Wildfires Tear Through Europe As Deadly Heat Wave Continues


Temperatures are hitting record-breaking highs throughout Europe, with the United Kingdom issuing heat advisories for the coming week and firefighters struggling to contain wildfires in France, Spain and Portugal.

Key Facts

Spain was dealing with at least 17 wildfires, Reuters reported, with one city in northwest Spain setting a record temperature of 109.76 degrees Tuesday.

Portugal has reported 238 excess deaths due to the heatwave from July 7 to July 13, while Spain has seen 84.

Britain issued its first-ever red warning for extreme heat, the Independent reported, meaning that weather could cause “serious illness or danger to life.”

The U.K. was also set to issue a first-ever Level 4 national emergency due to the heatwave, with temperatures expected to rise above 104 degrees next week – previously, the highest recorded temperature in Britain was 101.7 degrees, reached in Cambridge in 2019.

The World Meteorological Organization said Friday that the heatwave will trap atmospheric pollutants, causing air quality to decrease, especially in urban areas.

Key Background

This is not the first heat wave for Europe this season. In June, temperatures in Madrid rose to 105 degrees, leading state authorities to declare the earliest major heat wave in 40 years. Spain and France also had their hottest May on record, the Washington Post reported.

Interesting Fact

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has warned snake owners to be “extra vigilant,” as the heat makes it more likely for the reptiles to escape.

Further Reading

Heatwave scorches Europe; health warnings issued (Reuters)

European cities set all-time temperature records amid unrelenting heat wave (CNN)

Hundreds evacuated from homes as wildfires spread in France (Al Jazeera)

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/juliecoleman/2022/07/15/wildfires-tear-through-europe-as-deadly-heat-wave-continues/