A further influx of people were evacuated from their homes on Friday after wildfires blistered land in France, Spain and Portugal, while officials throughout Europe issued heatwave warnings in light of the coming heatwave.
As a result of scorching heat, tinder-box conditions, and strong winds, more than 1,000 firefighters across southern France battled since Tuesday to contain two fires that have fanned by scorching heat, tinder-box conditions, and water-bomber aircraft.
In parts of Europe, heatwave with temperatures will top 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) as a slow-moving high pressure area brings scorching air from North Africa.
There have been massive fires in France, Portugal, and Spain, with scientists blaming climate change and predicting more severe weather episodes.
More than 2,000 firefighters tackled four major fires on Friday in five regions in Portugal where temperatures hit a July record 47C (117F) on Thursday.
As the searing heat hits Europe, officials are concerned about the effects on people’s health and on healthcare systems already challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic. British officials have issued warnings that things will get worse.
Heatwaves trap atmospheric pollutants, causing air quality to deteriorate, especially in cities, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
The British weather service issued its first red “extreme heat” warning for parts of England on Monday and Tuesday.
It recorded in Cambridge on July 25, 2019, that the highest temperature in Britain was 38.7 C (101.7 F).
“Some exceptional, perhaps record-breaking temperatures are likely in the early part of next week, according to Met Office Chief Meteorologist Paul Gundersen.
There is also a possibility of exceptionally warm nights, particularly in urban areas,” he said. People and infrastructure are likely to be affect by this.”
Camping and sporting activities around 275 towns and villages in Catalonia suspended to prevent fires, and machinery-related farm work restricted.