The risk of wildfires has been raised to 'very high' for large swathes of England and parts of Wales, according to the Met Office.

As part of their 'Fire Severity Index', it shows much of England has been upgraded to the second highest category, along with some parts of north and south Wales.

The current heatwave and lack of rain are combining to create tinder-dry conditions that could make the landscape more susceptible to wildfires.

It is highly unusual for the risk to be rated so high, so early in the summer, Sky News reports.

Normally, damp conditions produce lush vegetation for several weeks, but as the landscape is so dry there is plenty of potential fuel to spark a fire and keep it burning.

England 'not prepared' to deal with summer wildfires

UK Wildfire Tactical Advisor, Craig Hope, stated that the risk had become "elevated" with climate change.

He said: "It is very early in the summer and last year when we had the fires in London, that was extreme, but that was a lot later in the year.

"How this year will build now is quite worrying."

England as a whole had 24,316 wildfires between June and August last year, which was four times as many over the same period in 2021.

Great British Life: Thousands of wildfires are expected in the UK in the summerThousands of wildfires are expected in the UK in the summer (Image: Jacob King/PA Wire/PA Images)

Earlier in the month researchers at the Grantham Institute England is "not prepared to manage future extreme heat events" especially in circumstances if they "were to occur more frequently at the same magnitude and duration".

It was concerned resources to deal with the more commonly occurring heatwaves are at breaking point.

The Met Office and the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology have predicted that the number of wildfires will increase globally by 14% by 2030 and 30% by 2050.

Scientists warn climate change is making heatwaves and dry spells more prolonged, intense and frequent.