Spain fights forest fires in northwest


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Madrid (AFP) – Spanish firefighters struggled on Saturday to contain wildfires that have ravaged large swathes of the northwest as a third wave of summer heat grips the country.

Firefighters were battling six fires in Galicia that burned nearly 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres).

Some 700 people have been evacuated from the area around Boiro, where a fire broke out on Thursday, according to regional officials.

But no casualties have been reported so far.

“The situation remains complicated. Helicopters are not enough to control all the houses”, wrote on Facebook the mayor of A Pobra do Caraminal, Xose Lois Pinero.

Near the town of Verin, near the border with Portugal, authorities managed to contain a fire that broke out on Wednesday and is suspected to have been arson, the government of Galicia said.

Temperatures peaked at 40.9 degrees Celsius (105.62 Fahrenheit) on Thursday, according to the national weather agency. They have since eased but are expected to remain around 35C across much of the country on Saturday.

Scientists say human-induced climate change is making extreme weather events, including heat waves and droughts, more frequent and intense. They in turn increase the risk of fires, which emit greenhouse gases that warm the climate.

Spain has faced 366 wildfires so far this year, fueled by scorching temperatures and drought conditions.


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