Multiple fires after a record heat wave

AA / Oviedo, Spain / Alyssa McMurtry

As a heat wave caused by Spain’s highest temperature on record is expected to end on Monday, firefighters are working to bring dozens of wildfires under control in the country.

Spain’s national meteorological agency AEMET confirmed on Monday that a city in the southern province of Córdoba reached 47.4 °C (117.3 °F) on Saturday. This is the highest temperature ever recorded by a modern weather station in the AEMET core network.

Much of the country was hit by a severe heat wave that raised temperatures above 40 °C (104 °F). By Tuesday, summer temperatures are expected to drop further to more seasonal temperatures.

But the heat wave and the hot, dry summer that preceded it left Spain facing a powder keg.

The biggest fire of the year in Spain is going on in the central region of Avila. It has devastated more than 12,000 hectares so far and forced nearly 1,000 residents to evacuate their homes.

Local officials said on Monday it was about 90 percent under control.

At the same time, on Monday, firefighters extinguished another fierce fire in the Valencia region. It was triggered by lightning and forced 300 people to leave their homes in the city of Azubar over the weekend.

Minor wildfires have been reported across the country, especially in Galicia, Cordoba and Madrid. In the Castile-La Mancha area, local officials said they had to deal with about 20 wildfires that broke out over the weekend.

According to AEMET, at least 90% of Spanish territory is under “extreme risk” of wildfire.

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At this stage, there have been no deaths and no injuries due to the fire.

*Translated from English by Mourad Belhajo

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