Jul 18, 2022 - Energy & Environment

In photos: Wildfires raging across Europe force thousands to flee

Firefighters try to control a forest fire near Louchats in Gironde, southwestern France on July 17.
Firefighters try to control a forest fire near Louchats in Gironde, southwestern France on July 17. Photo: Thibaud Moritz/AFP via Getty Images

Wildfires are spreading across Europe and forcing more people to flee as a deadly heat wave envelopes much of the continent that officials warn is being aggravated by climate change.

The big picture: Firefighters are tackling blazes in searing heat in France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Croatia and Slovenia, as well as Morocco's northern mountains — where a forest fire killed at least one person and caused over 1,000 families to evacuate.

  • More than 28,000 people have fled blazes in southwestern France, per the AP, where several regions were on high alert for potentially record temperatures on Monday.
  • About 3,200 residents were evacuated from Spain's Mijas hills, though some have since returned, per the BBC, which notes over 1,000 heat-related deaths have been recorded in Spain and fire-ravaged Portugal in recent days.

What to watch: Though officials say the fires in Portugal have been contained, they warn the risk remains high after temperatures of up to 108°F were forecast for this week, per the Guardian.

Meanwhile, British farmers have expressed concern about the threat of crop fires after the U.K. Met Office issued its first-ever Red warning for extreme heat— predicting there's an 80% chance the national temperature record of 101.66°F (38.7°C) will be beaten by Wednesday.

In photos
A fire at the Pont of Vilomara burns uncontained across thousands of acres on July 17, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain.
People watch a wildfire at El Pont of Vilomara, north of Barcelona, Spain, after burning across more than 2,000 acres in a few hours on July 17. Photo: Gian Marco Benedetto/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Fire coming from Portugal, on 17 July, 2022 in Oimbra, Ourense, Galicia, Spain.
A fire traveling from Portugal to Oimbra, Ourense in Galicia, Spain, on July 17. Photo: Rosa Veiga/Europa Press via Getty Images
 A helicopter is pictured from Alhaurin de la Torre as it drops water over a wildfire in Sierra de Mijas mountain range in Malaga province on July 15.
A helicopter drops water over a wildfire in the Sierra de Mijas mountain range of southern Spain on July 15. Photo: Jorge Guerrero/AFP via Getty Images
Tourists look at the plume of dark smoke on the shoreline of Arcachon from the peer in Andernos-les-Bains, due to a wildfire in a forest near La Teste, southwestern France, on July 14.
Tourists view the plume of dark smoke on the shoreline of Arcachon from the pier in Andernos-les-Bains, due to a wildfire in a forest near La Teste, southwestern France, on July 14. Flames reached the beaches of La Lagune and Petit Nice and Europe’s tallest sand dune, the Dune du Pilat, on July 17, per AP. Photo: Olivier Morin/AFP via Getty Images
A tanker plane drops water on a fire that destroyed dozens of acres of land in Sassari province today on July 11, 2022 in Aggius, Sassari, Italy.
Fire destroys dozens of acres of land at Aggius, in the Sassari province of the autonomous island region of Sardinia, Italy, on July 11. Four fires are burning on the island and dozens more blazes are raging across mainland Italy as of July 18, per data from NASA"s Fire Information for Resource Management System. Photo: Emanuele Perrone/Getty Images
A forest ranger sprays water from a hose on a forest fire near the Moroccan city of Ksar el-Kebir in the Larache region, on July 15.
A forest ranger tackling a blaze near the city of Ksar el-Kebir in the Larache region of Morocco on July 15. Photo: Fadel SennaE/AFP via Getty Images

Go deeper: Historic heat wave, wildfires hit Europe as temperatures climb in U.S.

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