search

Fires scorch France, Spain; temperature-related deaths soar

Police block the access road as wildfire advances near a residential area in Alhaurin de la Torre, Malaga, Spain, Saturday, July 16, 2022 (AP Photo/Gregorio Marrero)
Police block the access road as wildfire advances near a residential area in Alhaurin de la Torre, Malaga, Spain, Saturday, July 16, 2022 (AP Photo/Gregorio Marrero)

Firefighters struggle to contain wildfires raging out of control in France and Spain as Europe wilts under an unusually extreme heat wave that authorities in Madrid link to a rise in excess mortality.

Two huge blazes that have been consuming pine forests for six days just south of the city of Bordeaux in southwest France have forced the evacuation of some 14,000 people, including many who were set to spend their vacation at campsites.

In Spain, firefighters supported by the armed forces’ emergency brigades are trying to stamp out over 30 fires consuming forests spread across the country. Spain’s National Defense Department says that “the majority” of its firefighting aircraft have been deployed. Many areas have rugged, hilly terrain that makes it difficult for ground crews to access.

Drought conditions in the Iberian Peninsula have made it particularly susceptible to wildfires, some caused by lightning, others by accident, and even some intentionally set, after a mass of hot air was blown up from Africa last week.

We have a new, improved comments system. To comment, simply register or sign in.

Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed