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

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

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

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

Updated: August 11, 2022, 2:52 PM
EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL