Thousands of firefighters battled more than 20 fires in Portugal and western Spain on Wednesday, endangering villages and disrupting tourist holidays, with temperatures hovering below 45 degrees Celsius in some parts of Europe.
Hundreds of firefighters in France, backed by six water jets, battled two wildfires in the southwest and evacuated thousands of camps, said Gironde’s administrator Fabienne Buccio.
In the small Portuguese village of Santiago de Garda, in the central Portuguese province of Lria, a black cloud of smoke billowed as Alberti and Francisco struggled to hold back tears.
“It was very difficult,” said Francisco, 42, when she helped her sick sister flee. No one helped – firefighters and [water-bomber] The planes have just arrived here…. The state must do more to help us.
Some villagers rescued pets, while others helped firefighters fight the blaze.
In Lria, where more than 3,000 hectares have been burned so far, authorities have blocked major roads and sidewalks as firefighters struggled to contain the blaze. The Portuguese highway, which connects the capital Lisbon with Porto, was also closed due to another fire in the far north.
In Lyria alone, about 900 firefighters were fighting three fires, with 2,841 firefighters on the ground and 860 vehicles throughout Portugal.
The red alarm lasts for half the country
A fire broke out in the city of Faro, in the tourist-dominated southern region of Portugal, and spread to the luxury resort of Kunta do Lago. Online shared videos show flames burning near trees, palm trees and golf courses.
According to the IPMA, half of drought-stricken Portugal will remain on the red alert for extreme temperatures on Thursday.
Wednesday’s maximum temperature was 46.3 degrees Celsius in the central city of Lussa, below 2003 degrees Celsius.
Retired Antonio Ramalheiro criticized the lack of forest management in addition to the heat wave.
“It’s scary when the fire comes,” said the 62-year-old. “It’s a disgrace when you get home … you lose everything.”
At least 135 people have been seriously injured and about 800 displaced since a wildfire broke out in Portugal last week, according to the Civil Protection Authority.
Thousands were forced to flee French camps.
More than 2,700 hectares have been burned in France’s Gironde region, Buchio told BFM TV. The largest of the two fires was around the town of Landras, south of Bordeaux, where roads were closed and 500 residents were displaced.
Another is on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, near the famous “Dune du Pilat” – the tallest sand dune in Europe – near the Arcacon Bay, where more than a cloud of dark smoke is seen in the sky.
The blaze displaced 6,000 people from five camps. They were taken to a local exhibition center for shelter.
“Other camps woke us up at 4:30 in the morning. We had to leave immediately and choose what to take with us quickly,” Crystal, one of the displaced, told BFM TV.
On the eve of Bastille Day, the state of Gironde bans all fireworks in towns and villages close to the forest until Monday.
By 2050, wildfires are expected to increase by 30 percent
The World Meteorological Organization warned on Tuesday that heat waves are spreading and intensifying in large parts of Europe.
Due to human-caused climate change, the number of wildfires is expected to increase by 30 percent in the next 28 years, according to a February 2022 United Nations report.
On Wednesday, the tropical Yangtze River Basin in China flooded. Firefighters withstand a wildfire near the Turkish tourist city of Datka; And consumers’ demand for energy has skyrocketed, as consumers overcrowded their air conditioners to escape the heat.
More than 4,000 hectares of firefighters have entered Castil and Lyon in Salamanca, in the western region of Portugal, in the border region of Equatorial Guinea.
The Emetramuraura, Andalusia and Galicia regions are on high alert for high temperatures, according to the Spanish Emeto Meteorological Service.