also happen in areas where access is extremely difficult and water supply is limited.
Remember – setting fires is a criminal offence and we are actively working alongside North Wales Police to combat deliberate incidents – those found to be responsible will be prosecuted.”
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