France’s often-temperate Brittany region sweltered with a record 39.3 C (102.7 F) degrees in the port of Brest, surpassing a high of 35.1 C that had stood since , French weather service Meteo-France said.
Regional records in France were broken in over a dozen towns, as the weather service said Monday was “the hottest day of this heat wave.”
Croatia sent a water-dropping plane there to help after struggling last week with its own wildfires along the Adriatic Sea. A fire in Sibenik forced some people to evacuate their homes but was later extinguished.
In Portugal, much cooler weather Monday helped fire crews make progress. More than 600 firefighters attended four major fires in northern Portugal.
Leicester reported from Le Pecq. Associated Press journalists Danica Kirka and Jill Lawless in London, Geir Moulson in Berlin, Raquel Redondo in Madrid, Barry Hatton in Lisbon, Portugal, and Jovana Gec from Belgrade, Serbia, contributed.
People sit covering their heads from the sun after a scaled down version of the Changing of the Guard ceremony took place outside Buckingham Palace, during hot weather in London, Monday, . (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Two people were killed in the blazes in Spain that its prime minister linked to global warming, saying, “Climate change kills.”
That toll comes on top of the hundreds of heat-related deaths reported in the Iberian peninsula, as high temperatures have gripped the continent in recent days and triggered wildfires from Portugal to the Balkans. Some areas, including northern Italy, are also experiencing extended droughts. Climate change makes such life-threatening extremes less of a rarity – and heat waves have come even to places like Britain, which braced for possible record-breaking temperatures.
The hot weather in the U.K. was expected to be so severe this week that train operators warned it could warp the rails and some schools set up wading pools to help children cool off.
“The fire is literally exploding,” said Marc Vermeulen, the regional fire service chief who described tree trunks shattering as flames consumed them, sending burning embers into the air and further spreading the blazes.
Authorities evacuated more towns, moving another 14,900 people from areas that could find themselves in the path of the fires and choking smoke. In all, more than 31,000 people have been forced from their homes and summer vacation spots in the Gironde region since the wildfires began July 12.
Three additional planes were sent to join six others fighting the fires, scooping up seawater and making repeated runs through dense clouds of smoke, the Interior Ministry said Sunday night.
More than 200 reinforcements headed to join the 1,500 firefighters trying to contain the blazes in the Gironde, where flames neared prized vineyards and billowed smoke across the Arcachon ed for its oysters and beaches.
Spain, meanwhile, reported a second fatality in two days in its own blazes. The body of a 69-year-old sheep farmer was found Monday in the same hilly area where a 62-year-old firefighter died a day earlier when he was trapped by flames in the northwestern Zamora province. More than 30 forest fires around Spain have forced the evacuation of thousands of people and blackened 220 square kilometers (85 square miles) of forest and scrub.