Wildfires rage in Spain, Greece, France as Europe battles scorching heatwave

“We ran with a few essentials and at that stage it was all on the road,” said Ellen.

A wildfire has spread over 11,000 hectares (27,000 acres) in France’s southwestern Gironde region, and more than 14,000 people have been evacuated, regional officials said Sunday afternoon.

More than 1,200 firefighters were trying to control the fire, the official said in a statement.

France has issued red alerts for as many regions as possible, urging residents to be “extremely vigilant”.

In Italy, where small fires have been raging in recent days, forecasters are expecting temperatures above 40C in several regions in the coming days.

Similar temperatures are forecast across Britain for Monday and Tuesday, with 38.7C (102F) being the official record for 2019 in Cambridge.

Britain’s national weather forecaster has issued its first red “extreme heat” warning for parts of England. Train passengers are advised to travel only if absolutely necessary and to expect widespread delays and cancellations.

Drought in Portugal

The Portuguese Ministry of Health announced on Saturday morning that 659 people have died in the last seven days due to the heat wave, most of them elderly. Temperatures ranged between 40C (104F) and 47C (117F) in several regions, with a weekly high of 440 deaths on Thursday at a meteorological station in the country’s central Vizu district.

According to data from the Carlos III Institute of Health, there were 360 ​​heat-related deaths in Spain on Saturday.

Portugal is facing a severe drought – 96 percent of the country’s land was in severe or severe drought at the end of June, before the latest heat wave, according to data from the National Meteorological Institute.

The head of the Emergency and Civil Protection Authority, Andre Fernandez, urged people to be careful not to light new fires in such bone-dry conditions.

The fire brigade in Greece reported 71 fires in 24 hours on Saturday. Local firefighters on the island of Crete said on Sunday that the forest and farmland fires had been partially contained.


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