UK bank holiday warning as ELF Spanish villages evacuated amid wildfires that ripped through 42C tourist hotspots

BRIT holidaymakers have been warned as 11 Spanish villages have been evacuated due to wildfires raging through the tourist hotspots of the 42nd

Spain is simmering under the hottest early summer temperatures in decades this week, according to national weather agency AEMET.

Wildfires have destroyed 11 Spanish villages, leaving a trail of devastation

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Wildfires have destroyed 11 Spanish villages, leaving a trail of devastationPhoto credit: Reuters
A firefighter braves a wildfire in Pumarejo de Tera near Zamora, northern Spain, on Saturday

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A firefighter braves a wildfire in Pumarejo de Tera near Zamora, northern Spain, on SaturdayPhoto credit: AFP
Firefights say unseasonably hot temperatures and windy conditions make their work difficult

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Firefights say unseasonably hot temperatures and windy conditions make their work difficultPhoto credit: Rex

The mercury is expected to rise to between 40 and 42C in Zaragoza and the areas of Navarre and La Rioja in northern Spain, the agency said.

The record heat combined with windy conditions has sparked wildfires in several places, with Zamora, near the north-west border with Portugal, showing the worst.

Nearly 20,000 hectares of land in the Sierra de la Culebra has been devastated and the fire is “still active,” the regional government of Castile and Leon, where Zamora is located, said in a tweet today.

Local officials issued evacuation orders for 11 villages in the area while about 500 firefighters struggled to put out the fast-moving blazes.

In Catalonia, meanwhile, firefighters are trying to bring a forest fire under control in Baldomar.

They said “very hot temperatures” and a “strong southerly wind” made fighting 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 control the blaze.

They helped evacuate residents, some of whom dragged their dogs and horses, as smoke drifted through the village.

In Zaragoza, which is expected to sizzle under Spain’s highest temperature of 42C on Saturday, people waved fans and newspapers at a farmers’ market, stood in the shade and kept hydrated. By 4 p.m. the temperature had reached 40.9 °C.

“This is evidence of climate change,” Bernardo Funes, 63, a stall owner and organic farmer in Zaragoza, told Reuters.

“It’s very concerning because … we already had highs of 34, 35 degrees in May and now it’s about 44 degrees in June.”

In front of the city’s grand cathedral, Marisa Gutierrez sat under a shady canopy displaying the lottery tickets she was selling.

“It was very bad, with a hot wind that felt like it came from the desert,” she told Reuters. “It’s not normal… this time of year it’s usually a comfortable temperature, but not this heat.”

At a downtown bachelorette party, attendees dressed as Romans said they had to drink as much water as they did beer.

Many areas of Western Europe have been sweating amid unseasonably hot temperatures in recent days.

Clare Nullis, a spokeswoman for the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, said parts of Spain and France were seeing temperatures “more than 10 degrees higher – that’s huge – than the average for this time of year”.

In France, 18 million people woke up on Friday to heatwave warnings that hit about a third of the country with wildfire warning problems from the Pyrenees in the south to the Paris region.

The southern French city of Bordeaux experienced temperatures of 42.5C yesterday, while Montpellier hit 45C this week.

The heat has become such a problem in the Gironde region of south-west France that public outdoor events have been banned “until the heatwave is over”.

Indoor events at venues without air conditioning have also been banned.

In the Netherlands, people boarded trains to the nearest North Sea beach early Friday, while in Germany firefighters battled several wildfires, including one south of Berlin.

It comes as Britons were sweltering in a heat hotter than Mexico yesterday as temperatures soared above 32C.

The mercury broke early summer records for the third straight day, marking the hottest day of the year so far.

The Met Office said the heat had swelled to a scorching 32.7C in Santon Downham, Suffolk, while Heathrow recorded highs of 32.4C this afternoon.

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Sunseekers in Norwich baked in 32C heat while the scorcher in Birmingham hit 31C, Southampton 29C and Cardiff 27C.

All of this is thanks to the high pressure and toasty 40ºC air brought in from Spain and Portugal.

Flames are raging in northern Spain

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Flames are raging in northern SpainCredit: EPA
The fires have devastated almost 20,000 hectares of land in the past few days

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The fires have devastated almost 20,000 hectares of land in the past few daysPhoto credit: AFP

https://www.the-sun.com/news/5591742/brit-holiday-warning-spanish-villages-evacuated-wildfires/ UK bank holiday warning as ELF Spanish villages evacuated amid wildfires that ripped through 42C tourist hotspots

DevanCole

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