Heat wave in Europe: devastating forest fires spread in the Mediterranean

Thousands of firefighters are battling forest fires that have broken out in Portugal, Spain and southwestern France, amid a heat wave that shows no signs of letting up.

In northern Portugal, a pilot was killed when his tanker plane, a Fire Boss amphibian, crashed in the Foz Coa area, near the border with Spain.

Fires are devastating areas of the Gironde region of Francewhere more than 12,000 people have been evacuated.

In the south of Spain, near the Costa del Sol, some 2,300 people had to flee of a forest fire that spread through the hills of Mijas, in the province of Malaga.

Tourists on the beach in Torremolinos saw large columns of smoke rising from the hills, where several aircraft were mobilized to put out the fire.

One resident described the wildfires near France’s southwestern coast as “post-apocalyptic.”

I had never seen anything like itKaryn, who lives near Teste-de-Buch, told the AFP news agency.

The fire there and another south of Bordeaux have burned almost 10,000 hectares. Some 3,000 firefighters are battling the flames.

Burning trees amid a forest fire near Landiras, France, on July 13. Image of the fire department of the Gironde region.

Since Tuesday, temperatures have soared to 47°C (116.6 F) in Portugal and above 40°C (104 F) in Spain, leaving the completely dry field and helping the spread of fires.

More than 300 people have died from the heat in both countries, the Spanish news agency Efe reported.

The fires in Portugal are in the northeast of the city of Porto.

This year, fires have destroyed some 30,000 hectares of landthe largest area since the summer of 2017, when Portugal suffered devastating fires that killed around 100 people.

Other parts of the Mediterranean are also affected.

In Italy, the government declared a state of emergency in the desiccated Padana plain, the Po River, the country’s longest river, is no more than a trickle in places.

In Greece, Firefighters are battling the fires in the Feriza area, some 50km southeast of Athens, and near Rethymno on Crete’s north coast.

The inhabitants of seven villages in that area had to be evacuated.

In north of morocco, several towns had to be evicted when the fires spread through the provinces of Larache, Ouezzane, Taza and Tetouan. A village was totally destroyed in the Ksar El Kebir area, at least one person died in a fire.

France has also recorded sweltering heat of around 40°C and more is expected next week, with 16 departments on orange alert, due to severe weather.

Southern Spain: Fires in the Mijas hills are not far from holiday homes

Southern Spain: Fires in the Mijas hills are not far from holiday homes.

The head of the French Fire Federation warned about the impact that global warming is having on civil protection.

“It is the firefighters, (the agents of) civil security who deal with the effects on a daily basis, and these effects are not for 2030, it’s nowGregory Allione said.

The heat waves have become more frequent, more intense and longer lasting due to human-induced climate change.

The planet has already warmed by around 1.1°C since the industrial age began and temperatures will continue to rise unless governments around the world drastically cut carbon emissions.

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