A WILDFIRE warning has been issued ahead of what weather experts say could be a blistering bank holiday.

Temperatures could hit highs of 25C in Southampton this weekend, with Sunday and Monday expected to be the hottest days.

The forecast has even prompted bookmakers to slash odds on a bank holiday heat record down to 2-1.

But it has also prompted a wildfire warning from the South East branch of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), who represent landowners in the region.

Bosses at the regional CLA are now calling on the public to take extra care in the countryside as the warm, dry conditions could elevate chances of wildfires.

And they are warning members of the public not to discard cigarettes and litter which could spark a “devastating” wildfire.

Tim Bamford, acting regional director of CLA South East, which landowners, farmers and rural businesses in areas such as Hampshire, Sussex and the Isle of Wight, said: “Wildfires can have significant impacts on communities, landscapes and wildlife, and we appeal to the public to be extra vigilant when out and about in the countryside.

“Please take litter home, use common sense and keep an eye out.”

Alongside cigarettes and other smouldering material, such as disposals barbecues, bosses at the CLA say disposed glass bottles and shards of broken glass can spark a fire by reflecting sun light.

The CLA say that barbecues should only take place in sheltered areas well away from combustible material.

They also warn members of the public not to attempt to tackle fires themselves and instead call 999, request the fire service and provide an accurate location.

They say if the fire is in a remote area that members of the public should meet emergency services at the access point so that you can guide them to the location.

The warning comes after a number of large wildfires during last summer’s long heatwave.

Last July, more than 40 firefighters tackled a large gorse fire near Holbury, which damaged around 35 hectares of land. Just last month, dozens of firefighters tackled a wildfire blaze at Browndown Ranges in Gosport.