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Orange code heatwave warning across Belgium from Wednesday, except the coast, plus fire warning
All regions, except the coast, will switch to code orange on Wednesday due to the heatwave forecast by the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI), reports RTBF.
The mercury will reach 30°C on Wednesday and continue to climb over the following days. It’s expected to rise to 33°C on Thursday, 34°C on Friday and Saturday and at least 35°C in some regions on Sunday.
A national heatwave is declared by the RMI when temperatures are recorded at the weather station in Uccle of minimum 25°C for at least five consecutive days and the threshold of 30°C reached for at least three of these days.
The orange code may be reviewed according to the evolution of the situation, said the meteorological institute.
Ongoing high temperatures and drought mean there’s an increased risk of fires breaking out. The public is advised to be particularly careful in parks and countryside. From Monday, it’s forbidden to smoke cigarettes and make fires in Flanders’ forests and nature reserves.
In Wallonia, the department of nature and forests (DNF) is continuing awareness-raising campaigns. These include prevention and surveillance initiatives with some provinces, such as Liège, issuing an order banning outdoor fires.
Due to the heightened fire risk, many firework display are being cancelled, including Liège's planned show for its traditional 15 August festivities.
Firefighters douse blaze in Anderlecht
Brussels firefighters were called on Sunday afternoon to a fire under the ring in Anderlecht (pictured above). The exact origin of the brush blaze has yet to be determined, but could be heat.
"The firefighters received a dozen calls on Sunday afternoon, reporting that visibility was reduced in the ring towards Erasmus, near Anderlecht," said Walter Derieuw, spokesman for the Service intervention and urgent medical aid (SIAMU).
Firefighters sent a water pump and a tank of 12,800 litres of water to the scene. "About 8,500 litres were needed to put out the fire," said Derieuw.
Photo: Weather forecast (c) RMI; Firefighters at ring in Anderlect (c) SIAMU Brussels