they claimed the lives of over 80 people and whole towns were destroyed. this is bbc news, the headlines: there is uproar in the uk over the government's decision to suspend parliament for nearly five weeks in the run—up to brexit. opponents of prime minister boris but as residents tried to escape, johnson say it's a constitutional the firefighters did what they always do — crisis and will help him force through a no—deal brexit. the government says it's an entirely legal procedure that they ran towards the danger. will still leave time for more debate in parliament. it is a profession that relies on courage, education and, increasingly, the latest science a suspected arson attack and technology to better understand on a nightclub in mexico has killed how fires behave and how at least 25 people and left 11 badly hurt. fire bombs were thrown at the club in the city of coatzacoalcos. federal authorities are investigating possible collusion between local officials to beat back the flames. and organised crime. tropical storm dorian has brought heavy rains and strong winds and if you want to be a firefighter, to the us virgin islands. the storm's been updgraded this is where you learn the craft. to a categoryi hurricane. florida has declared a state the international fire training centre in darlington, of emergency and forecasters warn it in the north of england. could be a major hurricane by the time it makes landfall on sunday or monday. this is where brave firefighters come from around the world to learn the latest techniques in fighting
now on bbc news, all kinds of blazes. it's time for click. they can simulate a huge variety this week, another chance to see our firefighting special of fire scenarios here — when we tackle blazes from the air, on the ground and even on rails. oil rigs, industrialfires. in the summer and autumn of 2018, california experienced 00:01:13,944 --> 4294966103:13:29,430 its deadliest ever wildfires. that is an overturned fuel tanker, and they can simulate any size of aircraft from the smallest to the largest. that is an airbus a380 and this is a boeing 747. and it is notjust about gearing up and grabbing the hose. every fire is different. and each needs to be treated intelligently to make sure you and the people you are trying to save have the best chance of survival. they are using the water as a protective shield. so it keeps the two fires apart, using the water. keeping the left—hand one at bay
and then extinguishing the right one before we deal with the left. the centre tries to make each scenario as realistic as possible, not just the fire, but the treatment of the casualties as well. it is fascinating to see the science behind firefighting. for example, in a kerosene fuel fire, water will not put it out. this cone of water controls the blaze so that another firefighter can come in with a powder extinguisher. that is what finally tames the flames. and once they're gone, does that mean the job is done? well, that is where this thermal imaging camera comes in to see what our eyes cannot. so once it looks like the fire is out, you still have to cover the area in waterjust in case there are hotspots. you can see here the vent on the top of this engine is still white hot according to this thermal imaging camera.
and there are many other ways to detect and deal with fires. lara lewington has been looking at some of them. for the past two years, half of the uk's fire brigades have been deploying these drones. they focus on the safety of firefighters and their onboard hd and thermal imaging cameras can provide much greater visibility, which means a better understanding of a fire and the way that it is spreading. using a drone, we can get pretty much an instant overview of the entire fire in under five minutes and start moving our machines and our firefighters around just like chess pieces, really, all controlled by drone footage. it also brings us a massive benefit, as we can see fires as they develop. the team have also used them for rescues and searching for missing people in quarries or in water.
