Heatwave engulfs much of Europe as wildfires rage – BBC

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Western France is facing a “heat apocalypse”, experts have warned, as extreme temperatures continue to hit much of Europe.

Temperatures could reach record levels in 15 regions of the southwest, with firefighters battling wildfires and thousands forced to evacuate.

Blazes in Spain, Portugal and Greece have forced thousands more to flee.

Record temperatures are also expected in parts of the UK, which has its first ever red extreme heat warning within place .

Wildfires in France in recent days have forced over 24, 000 people to flee, with emergency shelters set up for evacuees.

Gironde, a popular tourist region within the southwest, has been hit particularly badly, with firefighters battling to control fires which have destroyed over 14, 000 hectares (34, 000 acres) of land since last Tuesday.

Jean-Luc Gleyze, president of the Gironde region, told the particular BBC the fires had continued to grow in La-Teste-de-Buch and Landiras because of the hot and windy weather, making it difficult for firefighters to contain them.

“They have to fight against this fire which is growing and growing, sometimes getting very, very high, ” he said.

The heatwave has prompted warnings of what one meteorologist described in order to AFP news agency as “an apocalypse of heat” in some areas associated with the southwest.

The heatwave offers impacted other areas of France too. The city of Brest in north-western Brittany reached 40C (104F), far higher than its usual average for July.

Record-high temperatures were registered across many towns plus cities in France, the national weather office said.

Fires in south-west France

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In Spain and Portugal , more than 1, 000 deaths have been attributed to the heat in recent days.

In Spain’s north-western province of Zamora, where a fire provides been blazing since the particular weekend, the body of a shepherd was found in the Sierra de la Culebra mountain range. He is the second fatality of the Zamora fire after a 62-year-old firefighter was killed on Sunday.

In the north-eastern region associated with Catalonia, fire came right up to the house of Mercedes Pino near Pont de Vilomara.

“I was within bed and through the window I saw a very red light, ” she told Spanish media. “I ran as fast because I could to the door and I saw the flame burning a caravan we have in front of the door. ”

Fires furthermore broke out in Castilla y León, Galicia, Castille, Andalusia and Extremadura. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez visited Extremadura on Monday.

“Evidently, climate change kills, ” he said. “It kills people, kills our ecosystem, the particular biodiversity”.

Temperatures in Portugal hit 47C (116F) on Thursday — a record for July.

One third of the mainland still remains at extreme risk of fire, according to the national meteorological office IPMA. This is due to severe or intense drought conditions virtually everywhere.

Hundreds associated with people have been evacuated, with authorities anxious to avoid a repeat 2017, when 66 people were killed in fires.

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The heatwave is the second in order to hit parts of southwest European countries in recent weeks.

Heatwaves have become more frequent, more intense, and last longer because of human-induced climate change. The world has already warmed by about 1 . 1C since the industrial era began and temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to emissions.

Enrique Sanchez, the Dean from the Faculty Environmental Sciences and Biochemistry at The University of Castilla-La Mancha in Spain told the BBC that heatwaves would soon turn out to be the norm.

“In the long term, I mean in the following years, there is no way that the temperatures are going to [not] increase, so heat wave events will become more and more common… all along Europe, inch he said.

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