Europe weather: Hundreds evacuated after very intense 40C heatwave sparks mass fires

Spain: Firefighters tackle wildfires as heatwave hits Europe

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Around 700 people across nine towns were told to flee their homes after fires broke out on Saturday, in Navarre, northern Spain. Work is still ongoing to bring six infernos under control in several areas of the region. It comes as the country has been swamped with highs of 40C – and the heat remains at around 32C today. Despite the possibility of an upturn in events, the situation in Navarre is still labelled as “critical”, with regional governments warning of a “very complex” situation and another “very intense” day for the firefighters.

Just yesterday, the situation worsened as people in Artazu y Eslava, Guirguillano and Gallipienzo were evacuated.

They joined nine other towns and villages that were also evacuated, which included San Martín de Unx, Ujué, Maquírriain, Sansoain, Olleta, Lerga, Amatriain, Arzoz and Viguria.

Nearly 1,000 residents were relocated, with the flames ravaging 11 kilometres from Pamplona.

While the heatwave continues, the Vice President and Regional Minister of the Presidency, Equality, Public Function and Interior, Javier Remírez has said there are no new outbreaks and there is hope of the wind direction changing, which will help with the extinguishing of the flames.

While Spain has copped the brunt of the heat, interactive maps show that much of France and Germany are due for another burst of hot air next week – just before July.

According to WX Charts, it will affect French cities such as the capital, Paris, and Lyon where highs of 37C will be felt on Thursday.

Not far behind are places such as Nice and Marseille in the south of France where the mercury will soar to 32C.

Maps currently show northern Spain, where the fires have broken out, will cool down, but it’s not yet clear by how many degrees. 

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Early indications from WX Charts shows that the soaring mercury may not last for very long.

In fact, temperatures will start to cool down in northern Europe by Sunday, July 3, tumbling to around 24C in both France and Germany.

Places such as Hungary and Croatia will then begin to bake in scorching heat of up to 40C from Sunday, July 3 to at least Tuesday, July 5 as the hot plume begins to move further south.

France is just getting over an “early” June heatwave which went on for more than six days.

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Temperatures skyrocketed to 40C in some parts, seeing the banning of outdoor events in some regions for safety reasons.

Even indoor venues without air conditioning were prevented from holding any activities due to the sweltering heat.

People were also encouraged to take extra precautions and to not expose themselves to the intense UV rays beating down on the country.

Scientists are saying these periods of intense heat are going to become more frequent and last for longer periods as a result of global warming.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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