tv BBC World News Outside Source PBS July 19, 2022 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT
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announcer: and now, "bbc world news". ♪ >> welcome to outside source. a major incident with a surge of fires in the city. 100 firefighters tackling this fire in east london, which spread to several homes. >> grass fires in particular, the ground has been tinderbox dry. >> it is the u.k. on record. 40 degrees celsius for the first time. fires are spreading in europe, spain and france, and there are warnings about the danger to human health.
♪ unprecedented heatwavcontinues in europe. the u.k. register the highest ever temperature on record, exceeding 40 degrees celsius for the first time. france is also breaking records. across northwest europe, temperatures have soared. these images are east london where a wildfire destroyed seven homes after sweeping through fields. the mayor has declared a major incident saying firefighters are under pressure. we bring you comprehensive coverage. daniel sanford in wellington. reporter: as their monitors breach 40 degrees for the first time in britain, london was burning. wellington, far east of the capitol, inside the m25.
a fire was fanned by a southerly breeze, engulfing houses on the edge of the village. as units rushed to the scene, panicked horses could be heard in the fields. across the thames in dartford, another fire was burning on heathland. the fires were burning north of the capitol. a fire spread to a day care nursery. all children and staff safely evacuated but the nursery and several homes were destroyed. in norfolk, fears plays burning at the park, and there were concerns about a nearby campsite. the heat has peaked today and should be cooler tomorrow but the tinder dry grass land across england and wales will remain a problem. people are being asked to be careful and not to use barbecues
outside their gardens. >> the scene of the fire in wellington. reporter: i have been talking to villagers evacuated in the last couple hours, basically to a hotel and a pub outside the village. they fear eight homes have been destroyed and they are worried about the church. very dramatic footage of buildings engulfed in flames. as far as we know, there is not anyone trapped. one woman said her uncle had been building trenches to keep the flames away from his house but the police have gone into get him. she was worried about him. a number of residents here
worried about their pets and close to where i am a couple farms, there has been concern, the police told me about livestock here. a huge amount of activity here. extraordinary, speaking to villagers here, just how calm they are. you are expecting to people to be upset. there is a sort of incredible calm. what will be will be. it seems the village help each other. michael john bishop lived here 10 years, he said they went from house to house checking everyone was ok, helping people get out. he has a theory, not something the police or fire brigade is saying but that residents saw the fire at early stages. he was working from home. he thinks it may have started as a compost heat fire, because that was what he was looking at
that was ablaze. he couldn't believe how quickly it spread. >> you mentioned john bishop. he was one of the first people to spot the fire spreading in wellington. after he heard from zoe, we spoke to john. >> i was working from home because of the heat. i worked in london. just gone 12:00, i smelled a bit of smoke and thought someone was having a barbecue. vicious. a couple doors up, i could see smoke coming out the back of the garden. it ignited it was unbelievable how it exploded. i ran to the front of the house to see what was going on. my next-door neighbor steve used to be a fireman. then we were ran up to douse the house. the car was on fire. the fire was spreading down the fence. amazing how quickly it spread. >> how quickly did it get from that point to reaching some of the houses? >> it was all very fast.
about five minutes. steve used to be a fireman. we were moving cables and hoses. we went from the first house, it jumped to the second. it started burning through the back gardens. after we helped, then we started moving the gas tanks and all that. then within 15 minutes, both houses were up. then it spread to the next house. the third house by this point, i was helping the lady down the back lawn because it ignited and was 20 feet away frothe fire. with spontaneously combusted. unbelievable. >> sounds like an extraordinary few minutes. were you able to contact all your neighbors and tell them to get out? >> a former policeman took on
the role of knocking on people's houses. he started helping the other way. what happened, the fire was so intense, we were separated. they went in the church, while i was at the fire ation. they went to the church. half an hour later it was so hot in the cemetery behind the church, the grass caught fire so they had to be moved further away. >> are they doing ok? i hope you spoke to your parents? >> i spoke to them on the phone. they are absolutely fine. everyone is fine. we know our neighbors quite well. everyone checked and made sure they knew who was not there and who was fine. we can account for everyone. complete surreal how fast and how hot it was. >> how is your home? >> ion't know actually. yeah. hard to do anything about it.
