It’s the second heatwave in southwest Europe in weeks, with scientists blaming climate change and predicting more frequent and intense weather conditions.
Wildfires in southwestern Europe show no sign of abating as parts of the continent brace for new record temperatures early next week.
Firefighters in France, Portugal, Spain and Greece continued Sunday to battle wildfires that have destroyed thousands of hectares of land and killed scores of workers since earlier in the week.
Firefighters in the coastal town of Arcachon in France’s southwestern Gironde province have been battling two wildfires that have consumed more than 10,000 hectares (24,700 acres) since Tuesday.
Additional evacuation orders were issued for several hundred residents on Saturday, fire department spokesman Arnaud Menduse told AFF news agency.
“Several fires are still burning in France,” Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said on Twitter.
He added: “Our firefighters are fighting the fire with incredible courage.
Since Tuesday, more than 14,000 people – residents and tourists combined – have been forced out of the camp, with seven emergency shelters set up to receive evacuees.
Meteo France forecast temperatures of up to 41 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of southern France on Sunday.
Thousands have been evacuated as wildfires spread further in southwestern France.
Portugal’s Meteorological Institute predicts temperatures of up to 42C with no respite before next week.
Civil defense, however, struggled to put out one remaining wildfire in northern Portugal as temperatures dipped slightly below July’s record high of 47C.
“The risk of fire is very high,” warned Andre Fernandez, head of civil defense.
The Lisbon government had to decide on Sunday whether to extend the state of emergency for a week.
🔥 Spain is literally on fire today pic.twitter.com/08xLcrZqhj
— Nature Is Lit (@NatureIs_Lit) July 16, 2022
In Spain, the National Meteorological Agency has issued different warning levels across the country, warning of up to 44C in different regions.
Dozens of wildfires were burning in various parts of the country on Saturday, from the south to Galicia in the far north-west, with fires burning up to 3,500 hectares, the regional government said.
The fight against the fire claimed the lives of several crew members, including two who died in a plane crash in northern Portugal after their helicopter crashed into the sea in Greece.
A wildfire in Morocco’s northern mountains has killed at least one person and forced the evacuation of more than 1,000 families, as Greece’s civil defense forces scrambled to put out flames on the Mediterranean island of Crete.
Government ministers were to hold a crisis speech after the UK Meteorological Agency issued its first “red” warning for extreme heat, which it said was “danger to life”.
The Met Office said temperatures could top 40C for the first time in southern England on Monday or Tuesday, prompting some schools to close next week.
Mayor Sadiq Khan has advised Londoners to use public transport only “if absolutely necessary”. National rail operators have also warned passengers to avoid travel.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies