EUROPEAN CAPITALS, 16th July, 2022 (WAM) -- Wildfires raged in southwestern France and Spain on Saturday, forcing thousands of people to be evacuated from their homes as blistering summer temperatures put authorities on alert in parts of Europe, Reuters reported.
More than 12,200 people had been evacuated from France's Gironde region by Saturday morning as more than 1,000 firefighters battled to bring the flames under control, regional authorities said in a statement.
In neighbouring Spain, firefighters were battling a series of blazes on Saturday after days of unusually high temperatures which reached up to 45.7 degrees Celsius. The nearly week-long heatwave has caused 360 heat-related deaths, according to figures from the Carlos III Health Institute.
More than 3,000 people have now been evacuated from homes due to a large wildfire near Mijas, a town in the province of Malaga that is popular with northern European tourists, the region's emergency services said in a tweet early on Saturday.
Elsewhere in Spain, fires burned in parts of the Extremadura region, close to the Portuguese border, where members of Spain's Military Emergency Unit were deployed to help tackle the flames, and in the central Castille and Leon region.
Moreover, Portugal's Health Ministry said 238 people had died as a result of the heatwave between July 7 and 13, most of them elderly people with underlying conditions.