well look, i do know the back garden and shed is gone. the house, i don't know. as long as everyone safe, you can eventually replace the home. >> admiral attitude to be showing on such a difficult day. i wonder what conversations you had with your neighbors. must have been terribly stressful trying to keep each other safe in knowing your homes were under threat? >> absolutely. the initial conversation was making sure, i know, some of our neighbors could not get their pets out on time. police rescued more. generally, yeah, it was pets that was foremost. it is very bad. everyone was concentrating on it. >> best wishes to john and his
family and their neighbors. let's hear from the london fire brigade. 100 firefighters tackling a fire in east london. crews dealing with a significant grass fire which affected a rae of buildings and a workshop and a number of properties have been evacuated on both sides of the road. a man and woman are being treated for smoke inhalation. jonathan smith, assistant commissioner, london fire brigade, his team has been flat out with these large fires in east london since midmorning. >> as well as those incidents, we have seen a number of lower-level grass fires, that also require significant resourcing from the london fire brigade. that is on top of our normal day-to-day busineswe would expect to see during the week. a combination of all that puts pressure on the london fire brigade, just to provide reassurance, we are still
answering 999 calls. our request is you only dial 999 and asked for the london fire brigade if it is a life-threatening emergency. if you need to call us, please do and we will respo. we are asking the public help us over the course of the next 12-24 hours by not having barbecues, by not leaving rubbish, where you might have glass laying on the floor, which could ignite a fire, to be very careful when you extinguish cigarettes. >> we also heard from the mayor of london. >> the level of calls the brigade a receiving, the way the fires are spreading, the number of fires, are directly linked to the hot weather, to the dry grass, two the heat. the pressure on the fire brigade means the commissioner declared a major incident because of the surge of incidents fire services
responding to. are incredibly worried the brigade's response is not what it should be, what it wants to be. on a normal day, the brigade expects the first fire engine to reach a fire within six minutes. on average now, it has taken more than 20 minutes for a first fire engine to reach a fire. that shows the pressure the fire brigade is under. they have canceled leave. they took staff off training services so every available firefighter is now responding to fires. as i speak to you, there are more than a dozen serious fires across our city. some of the fires today have required 30 fire engines, some required 2 some 15. it is simply not possible for the fire brigade to respond to all fires at this pace. >> let's get more on that fire
in wellington, east london. nick johnson has been there. >> i'm standing by e of the main roads into the village where all left and in we have had fire engines, police and ambulance crew. for most of the afternoon, they have been walking up the road into the village where the fire was. in the last 50 minutes, vehicles have begun to drive away. they are packing up and putting things in the engines. to describe this village, it is right at the edge of london. it really is on the extremities. it is not urban. it is very small. 300 people or so. completely surrounded by farmland and incredibly dry grass. looking up, the grass is yellow, crunchy. it is easy to see how this fire caught.
we think the fire started six hours ago. some villagers speculate, we do not know for sure, that it began in a back garden, possibly on a compost heap. villagers describe how quickly the flames tore through the village and people making attempts quickly to leave their homes. fire crews initially were considering widening the courses as we could see smoke coming toward, we could smell the acrid smell building. there was anxiety the fire would further outside the village. that concern appears to have dissipated for now. certainly, we have been hearing from people, who sadly have lost their homes. there is a pub on the edge of the village. it is a small close-knit community. everyone knows each other here. they have been gathering in the pub garden this evening. we have been talking to people
watching helicopter pictures of flames going round the village, surrounding the church, trying to discern their homes from those pictures. they are worried when they see flames nearing their own homes. it is clear to see how much impact this community, everyone here knows each other, it is very small. >> let's look at what is causing these heat waves. it is so hot in west europe because of southerly wind pushing hot air from africa, driving heat waves in portugal, spain, france and in the u.k. a weather system called a heat dome is making the situation worse. heating the already hot air, the air is stuck within the dome, forcing the hot air back toward the ground. these conditions won't be easing in the coming days. let's hear from the world meteorological foundation. >> looking ahead, looking at the
models from our partners at the national and regional level, possibly not until middle of next week, continued high temperatures for most of europe. weect the peak to happen right now in western europe and move eastward but still, temperatures will be above normal. >> this is an issue facing much of western europe. let's turn to france. southwest, girand region, its biggest wildfires in 30 years. they have not been stabilized. fortunately, no death or injury reported yet. we know fires have spread 19,000 hectares of land since they broke out one week ago. 34,000 people have evacuated homes. 2000 firefighters taking it on along with help from aircraft and fire engines on the ground. let's hear from one of those firefighters. >> fighting for a week now.
that is a hard fight. the combination of historically low humidity, very high temperature, so, the fight against the elements is really hard. i have never seen something like this. i think no ople on ground, firemen, people, nobody have seen something like this in our area for a generation. it is the very first time, we know such a catastrophe. i have made the first part of the fire, and ground support, air command, and what i think is a really really new for us. >> the fires have also been
burning in coastal areas. sites were destroyed by the flames. this is all that is left of one campsite. also, forests on the french atlantic coast have been burning. jessica parker is there. reporter: we've climbed to the top. this is a famous landmark. europe's highest sand dune. canada water bombers go down there, fill up, and back to the fore to drop water on those trees. the forest is still burning. smoke rising from it. incredible site. it feels apocalyptic. down below, you can see the burnt out wreckage of the campsite. not long ago people were enjoying their holidays down there. then they were evacuated we heard from the fire service, over the last e before hours, five campsites have been burnt out here. you can see what remains. some parts are still on fire.
