Wildfires rage across southern Europe amid record heat

Wildfires rage across southern Europe amid record heat | DW News

Tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee wildfires as a record-breaking heatwave scorches southern Europe. Hundreds have died from the effects of the hot weather. The worst-hit countries are France, Spain and Portugal. Scientists are blaming man-made climate change, and more devastating forest fires are expected in the coming days as parts of the continent brace for new temperature records. The intense heat on the Iberian peninsula has created the conditions for flames to spread more quickly. And firefighting operations are more difficult because of wind and low humidity. In Italy, the hottest July since 1800 and a record drought has sparked wildfires. The fires are wreaking havoc in tourist spots which had just started to recover from the Covid pandemic. In Mijas, in Malaga province, more than 3,000 people have now been evacuated from homes.

Tens of thousands of people have been
forced to flee wildfires as a
record-breaking heatwave scorches
southwestern europe hundreds have died
from the effects of the hot weather
the worst-hit countries are france spain
and portugal scientists are blaming
man-made climate change and more
devastating forest fires are expected in
the coming days as parts of the
continent brace for new temperature
records now the intense heat on the
iberian peninsula has created the
conditions for flames to spread more
quickly and firefighting operations are
more difficult because of wind and low
humidity the fires are wreaking havoc in
tourist spots which had just started to
recover
from the covet pandemic in mihas a town
in the province of malaga popular with
northern european tourists more than 3
000 people have now been evacuated from
their homes
a week-long heat wave is scorching
europe
fire season has hit earlier this year
after an unusually hot and dry spring
which authorities attribute to climate
change
near the spanish city of malaga a forest
fire has forced thousands of people to
evacuate
we are sad and worried because our
mountains are part of the joy of living
here they’re the lungs of the area
we’re also very worried for the
residents because their homes could be
in danger
it’s a very difficult situation
a sports stadium has become an emergency
shelter for the evacuees
we’ve just grabbed a few essentials and
just ran really and by that stage
everybody along the street the calios
was on the move cars and and on the main
street there were a lot of ambulances
and fire engines
fires are burning across southern europe
filling skies with smoke from here in
northern italy
to south western france
where firefighters have been battling
blazers for days
thousands of evacuated residents can
only watch on
and pray their homes are spared
on crete strong winds are spreading
several fires across the greek island
temperatures throughout southern europe
have already been reaching into the
mid-40s celsius and difficult conditions
are set to only get worse as the
record-breaking heat sweeps across
europe for another week
all right well let’s go straight to the
spanish capital madrid where dw
correspondent nicole reese is standing
by nicole good to see you so what’s the
situation like in spain and what are
authorities doing to stop the blazes
well there are more than 30 wildfires
here in spain that are raging through
the landscape and as you said also very
close to tourist destinations as michas
very dramatic scenes there because you
can actually really see those clouds of
smoke from the beach and the airplanes
are getting the water directly where the
people are bathing to put out this fire
um there’s also a fire just one hour
away from madrid which has developed
yesterday we don’t know how it’s looking
right now um the news are just coming in
slowly and a much bigger area that is
effective is in the west of spain and
extrema
and it’s not looking good to be honest
we have already over 7 000 hectares that
are burned and we have three different
spots that have really huge fires so
these dry conditions and the wind are
making it very difficult here to put
them out um there are well over a
thousand of firefighters with all hands
on deck and also aid workers of course
to evacuate people many of them haven’t
gone home for about five days in the
extreme
region they have pets they may have also
like farm animals that they couldn’t
really take care of they don’t know what
the damage is if there is any damage so
it’s a lot of uncertainty here right now
and uh obviously this heat wave is the
perfect feeding ground for those fires
it’s not only dangerous uh though for
the landscape and and for for people’s
houses etc etc it’s also really
dangerous for health this week we have
seen um that there are numbers coming uh
in from from the numbers of death uh at
the moment it’s 360 people who have died
this week just because of the heat and
um this summer it’s going to be a long
summer because summers have become
longer due to this according to the
statistics and um it’s not looking good
at the moment to be honest well nicole
for anyone who knows madrid or spain of
course the hot weather is far from over
it’s only the middle of july how are
people coping with the extreme heat
well um hot summers are not so unusual
in spain of course so people are some
sort of like they haven’t
have adapted to this i mean they go into
the shade they would stay where there’s
an aircon they wouldn’t go out at the
extreme hours of sun if there’s no need
to do so a lot of water a lot of cooling
down but there’s only so much you can do
um just to give you a perspective i only
have a fan at home i don’t have air con
and i’m kind of shielding at home in the
dark so
if i go out there’s a difference of
maybe six to seven degrees and in the
sun it’s even more so that’s what you
have to do but it’s obviously a really
big impact on on the body here that
we’re also experiencing because of the
heat a beard that you’re adapted or not
it’s not the usual that you have a heat
wave that is that long
dw correspondence in a cold race in
madrid thank you

 

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