Heat wave: Spain is on alert after a weekend of fires

Heat wave: Spain is on alert after a weekend of fires

Spain, after beating off three wildfires at the end of last week, is on alert on Monday in anticipation of the increased risk of fires caused by a new period of heat wave, the third of the summer.

• Also read: A forest fire destroyed 7,000 hectares in central Portugal

• Also read: Spain: A fire on the border with France is in the process of stabilizing

The situation is no less worrying in Portugal, where hundreds of firefighters are still deployed to fight forest fires, especially in the center and south, while the entire region is on alert due to the high temperatures.

In Spain, several provinces of Andalusia (south), Castilla-La Mancha (center), and Extremadura (west) have been placed on orange alert, with temperatures reaching 43 degrees Celsius on Monday, according to the National Meteorological Agency (EMET).

This third heat wave of the summer, which includes the entire Iberian Peninsula, is expected to peak on Wednesday and is set to last until Thursday.

Aemet therefore issued a red alert notice (synonymous with extreme danger) for Wednesday in the Madrid region, where temperatures can reach 42 to 43 degrees, and in the Andalusian province of Jaen (south), where Aemet expects 44 degrees.

“For much of the Peninsula, there is an orange alert indicating high risk,” Emmett noted on Twitter (renamed X) for the day Wednesday, predicting temperatures will range from 38 to 42 degrees.

This new heat wave comes on the heels of an intense weekend for Spanish firefighters, who battled the blazes on three fronts.

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And in Catalonia (northeast) on the Mediterranean coast on the border with France, Catalan firefighters announced Monday morning that they had “controlled” a fire that broke out on Friday and led to the burning of about 600 hectares.

The other two fires, now under control, broke out in Andalusia: one that affected about 450 hectares in the province of Huelva on Saturday and Sunday, and the other, which broke out less than ten kilometers from the city of Cadiz on Sunday afternoon, set fires in a pine forest adjacent to the city of Puerto Real, This led to the temporary closure of the motorway to Cadiz.

Catalonia and Andalusia are the two regions of Spain most affected by the drought.

More than 70,000 hectares have burned in Spain since the start of the year, a record still far from the record for 2022, when more than 300,000 hectares were destroyed, according to the European Forest Fire Information System (Effis).

On the other side of the border, a thousand Portuguese firefighters deployed early Monday afternoon to fight fires in the vicinity of Urem (center) and Odemira (south), with the support of a dozen air resources, according to the National Civil Protection Authority.

And in Odemira, near the country’s southwestern coast, the wildfire, which forced temporary evacuations on Sunday, continued to advance, fanned by winds, according to Civil Protection Commander Jose Ribeiro.

The fire, which broke out on Saturday, left nine people with minor injuries among the firefighters.

With temperatures expected to exceed 40 degrees in many central and southern regions, Portugal is also on alert due to “very high or extreme fire risks throughout the territory”.

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Experts consider that the doubling of these heat waves, as well as the increase in their duration and intensity, is the result of climate change.

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About the Author: Aldina Antunes

"Praticante de tv incurável. Estudioso da cultura pop. Pioneiro de viagens dedicado. Viciado em álcool. Jogador."

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