Data from the Home Office shows that Fire brigade response times in England have reached a record high of over nine minutes, an increase of more than a minute in the last decade. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) attributes the rise to funding cuts resulting in reduced numbers of firefighters and fire stations, alongside the climate emergency, which has also resulted in more frequent and extreme weather events and wildfires, such as the Wennington wildfire that destroyed 19 houses in London.


The financial year to March2023 saw an increase of 25,000 fire incidents, attributed to a 26% increase in secondary fires and a 45% increase in outdoor primary fires following the hot, dry summer of 2022 compared to the previous year. This indicates a need for greater national and local prevention and mitigation to prepare for increased summer fire risks, along with enhanced public education and information to prevent, reduce and mitigate the risk of outdoor fires during extreme heat and drought periods.


The FBU has called for more resources and staff for fire services, while the government says fire authorities must manage their core functions and have committed a further £2.6 billion in 2023-2024.


Read the full story on BBC News.

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