French firefighters battle huge forest blaze and pilot dies in crash in Portugal as wildfires rage across Europe | World News

Wildfires across Europe have forced thousands to evacuate, killing a firefighting plane pilot.

Strong winds and hot, dry weather have hampered efforts to fight the huge blaze burning through Bordeaux pine forests, with blazes also raging in Portugal, Spain, Greece, Hungary and Croatia.

Around 3,000 firefighters, supported by water jets, battled wildfires in southern France to save as many homes as possible.

Fire season has fallen earlier than usual in some parts of Europe this year after unusually hot weather dried out the soil – something officials have attributed to climate change.

In pictures: Wildfires, drought and snow are emerging across Europe

More than 1,000 firefighters in Portugal worked alongside ordinary citizens trying to save their homes on Saturday after weeks of battling blazes around the country.

The fire was fueled by unusually high temperatures and drought conditions.

The pilot of a firefighting plane died on Friday when his plane crashed while on a mission in northeastern Portugal.

This photo provided by the Gironde regional fire brigade (SDIS 33) shows firefighters battling a fire near Landras in southwestern France, Saturday, July 16, 2022.  Strong winds and hot, dry weather frustrated French firefighters & # 39;  Efforts were made to contain a large wildfire that burned through pine forests in the Bordeaux region for the fifth straight day on Saturday, one of several in Europe in recent days.  (SDIS 33 via AP)
Strong winds and hot, dry weather are frustrating the efforts of French firefighters to tackle the blaze. Photo: AP

Across the border, firefighters in Spain struggled to contain several blazes, including two that burned 7,400 hectares.

About 3,000 people from villages in southern Andalusia were forced to leave their homes as fires engulfed them.

Read more:
Portugal – Roads closed, ‘terrible’ fires and drought

UK heatwave: Why ‘hot nights’ can be deadly
UK heatwave: COBRA meeting called as national emergency declared.

For a sixth day, firefighters were still trying to control a blaze sparked by lightning in the west-central Las Hurdes area.

“All the heat waves studied so far in Europe are warming,” said Robert Vouthard of the Pierre-Simon Laplace Institute at Sorbonne University.

“Unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to zero, heat waves will become stronger, more frequent and longer lasting.”

Articles You Might Like

Share This Article

More Stories

Get Your Forest Fire Alerts

We track wildfires and news from satellites, newsbots and Tweets