Climate change: Wildfires around the world provide a terrifying glimpse of UK's future – Scotsman comment

The Great British Summer has returned in all its temperate glory.

However, for anyone who has already forgotten last week’s record-breaking heat and wildfires comes a reminder from the world.

In California, the Oak Fire has burned thousands of acres and destroyed at least 55 structures near the Yosemite National Park despite the efforts of thousands of firefighters.

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Near Mariposa, Ruth Clark, 94, had been living in her car for days after fleeing her home. “It was getting mad with planes overhead roaring around like a warzone,” she told Sky News. “So I said to my partner: let's get the two cats and get the heck out of here.”

California has always experienced wildfires, but they just keep getting bigger.

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In Europe, Czech firefighters were tackling a forest fire that destroyed homes in the village of Mezna and was threatening others. Such fires were once measured in hectares, now they use square kilometres.

Other blazes were raging in Dadia in northern Greece, and in Castile, Leon, Galicia and on Tenerife in Spain.

Fire threatens a Smokey the Bear warning sign near Jerseydale, California (Picture: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

All this is a terrifying glimpse of our future, our children’s futures, in the UK as the planet gets ever warmer.

TheNational Fire Chiefs Council’s lead wildfire tactical adviser David Swallow told the BBC that while they had been preparing for wildfires as a result of climate change, the risk was now “immediate”. All fire services in the UK should be trained in how to fight them, he added.

So despite many pressing issues that occupy our minds, we should always remember our mini-heatwave, lest it becomes the norm and the Great British Summer is reduced to a fond memory.



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