Britain's fields scorched as country swelters

STORY: More than 15 firefighting units from across two counties tackled the blaze on Sunday night (July 17) which affected 400 acres of field and interrupted train services for a time.

Britain is on course for its hottest day on record with temperatures forecast to hit 40C for the first time, forcing train companies to cancel services and some schools to close while ministers urged the public to stay at home.

Much of Europe is baking in a heatwave that has pushed temperatures into the mid-40s Celsius (over 110 Fahrenheit) in some regions, with wildfires raging across tinder-dry countryside in Portugal, Spain and France.

Britain's government triggered a "national emergency" alert as temperatures on Monday and Tuesday are forecast to surpass the previous high of 38.7C (102F) recorded in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden in 2019.