the hd camera is able to clearly zoom in on a face up to half a mile away. but of course, when it comes to the spread of fires, what has happened recently in california is at the forefront of our minds. the university of westminster is researching a system that combines sensors on the ground and those in a drone. the aim — a solution for wildfires. these solar—powered prototype sensors are tracking carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, oxygen, humidity, temperature, gps and altitude. the aim is to combine them into one miniaturised cost—effective version, which could be deployed en masse in areas susceptible to wildfires, providing immediate feedback. if there is something, they will alert all their neighbours also, form into a network, alert, take measurements, convey to the master node which then conveys it further up to the server
which then alerts the drones that come up to get a visual. the plane comes with all the information that it has got from the drones, from the ground sensors and it knows what the windspeed is, what wind direction is, what the temperature variation is. it knows where the fire will be when the plane rendezvous with it and then it makes a release from the air and then the heavens open with these lovely pellets flying in as they hit the target where the fire is and you can fight fires day and night, 2a hours a day with no visibility. meanwhile, this is the stinger. it can pierce through metal and pretty much any roof, dramatically blasting foam or water into the heart of a blaze. the quantity and force of that water is pretty incredible. this pumps 1000 litres a minute,
with an even more powerful jet to the side capable of 4.5 times that. it also has an on—board thermal imaging camera to assist with that precision. blackburn is currently the only uk fire service using this kit. i'm told it costs around £600,000. but maybe as costs come down and this technology evolves, this next generation of firefighting will become the norm. that was lara. and back at the international fire training centre, i am about to be shut inside a mock boeing 747. see, when it comes to fire, sometimes it is not the one right in front of you that is the most dangerous. it is the one that is waiting to ignite. this is to demonstrate what happens when flammable vapours up high
reach an ignition source. it is called a flashover and it looks like this. i tell you, just a tiny bit of fire in this enclosed environment really shows that smoke is the real killer. my goodness, you can hardly breathe, it is stinging my eyes. they use so much water here every year that it would be silly if they didn't try and reuse it, so that is exactly what they do. all the water, the kerosene, foam, the powder and general sludge from the site flow into a drainage system that goes underground
and ends up in a small lagoon over here, where the kerosene floats to the top and is skimmed off. and they can actually reuse it. it will burn again. the rest of the liquid ends up in the next lagoon, where the solids settle out and all you are left with is this watery, foamy mix which gets pumped to the reed beds over there. the foam is made of animal protein, which the reeds actually feed on. so they effectively suck the foam out of the liquid. so all you are left with at the end of the day is relatively clean water. as well as the practical firefighting that happens here at the international fire training centre, there is plenty of theory to be learned about the unusual ways that fire can behave. a real danger to firefighters is when a fire in a sealed room starves itself of oxygen, so it looks like the fire has gone out, but the whole place is still really hot. then if a firefighter opens a door to come in, oxygen rolls in and starts to mix
with the gases. they become flammable again and that's when you get a backdraft. so... wouldn't it be good if firefighters could use technology to see what they are getting themselves into? that is what paul carter has been looking at in switzerland. for firefighters, it is often the things they cannot see that are the most dangerous. the helmet i am wearing has a thermal—imaging camera fitted to the side. what is unique is that it incorporates a small google glass style heads—up display. it is visible over one eye, giving firefighters thermal imaging without obscuring normal vision. i'm going to use it going
into this very smoky room and see what i can see. luckily, it is not too smoky in here at the moment and i can actually still see but once the smoke really starts to get up, as strange as it may sound, my view of that fire is going to completely disappear. in a modern building, there are a lot of synthetic materials, buildings are more close than ever. so there is a lot of smoke development and fire actually may be hidden behind smoke or there may e people hidden on the floor where you don't see it, the thickness of the smoke is a real issue for firefighters. you always have access to the thermal image, which starts adding some additional advantages — then, you would also use the thermal camera, where before it was impossible, so working with the firehose, you can see as well if you are aiming right, for example.
just firefighters protect us, keeping them protected is also critical. and nothing is more important than the clothing they wear. one of the biggest issues with firefighters right now is that their gear prevents them from evacuating their own body heat. so lots of developments actually go in the direction of preventing heat stress for firefighters. making their uniforms fireproof and heat—resistant is a no—brainer but doing so while making it flexible, breathable and light, is a whole different challenge. at the dupont european technical centre in geneva, they've developed a material that can withstand extremely high temperatures. it's made of a material that bubbles when exposed to high heat, insulating the wearer. it has been proven that if your body temperature, the core temperature, raises above a certain level,
you start doing the wrong decisions, it affects your brain function and that's exactly what you do not want to have happen for a firefighter. eventually he would not realise when he is in extreme danger or would realise it too late. you can feel how raised the surface is, these bubbles, for want of a better word, have kind of lifted off the fabric compared to the bit that hasn't been exposed to the fire. naturally, these fabrics have to be vigorously tested and certified and, in the centre's own lab, they conduct a variety of burning tests to ensure the materials are robust. as a comparison, i looked at what happens when the same tests are conducted on regular cotton. the result was rather terrifying. my goodness. i mean, it's completely on fire. yes. it's burned through. they've also developed a smart heat—sensing glove that firefighters can use to detect the temperature
of a surface or doors to help protect against backdrafts. now, switzerland may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of fire. but it's surprisingly advanced when it comes to firefighting tech. for example, it's the only country in europe to have a firefighting train. this cabin is actually pressurised, so in the event of a fire, this can be operated as a safe—breathing environment. this bad boy is one of 16 used across the country and it's an absolute beast. it can be used for a wide variety of tasks, only some of them specifically related to firefighting.
