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Summer heatwaves: Wildfires mar France, Spain, Portugal

Summer heatwaves: Wildfires mar France, Spain, Portugal

Paris/Lisbon: Severe summer temperatures fanned wildfires in southwestern France and Spain on Saturday, and many were forced to be evacuated from their homes. Authorities in many parts of Europe stay alert, Reuters reported.

In the Gironde region of France, nearly 14,000 people were evacuated while 1,200 firefighters dealt with wildfires to bring it under control on Saturday.

Wildfires went high in France in recent weeks, along with the European countries Portugal and Spain. In France's Gironde region, 25,000 acres of land were caught by flames on Saturday.

France had warned 38 of its 96 departments, listing them in "orange" alert. Residents were asked to be vigilant in these areas. The temperature here is expected to climb above 40 degrees Celsius on Monday.

In Spain, temperatures already hit 45.7 C on Saturday. The week-long heatwave had taken 360 lives here, as per figures from the Carlos III Health Institute.

A wildfire in Mijas, Malaga province, had forced the evacuation of more than 3,000 people.

On 3,000 hectares of land that caught fire near Casas de Miravete in the Extremadura region, helicopters dumped water over the area causing thick plumes of black smoke. The wildfires here have threatened the Monfrague national park.

There were fires reported in the central region of Castille and Leon and in Galicia in the north.

In Portugal, temperatures dropped on Saturday after it hiked to 40 C and above earlier.

Here 98,000 acres of land were ravaged by the fires from January to mid-June, which is more than triple the area burned during the same period last year. Almost two-thirds of the mentioned area caught fire in the last week alone. The heat wave claimed 238 people in Portugal from July 7 to 13.

In Morocco, more than 4942 acres of forest burned in the northern areas of Larache, Ouazzane, Taza and Tetouane, killing a person. More than a thousand families were evacuated from their homes while efforts were going on to douse the flames.

British authorities have forecast extreme heat for parts of England on Monday and Tuesday.

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