Spain wildfires threaten homes amid Europe heatwave and drought warnings

A firefighter looks at the forest fire burning in Canon de Almadenes, one of three sites consumed by fire in Cieza, southeastern Spain, early 7 August 2015
Wildfires have forced more than 1,400 people to leave their homes in western Spain as dry, hot conditions spark warnings in other European countries
Towns and campsites have been evacuated as planes and helicopters help to tackle the blaze in Spain’s Sierra de Gata mountain area.
Nearly 80% of neighbouring Portugal is experiencing severe or extreme drought conditions, experts say.
Meanwhile Germany is facing its hottest temperatures on record.
Meteorologists say temperatures in Germany’s south could exceed the country’s all-time high of 40.3C (105F) on Friday.
The current record was measured on 5 July in the town of Kitzingen in Bavaria.
Exceptionally dry
Some 330 firefighters and other emergency crew members were deployed as fires, fanned by strong winds, threatened homes in Spain’s Extremadura region in the early hours of Friday, according to reports.
The blaze has burned more than 5,000 hectares (12,400 acres), local police said in a statement (in Spanish).
More fires destroyed about 3,000 hectares of forest and scrubland near the towns of Lorca and Cieza, near Murcia, in the south-east of the country.
Exceptionally dry conditions, rising temperatures and moderate winds have also increased the risk of forest fires in Portugal, officials there said.
The Portuguese Weather and Sea Institute said in a monthly report published on Thursday that average rainfall in July was only 3.5mm (0.1 inches). The usual amount for July is almost 14mm.
Warnings are also in place for extreme heat in eastern France.
But the UK is forecast to see temperatures peak at about 25C over the weekend.
Courtesy of BBC News

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