it can be used as a rescue vehicle for people or other trains, it can pick up derailed trains and it can simply be used to transport fire crews more quickly and directly by road. but let's be honest, fighting fires is the coolest thing this train can do. it holds 43,000 litres of water and 1,000 litres of special firefighting foam. also, a foam cannon! it can also create a curtain of protection — a mist of water that blankets around the train, providing a protective area from smoke and chemicals.
so far at the international fire training centre, i've be learning how to physically deal with fires, but, in large disasters, the co—ordinators are the ones who need to see the bigger picture and try and control the entire scenario. it looks like the passengers are already evacuating so can we get a fire appliance to start extinguishing the fire over there? we really need to stop that by getting to the main body of the plane. this simulator allows me to take the role of incident commander. i've got crew commanders sat at each of these workstations. they are in charge of each fire appliance. myjob is to make assessments and call commands to them to try and deal with this fire, which already looks quite serious, i have to say. the undercarriage is on fire. it's the undercarriage on fire? the port side is on fire. oh, wow. that was an explosion.
something is telling me this plane won't be flying any time soon. so as well as an incident commander, you can swap roles and become a nurse or paramedic, or a police officer as well. i can see how this can be a really intense experience even though it is just a simulation. you really have to have your wits about you to make sense of a very rapidly developing situation. now this is not the only kind of simulation used by first responders. kat hawkins has been looking at how virtual reality is being used to assess the aftermath of an emergency. i am at leicestershire fire and rescue — the first service in the country to invest in virtual reality.
their hope is that money will be saved by replacing some of the expensive traditional training techniques with vr alternatives. i've seen the demo and the fire looks quite intense so i don't think it's going to be what i'm used to when it comes to virtual reality, which isjust having a nice time. let's see. all the scenes in the training are scanned from the real world. for instance, this arson hotspot in leicester is a good reference for investigators looking for clues. it's the inside of a destroyed smoke alarm. ijust need to say, the environment is like i'm standing on ash. it feels very real. teleportation. oh, my gosh. there is a body down there. if you enjoy training, you get more out of it. it's already been proven by a study in the united states that if you train in a virtual reality environment, the retention rate is 75%. most of the talks i do on road safety, with powerpoint, we tend to make 5%. so you can see why we're looking
at this because the training is going to be enhanced so much. if you want to skip 10 seconds forward, you can do it on the controller and skip forward, so you can fast—forward the fire again. you remember from the scene you saw a minute ago, that tv monitor was completely melted. and you can see how it physically affects thing that are not even burning yet. yes, and idea is as it stops, we don't show the people putting out the fire, but you get the ability straightaway to dive back in the scene and now you're in that same burn scene. seeing the impact of that fire is pretty remarkable. it moves quickly. it's an immersive experience and the ability to hold objects, to photograph them, to mark them. we don't often see the initial development of a fire, so for fire behaviour and how a fire developed in a fire scene, it's useful for that angle, as well, really, but from that perspective and training new people
in this field, i think it will be invaluable. part of the reason this experience feels so intense is the realism behind it. for leicestershire fire and rescue, this was important, that they move away from gamification and into real life. they been working with a company called river to make this happen. the scenes are created using photogrammetry, both cameras and lasers photographing real—life 360—degree scenarios up to thousands of times. we've seen how fire services are using virtual reality, but what about other first responders? here at the defence science and technology laboratory, they are hard at work on how police might use virtual reality in theirtraining. number 7, ferguson house. caller report sounds a violent disturbance... i can see some feet already.
