'Monster' wildfire rages in Europe as Switzerland flies water to Alpine farmers

Tinder-dry conditions are combining with winds that fan the flames

Firefighters in France battle to contain wildfire

Firefighters in France battle to contain wildfire
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Wildfires are raging across three countries in Europe as summer heatwaves keep temperatures soaring.

More than 1,000 firefighters, backed by water-bombing planes, are battling a “monster” blaze in France's southwestern Gironde region where thousands of people have been forced to evacuate.

Thousands of hectares of forest have been burnt as tinder-dry conditions combine with wind fanning the flames.

“It's an ogre, a monster,” said Gregory Allione from the French firefighters body FNSPF.

Heatwaves, floods and crumbling glaciers in recent weeks have heightened concerns over climate change and the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather around the world.

In Portugal, more than 1,500 firefighters spent a sixth day fighting a wildfire in the central Covilha region that has burned 10,500 hectares, including parts of the Serra da Estrela national park.

In Spain, electrical storms sparked new wildfires and hundreds of people were evacuated from the path of one blaze in Caceres province.

High temperatures and wildfires in Europe — in pictures

Swiss army helicopters have been sent in to supply water to farms where thirsty cows, pigs and goats sweltering under a fierce sun in the country's Alpine meadows.

In Germany, scant rainfall this summer has drained the water levels of the Rhine, the country's commercial artery, hampering shipping and pushing up freight costs.

Britain's Met Office on Thursday issued a four-day “extreme heat” warning for parts of England and Wales.

Wildfires scorch through Spain and Portugal — video

Wildfires scorch through Spain and Portugal

This photo provided Thursday July 14, 2022 by the fire brigade of the Gironde region (SDIS33) shows a wildfire near Landiras, southwestern France, Wednesday, July 13, 2022.  A spate of wildfires is scorching parts of Europe, with firefighters battling blazes in Portugal, Spain and southern France.  In France, two fires raged out of control in the region around Bordeaux in southwest France for a third consecutive day, despite efforts of 1,000 firefighters and water-dumping planes to contain them.  (SDIS 33 via AP)
Updated: August 11, 2022, 2:52 PM