PARIS ( Associated Press) – Firefighters struggled on Sunday to control wildfires in France and Spain as Europe wilts under an unusually extreme heat wave that officials in Madrid linked to a rise in the additional death toll .
Two massive fires that engulfed pine forests south of the city of Bordeaux in southwest France for six days have forced the evacuation of nearly 14,000 people, many of whom were set to spend their holidays at the camp.
In Spain, firefighters backed by the armed forces’ emergency brigades are trying to stamp out more than 30 fires in forests spread across the country. Spain’s national defense department said most of its firefighters had been deployed. Many areas are rugged, mountainous terrain that makes it difficult for ground crew to reach.
Drought conditions in the Iberian Peninsula have made it particularly susceptible to wildfires, some caused by lightning, others by accident, and even some intentionally set, due to warm air from Africa last week. After a massive blow up.
Read more: Wildfires spread across Europe amid record heatwave
There have been no fire deaths in France or Spain so far. A pilot was killed when a firefighter plane crashed in Portugal on Friday.
But as temperatures remain unusually high, heat-related deaths have increased amid a heat wave that the European Union considers a work of climate change.
A second heat wave in Spain has sustained high levels above 40 °C (104 °F) in many areas, regularly hitting peaks of 43 °C (109 °F). According to Spain’s Carlos III Institute, which records temperature-related deaths daily, 360 deaths from July 10–15 were attributed to high temperatures. This was compared to 27 temperature-related deaths in the past six days.
As a street cleaner dies of heat stroke while at work, the Spanish capital’s town hall has given street cleaners the option to work during the evening hours to avoid the worst of the day.
In France, a fire at La Teste-de-Bouche near the Atlantic coast has forced 10,000 people to flee the area popular for the Arcachon seaside resort. The Gironde regional government said on Sunday that “the situation remains unfavorable” due to strong winds, coupled with hot and dry conditions, which have intensified overnight. This led to a long struggle to protect the campground.
A second fire near the town of Landiras, south of a valley of Bordeaux vineyards, forced authorities to evacuate 4,100 people this week, including about 1,900 on Saturday. Officials said a two-kilometer (1.2-mile) stretch of white sand dumping one flank has been brought under control. However, another flank remains uncontrolled.
In total, more than 10,300 (25,400) hectares of land have been burnt in the two fires.
Emergency officials warned that high temperatures and winds on Sunday and Monday would complicate efforts to prevent the fire from spreading further.
“We have to be very prudent and very polite, because the day will be very hot. We have no favorable weather window. The site is very, very hot and very active,” regional fire officer Eric Florensen said on local radio France-Blue on Sunday Told.
Temperatures in the region are forecast to remain as high as 40 C (104 F), with Monday expected to be the hottest day of the peak July season.
Some of the most worrying blazes in Spain are concentrated in the western regions of Extremadura and Castilla y León. Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlasca announced a joint command that would coordinate efforts to fight active fires in the surrounding areas.
Firefighters have not been able to stop the fire near the town of Casares that threatens Monfrague National Park and has prevented 200 people from returning to their homes.
Another fire in southern Spain near the city of Málaga has forced the evacuation of 2,500 people. There are more fires near the central city of vila in north-west Galicia, among other areas.
Hungary, Croatia and the Greek island of Crete have also battled wildfires this week, as have happened in Morocco and California.
Scorching temperatures have reached the north of Britain, where its weather agency has issued its first “red warning” of extreme heat for Monday and Tuesday, when temperatures in southern England could reach 40 °C (104 F) for the first time. Is. ,
It will still be relatively tolerable compared to the 47 C (117 F) recorded in Portugal’s northern city of Pinhao on Wednesday, setting a new national record.
Wilson reported from Barcelona, Spain.