i don't think people would expect to police and virtual reality together. why is it so important that the police are interacting with technology in this way? you can replicate one—off events, so a one—off event which could be a dangerous or hazardous environment, you can actually recreate as a one—off and people would never, ever get the opportunity to rehearse that, but in vr, we can, so we can give them that vehicle, give them that opportunity to do a one—off scenario and do it safely. oh, my gosh. 0k. i'm going to see if this woman is alive. she's obviously taken some pills. there is a heartbeat here. i can definitely see already how it could be used, in a way that a lot of games are, really, to open up your mind to possibilities around crime, why people may have committed criminal activities, those kind of questions are already there. that was more enjoyable
than the fire one, i think. which perhaps shouldn't be my takeaway but i could go back into that world, whereas the fire scene, ijust wanted to get out. and that's it from the international fire training centre. i hope you found it as fascinating as we have. we're going to put a load more footage and photos from this place up on social media. don't forget, we live on facebook and twitter at @bbcclick but for now, thanks for watching and we will see you soon.
hi there. temperatures still made the mid—20s celsius across the south—east of the country on wednesday, but as these weather fronts move through, they've introduced much fresher conditions off the atlantic. it's low pressure now in charge of the weather as we head on into the end of the week. in fact, there'll be a fair amount of rain in the forecast for some northern and western areas. thursday is looking fairly unsettled again across scotland and northern ireland thanks to this area of low pressure. it's going to be pretty windy here — gusts 30—a0mph in exposure. few showers or barely any showers the further south and east you go, and again, a fairly warm afternoon with temperatures reaching the mid—20s celsius. closer to the mid—to—high teens further north. as we move through thursday night it's going to remain windy across north—western areas. further cloud and outbreaks of rain piling into scotland and northern ireland.
a few showers into the north—west of england. tending to stay dry across the south—east. but it'll be a cooler night for all of us, and temperatures ranging between 11—14 degrees. 0n into friday, low pressure to the north of the uk. a conveyor belt of cloud and rain streaming in off the atlantic will bring quite a lot of rainfall in fact to parts of the north and the west of the uk, particularly across west and south—west scotland, into northern ireland. rainfall totals really mounting up here. but further south and east, again, closer to the high pressure over the near continent then, it should tend to stay dry with sunny spells, and again, feeling quite warm — 2a, 25 degrees. the mid—to—high teens again further north. now, into the weekend, it remains fairly unsettled, with further wind and certainly some rain around. and then it will turn even cooler as we head on into part two of the weekend, as we see winds switch to a north—westerly direction. so, as we move out of friday and into saturday, this next feature will bring quite a lot of rainfall again to northern and western areas. by this point, we could be looking at a few issues across south—west scotland, for dumfries and galloway, maybe four inches of rain falling
by the time saturday's out. but this rain band will pivot round, pushing to western england, parts of wales, sunshine and showers follow on behind. but it still stays dry and fairly warm across the far south—east — 20—21; degrees. something cooler pushing into the north—west. but as that front clears through during saturday night, then it opens the floodgates to a polar maritime north—westerly, and that'll be very noticeable right up and down the country. so a much fresher start to the day. plenty of sunshine and showers across northern and western areas. a few heavy, maybe thundery ones mixed in. again it could be the south and east that stays dry in the sunshine, but temperatures will struggle — ranging from 12 to 17 or 18 degrees.
this is bbc news, welcome if you're watching here in the uk, on pbs in america or around the globe. i'm mike embley. our top stories: borisjohnson‘s suspension of parliament sparks protests and condemnation. opponents of a no—deal brexit are calling the prime minister's move a constitutional outrage. upgraded to a category one hurricane, storm dorian hits the us virgin islands as it heads for the mainland. at least 20 people are killed in a firebomb attack on a nightclub in mexico. several more are seriously hurt.