Europe heatwave: Thousands of firefighters battle blazes across Portugal, Spain and France

·1-min read
A view shows trees burning amid a fire that broke out near Landiras (via REUTERS)
A view shows trees burning amid a fire that broke out near Landiras (via REUTERS)

Wildfires continue to rage across Portugal, Spain and France as Europe is in the grips of a sweltering heatwave.

Thousands of firefighters are battling the blazes which have been fanned by earlier-than-usual extreme temperatures and drought conditions.

The worst fires have been in Portugal where a pilot of a firefighting plane died on Friday when his plane crashed while on operation in the northeast.

It was the first fire fatality in the country this year but more than 160 people have been injured in the fires this week and hundreds have been evacuated.

More than 1,000 firefighters worked with ordinary people desperate to save their homes on Saturday after a long week of battling multiple blazes around the country.

Over in France, about 14,000 people have been evacuated from the south-western Gironde region.

Fleeing residents spoke of their fear and uncertainty about what they would find when they get back home.

As many as 3,000 firefighters teamed up with water-dumping planes to battle the blazes in southern France.

Greece sent firefighting equipment to their aid to the country.

Elsewhere in Spain, they struggled to contain a series of fires amid the heatwave which has kept temperatures above 40C in many areas.

In southern Andalusia, 3,000 people were evacuated from villages in danger from a blaze that started near the village of Mijas in the province of Malaga.

Croatia and Hungary, California and Morocco, have battled against wildfires this week.

Many European countries are facing exceptional heat this month also attributed to climate change.

In the UK, temperatures could reach a record-breaking 41C early next week on Monday or Tuesday.

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