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Wildfires rage in France and Spain while Europe faces extreme heat

Wildfires raged across south-west France and Spain on Saturday, forcing thousands of people from their homes as blistering temperatures ravaged parts of Europe.

About 14,000 people had been evacuated from France’s Gironde region by Saturday afternoon as more than 1,200 firefighters struggled to control the blazes, regional authorities said in a statement.

“We have a fire that will continue to spread until it is stabilized,” said Vincent Ferrier, deputy prefect of Langon in the Gironde, at a press conference.

Wildfires have ravaged France, as well as other European countries including Portugal and Spain, in recent weeks.

In the latest weather warning, 38 of France’s 96 departments were placed on ‘orange’ alert, with residents in those areas urged to be vigilant. The heatwave in western France is expected to peak on Monday when temperatures soar above 104 degrees.

A view of trees burning amid wildfire near Landiras, France
A view of trees burning amid wildfire near Landiras, France.
via REUTERS
The heat is expected to peak at 104 degrees.
Over 14,000 people have been ordered to evacuate the French region of Gironde by Saturday.
AFP via Getty Images

In neighboring Spain, firefighters battled a series of blazes on Saturday after days of unusually high temperatures of up to 114 degrees.

The nearly week-long heatwave has caused 360 heat-related deaths, according to the Carlos III Health Institute.

More than 3,000 people have been evacuated from their homes due to a large wildfire near Mijas, a town in the province of Malaga popular with northern European tourists, the region’s emergency services said in a tweet early Saturday.

A fire-fighting plane drops flame retardants to put out a fire in Guillos.
Firefighting planes have dropped flame retardants to help contain wildfires.
REUTERS
A firefighter works to put out a forest fire in the Monsagro area of ​​western Spain in the early hours of July 16, 2022.
A firefighter puts out a forest fire in the Monsagro area of ​​western Spain in the early hours of July 16, 2022.
UME/J.de Oro via AP

Many were taken to a provincial sports center.

“Police drove up and down the street with their sirens on and everyone was told to leave. Just walk away. No instructions on where to go,” said British pensioner John Pretty, 83.

Elsewhere in Spain, thick plumes of black smoke billowed near Casas de Miravete in the Extremadura region as helicopters dumped water on blazes that scorched 3,000 hectares, forced the evacuation of two villages and threatened to reach Monfrague National Park.

Around 98,000 acres were devastated by wildfires from the beginning of the year to mid-June.
Casas de Miravete, Galicia, Castile and León were the Spanish regions hardest hit by the fires.
REUTERS

Fires also burned in the central region of Castile and León and in Galicia to the north.

A total of 98,000 acres were devastated by wildfires from the beginning of the year to mid-June, more than triple the area burned by fires in the same period last year, data from the Institute for Nature and Forest Conservation showed.

In the UK, the national weather service issued its first red “extreme heat” warning for parts of England on Monday and Tuesday.

With potentially record-breaking temperatures expected, the government’s emergency committee was due to meet later on Saturday.

With mail wires

https://nypost.com/2022/07/16/wildfires-rage-in-france-spain-as-europe-faces-extreme-heat/ Wildfires rage in France and Spain while Europe faces extreme heat

JACLYN DIAZ

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