Wildfires rage across Europe amid record temperatures

Firefighters in Tuscany battled a wildfire on Wednesday when hundreds of tanks caught in the blaze exploded, forcing the closure of a plant employing 3,000 workers due to smoke from the blaze in northeastern Italy.

Wildfires have broken out in various parts of Italy this week as temperatures soar. Emergency services battled wildfires in parts of southern Europe after last week’s extreme heat wave, which scientists and climatologists largely blame on global warming.

Nine cities were on Italy’s extreme heat wave warning, warning of serious health risks related to the weather, which was five on Tuesday. The total, including Rome, Milan and Florence, is expected to reach 14 on Thursday and 16 on Friday.

Temperatures are forecast to reach 40C this week in the north and centre, as well as in southern Puglia and the islands of Sardinia and Sicily.

The fire that broke out near the Tuscan town of Lucca on Wednesday evening has already destroyed 600 hectares of wood.

A helicopter can be seen above the mountain surrounded by smoke.
A helicopter flies over a wildfire in Gimiano, Italy on Wednesday. In Italy, nine cities are on the highest heat warning in the country; This number is expected to reach 16 by Friday. (Borut Zivolovic/Reuters)

The fire raged overnight, reaching some villages and causing some liquefied gas tanks to explode, forcing the evacuation of around 500 people, regional governor Eugenio Gianni said on Twitter.

“Some fronts have strengthened because of the wind,” Gianni said.

Residents have been urged to stay indoors after a wildfire broke out on Tuesday in the Carso area of ​​the northeastern Friuli Venezia Giulia region, which borders Croatia and Slovenia.

The fire prompted state-owned shipbuilder Fincantieri to close its plant in the port city of Monfalcone.

Hospital, abandoned houses in Greece

Fires fueled by a powerful storm in Greece have forced the evacuation of hundreds of people, including hospital patients.

Firefighters are seen behind the flames in the air.
Firefighters are seen behind the flames as a house was gutted by a second day of wildfires in Pikermi, north of Athens, on Wednesday. (Aris Oikonom/AFP/Getty Images)

A thick cloud of smoke darkened the sky on Mount Penteli, 27 kilometers north of Athens, Greece, as nearly 500 firefighters, 120 fire engines and 15 water tankers tried to contain the blaze that broke out on Tuesday. Fronts.

Authorities said they had evacuated nine settlements. A hospital and the National Observatory of Athens were also evacuated and police rescued at least 600 residents from areas hit by the fire.

“Due to the strength and speed of the wind, the fire will change direction throughout the night,” Fire Ministry spokesman Yannis Artopios said in a televised statement.

A fire in a house is seen in the night scene.
A house was engulfed in flames as a wildfire raged in Antoussa, north of Athens, on Tuesday night. (Aris Oikonom/AFP/Getty Images)

Strong storms are forecast to continue through Wednesday afternoon.

Last year, the country was hit by a heat wave that had not been seen in 30 years.

Macron is set to visit the affected French region.

In France, where firefighters in the southwestern Gironde region have been battling massive forest fires since July 12, Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau said more money was needed to deal with such disasters.

“We have to face a very special situation,” he said, referring to the damage in Brittany and southern France.

The sun is visible above the fire-damaged forest.
This photo provided by the Gironde regional firefighting team shows a pine forest on fire near Landrias in southwestern France on Tuesday. In the Gironde region of southwestern France, two huge fires have eaten away at dry pine forests. (SDIS 33/Associated Press)

President Emmanuel Macron was due to visit the Gironde region on Wednesday as France’s heat moved eastward, with improved weather conditions helping to control the fires, local officials said.

Armando Silva, head of the civil protection of Portugal’s northern region, said that rising temperatures and strong winds will make it difficult to fight the country’s biggest wildfire, which has burned 10,000 to 12,000 hectares in and around the municipality of Murca since Sunday.

In Spain, emergency workers are battling fires in five regions, while the national weather service AEMET is also predicting high temperatures.

That 40C mark was Britain’s first on Tuesday, smashing the country’s previous record high by 1.6 degrees.

British engineers raced to repair railway lines trapped in the heat on Wednesday.Firefighters in London had their busiest day since World War II on Tuesday, working through the night to put out a wildfire.

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