Brit holiday warning as ELEVEN Spanish villages evacuated during wildfires tearing through 42C tourist hotspots
BRIT holidaymakers have been issued a warning as eleven Spanish villages were evacuated due to wildfires tearing through the 42C tourist hotspots.
It comes as Spain swelters under the hottest early summer temps in decades this week, according to according national weather agency AEMET.
The mercury is set to rise to between 40 and 42C in Zaragoza and areas of Navarre and La Rioja in northern Spain, the agency said.
The record heat has combined with windy conditions to trigger wildfires in several spots with Zamora, near the northwestern border with Portugal, baring the worst of it.
Almost 20,000 hectares of land have been ravaged in the Sierra de la Culebra mountain range and the fire was “still active”, said a tweet today from the regional government of Castille and Leon, where Zamora is located.
Local officials issued evacuation orders for 11 villages in the region as some 500 firefighters fought to extinguish the fast-moving blazes.
Meanwhile, in Catalonia firefighters have been trying to bring a wildfire in Baldomar under control.
They said “very hot temperatures” and a “strong southerly wind” had made tackling the blazing inferno “complicated”.
Flames crackled and raged high into the air on the outskirts of the village of Caudiel, in Castellon, eastern Spain.
Firefighters, wearing masks, goggles and helmets, struggled to bring the flames under control.
They helped evacuate residents, some of whom dragged along their pet dogs and horses, as smoke wafted through the village.
In Zaragoza, forecast to sizzle under Spain’s highest temperature of 42C on Saturday, people at a farmers market waved fans and newspapers, stood in the shade and kept hydrated. By 4 p.m. the temperature had reached 40.9C.
“This is evidence of climate change,” Bernardo Funes, 63, a stallholder and organic farmer in Zaragoza, told Reuters.
“It’s very worrying because… we’ve already had highs of 34, 35 degrees in May and now in June, it’s something like 44 degrees.”
Outside the city’s grand cathedral, Marisa Gutierrez was sitting beneath a shaded canopy that displayed the lottery tickets she was selling.
“It’s been very bad, with a hot wind that felt as if it was from the desert,” she told Reuters. “This isn’t normal… at this time of year there’s usually a pleasant temperature but not this heat.”
Meanwhile at a stag do in the city centre, participants, dressed as Romans, said they were having to drink as much water as beer.
Many areas of Western Europe have been sweltering under unseasonably hot temperatures over the past few days.
Clare Nullis, a spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, said that parts of Spain and France were experiencing temps “more than 10 degrees higher – that’s huge – than the average for this time of year”.
In France, 18 million people woke to heat wave alerts affecting about a third of the country on Friday with forest fire warning issues from the Pyrenees in the south to the Paris region.
The southern French city of Bordeaux experienced temps of 42.5C yesterday while Montpellier reached 45C this week.
The heat has become such an issue in Gironde, southwest France, that public events outdoors have been banned “until the heatwave ends”.
Indoor events at venues without air-conditioning have also been barred.
In the Netherlands, people were boarding train to the nearest North Sea beach early Friday while in Germany firefighters tacked several wildfires including one south of Berlin.
It comes as Brits were left sweltering in heat hotter than Mexico yesterday as temperatures soared over 32C.
The mercury smashed early summer records for the third day in a row, marking the hottest day of the year so far.
The Met Office said the heat swelled to a blistering 32.7C in Santon Downham, Suffolk, while Heathrow saw highs of 32.4C this afternoon.
Sunseekers in Norwich baked in 32C heat, while the scorcher reached 31C in Birmingham, 29C in Southampton, and 27C in Cardiff.
It’s all thanks to high pressure and roasting 40C air being dragged in from Spain and Portugal.
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