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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Wildfire in Spain Continues for Third Day Amid Europe’s Heatwave


7Dnews London

Fri, 28 Jun 2019 20:10 GMT

A wildfire in northeast Spain raged for the third consecutive day on Friday, June 28th, amidst the heatwave hitting Europe. Several countries are reporting record temperatures and are experiencing difficulties dealing with the ramifications.

Authorities said more than 700 firefighters, eight helicopters, and six water-dropping aircraft battled the fire that started in a pile of chicken dung and raced across the hills in the northeast of Spain, AP reported.

On the third straight day of the fight against the progress of the fire, a stiff breeze was driving the flames in the direction of the city Lleida, but officials said they did not consider the situation a threat.

Temperatures in the area of the fire reached 41C (106F) as parts of Europe recorded their hottest June temperatures in recent memory due to hot air moving north from the Sahara.

France, for example, reported its highest temperature ever on Friday, 44.3C (111.7F), according to the BBC. The country also reported it was struggling with the temperatures, especially in the central and western areas of the continent, which are being hit by the plume of hot air.

Authorities said the fire is the Catalonia region's worst fire in two decades and 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) of hilly terrain were at risk. By Friday, an estimated 6,000 hectares had burned.

Miquel Buch, the regional interior minister, asked people to exercise extreme caution in forested areas. He said fire services were at full stretch "and we can't allow another wildfire to break out."

Temperatures are forecast to drop from Saturday.