Europe weather: Portugal, Spain and France on fire as ongoing heatwave spark raging blazes

France: Fires rage in Bordeaux for third consecutive day

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France has seen fires erupt in forests in the southwest region of Bordeaux this week with emergency responders struggling to prevent the spread. Similar scenes have been recorded across Europe as the continent faces unprecedently hot weather and high temperatures. 

Firefighters in Bordereaux have been battling forest fires for the third straight day 

The blazes have resulted in over 6,000 residents and campers being evacuated.

Footage from Sky News shows brush on fire and emergency services scramble to put out the blazes.

It comes as thousands of firefighters battle more than 20 blazes that raged on Wednesday across Portugal and western Spain.

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The World Meteorological Organisation warned on Tuesday the heat wave was spreading and intensifying in large parts of Europe.

In France, hundreds of firefighters, supported by six water-bomber aircraft, battled two wildfires in the southwest, which prompted the evacuation of thousands of campers, Gironde prefect Fabienne Buccio said.

In Santiago de Guarda in the central Portuguese district of Leiria, Albertina Francisco struggled to hold back tears as a cloud of black smoke billowed over the tiny village.

“It was very hard,” said Francisco, 42, who was helping her sick sister evacuate.

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“Nobody helped – the firefighters and the (water-bomber) aircraft only got here now…The state must do more to help us.”

Some villagers rescued pets while others helped firefighters battle the flames.

In Leiria, where over 3,000 hectares have burned so far, authorities blocked major motorways and side streets as strong winds made it harder for firefighters to fight the flames.

Portugal’s most important highway, connecting its capital Lisbon to Porto, was also blocked due to another fire farther north.

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Nearly 900 firefighters were combating three active blazes in Leiria alone, while in the whole of mainland Portugal there were 2,841 firefighters on the ground and 860 vehicles.

In Portugal’s southern Algarve region, popular with tourists, a fire broke out in the city of Faro and spread to the Quinta do Lago luxury resort. Videos shared online showed flames edging close to villas, burning palm trees and parts of golf courses.

About half of drought-hit Portugal will remain on red alert for extreme heat conditions on Thursday, with the highest temperatures expected in the Santarem and Castelo Branco districts, the IPMA weather institute said.

Wednesday’s highest temperature was registered in the central town of Lousa at 46.3 degrees, one degree below a 2003 record.

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