The Met Office are warning that fires could become "very severe" across parts of south west London and Surrey if started amid the current heatwave.

The national weather agency released updated information on their Fire Severity Index (FSI) as of Tuesday (June 1) that showed large parts of Surrey and south west London shaded orange, denoting the second-highest rating on their scale that charts how serious fires could become if started.

Consequently large swathes of Surrey including parts of Surrey Hills are now considered at risk of "very severe" fires, with the orange areas also extended well into south west London and included Kingston, Wimbledon and Sutton.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service posted a short warning to Twitter urging caution with temperatures expected in the high 20s in the coming days.

"The Met Office are indicating that the Fire Severity Index across Surrey is High for the county, with some areas registering as Very High.

"Please take extra care if you are out in open spaces, forests and commons this #HalfTerm and take a picnic with you, not a BBQ," a spokesperson said.

Last year saw several wildfires sweep across green spaces in Surrey with devastating effect, including the Chobham Common wildfire where more than 150 hectares were scorched over four days in early August, and Thursley Common where some 130 acres were burnt.

And as the planet heats up due to the climate crisis, the risk of severe wildfires across the UK is becoming increasingly high according to the results of a new scientific study published earlier this year. 

Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), parts of which are currently rated "very severe" in the Met's FSI, also urged residents to be cautious and consider the risks of fires getting out of control amid the hotter weather.

"While May has seen a lot of rain it will not take long for the ground to dry out again. We urge everyone please not to use disposable BBQs, not to light camp fires or to drop cigarettes when visiting the AONB and to make sure that any flames that are used, are fully extinguished to prevent further devastating wildfires," Heather Kerswell, chair of the Surrey Hills AONB board, said.

"We all have a responsibility to look after the countryside for current and future generations and being mindful of the risk of wildfires and the danger they pose to nature is one of the ways that we can do this.

"Enjoy your visit!"