we have been brought here today by the local fire service under their supervision to see the damage this fire has done. >> next return to spain. a dozen fires continue to burn, including in the northwestern provosts of zamora. yesterday we saw dramatic footage posted on social, with flames on either side of a train track. we have now heard from a passenger who took this video. >> i was amazed this was the first time i saw how quickly fire can spread. it can be a matter of seconds. it was not you could easily see on the ground. it was like spreading through the air with air currents and may be sparks. you could not even see. they were actually spreading and forming more and more fire on the ground. >> in the area, 30,000 hectares
of land were reduced to ashes. 6000 people evacuated. 32 villages in the area. two have died, three people are critically injured. we have more from madrid. reporter: a number of large fires. several fires active at the moment. that one seen by the passenger in the train is the biggest. it accounts for 30,000 hectares of burn, around half of the total area of land that has been burned over the last week or so. this is already looking like a very unusual year in terms of the amount of land consumed. these fires have been so widespread. a lot of them have been around the north of spain, the region of galicia, which is a big concern at the moment. the prime minister said today he was particularly concerned about
galicia because he expects temperatures there to start rising again and that would be a huge fight for firefighters. there are fires and other parts of the country. a huge one on the coast of el sol has come under control. a quite large one in catalonia in the northeast. another one down in the center of the country, south of madrid where i am. it is a huge challenge for the fire services in many areas of the country at the moment. >> what are the spanish authorities ready for this kind of situation in summer? >> well, a lot of debate about that. usually, the regional authorities tend to have responsibility for dealing with these fires and even services. there has been talk about these fires, perhaps could be prevented by work that should be done during the winter. for example, a lot of these fires, the vast majority have
been in vast rural areas, many of which are underpopulated because of the huge migration from rural areas to cities over the last 40 years. there is a feeling a lot of these areas are not being maintained properly. dead leaves are undergrowth and so on which has grown too much throughout the summer, is not being then cut back or gathered up in the winter months. if that was done properly across e country, that could prevent a lot of these fires. there is a lot of debate about that with local authorities or whether the central government should be doing more to take more action during the winter months to avoid fires in the summer months. >> let's move away from europe for a moment and turned to the u.s., also experiencing intense heat waves. 40 million people under heat alert across the great plains and central california. power usage in texas is expected
to break all-time highs in the coming days. people turn up their air conditioning in an effort to control the heat. chris van cleave. >> this is unusually hot for an unusually long time. the high today we think will come in around 43 celsius, 110 fahrenheit, very hot, particularly for this early in the summer season. it has only been summer for about a month. today should be the 24th day in the triple digits fahrenheit. that is more than many summer seasons for the entire season. it is unusually hot. it has been unusually hot for a long time. some of that is part of the weather pattern, this la nina condition, where it gets hot, that then els the drought, the drought fuels more heat and it becomes a cycle. we are sitting under a heat dome.
it doesn't have any signs of relenting. we might go from 110-100 later in the week. that is still really hot. >> let's turn back to london. these images from the wellington fire, east london where a wildfire has destroyed eight homes after sweeping through fields. the mayor says firefighters are under immense pressure all day. daniel sanford is in wellington. >> in wellington, it is not clear what the scale of destruction is yet. people are talking about eight homes having been destroyed. today we saw the stark reality of what it is like to live in a country where temperatures reach as high as the high 30's and even low 40's. it means grass becomes incredibly dry. small things can start fires. some residents think the fire here was started by a compost heap which overheated. around here people are rushing
to get horses off the fields in case the fire spreads. it wasn't just in london. it was spreading in other parts of the south and east of england. although, the heat will reduce through the course of the next few hours, there are concerns the conditions for fires have now been laid. the grass is incredibly dry. the temperature will remain high. fire brigade asking people to be incredibly careful about fire and litter, making sure they're not leaving anything like last, which could become a magnifying glass and intensified and of course not to use barbecues outside people's gardens. that is a very strong message coming through from the brigade today. >> thanks. today's temperatures in the u.k. e higher than any on record. 34 locations in the u.k. have gone past the previous record. in some cases they have gone beyond 40. that never happened before in the u.k.
the london fire brigade has declared a major incident after fires broke out in the capital. these are pictures from wellington. it seems certain several homes have been destroyed after a fire spread from nearby fields. we spoke to one man who said he had to go house to house making sure everyone got out safely. we also know in terms of temperatures, as predicted, this tuesday was even hotter than monday. the hottest temperature to be recorded across the country was 40.3 degrees celsius. that was in lincolnshire. if you want ongoing coverage of the heatwave, not just in the u.k. but also in the u.s. and europe, we are seeing fires in spain and portugal and france, turkey and greece. we have had record breakers in belgium, the netherlands and germany. there is a lot going on as this
heatwave makes itself felt. get that all through bbc.com and narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... narrator: financial services firm, raymond james. narrator: funding was also provided by, the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ ♪ narrator: you're watching pbs. ♪ da-da-da-duh-da-da-da♪ ♪ da-da-da-da-da-da ♪♪
♪ ♪ narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... narrator: pediatric surgeon. volunteer. topiary artist. a raymond james financial advisor tailors advice to help you live your life. life well planned. narrator: funding was also provided by, the freen foundation. judy and peter blum kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by conibutions to this pbs station from
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