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WEATHER

Spain hit by more wildfires as heatwave continues

Spain was hit by more wildfires as temperatures remained sky-high in the Europe-wide heatwave, authorities said Saturday, just as firefighters finally managed to contain another blaze they had been tackling for nearly 72 hours.

Spain hit by more wildfires as heatwave continues
Burned trees near Flix, Catalonia on June 28th. Photo: AFP

A fire that started Friday evening in the central town of Almorox had already burnt at least 1,600 hectares, spilling over into the Madrid region and forcing the evacuation of a village, emergency services said.

Another blaze near the city of Toledo some 60 kilometres away also forced the evacuation of 22 residents, as water-dropping aircraft assisted firefighters on the ground amid strong winds, according to the regional government.

Meanwhile, a major blaze in the northeastern region of Catalonia had finally been contained and “was in the process of being stabilised,” the regional government said in a statement.

But it warned that a small part of the blaze remained of concern.

“Today the weather conditions continue to be extreme and the next hours will be critical and decisive, not just for this fire, but also for the rest of the territory,” it said.

The fires come as Europe is hit by a major heatwave, with temperatures in some parts of France reaching record highs.

Spain's weather agency said temperatures on Saturday would be above 36 degrees Celsius in a large part of the country, and would likely reach or go over 40°C in the centre including Madrid and south.

In parts of the northeast, meanwhile, they were expected to soar to 42°C.

Meteorologists blame a blast of hot air from northern Africa for scorching temperatures early in the European summer, but the heatwave is due to die down from Sunday.

READ ALSO: Jajaja: Here are the best (and truest) memes on Spain's heatwave

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WEATHER

Spain urges holidaymakers to head home early due to snow and strong wind warnings

Nine Spanish regions were put on alert on Tuesday for heavy snow, rain and strong winds, with the country's traffic authorities calling for people taking holidays this long weekend to head home early to avoid the worst of the bad weather.

Spain urges holidaymakers to head home early due to snow and strong wind warnings
Vehicles stuck in traffic due to a heavy snowfall near Burgos, northern Spain, in March 2021. Photo: Cesar Manso/AFP

Aragón, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Navarra and the Basque Country will be on orange alert from Tuesday for snow storms, while Asturias, Cantabria, La Rioja and La Comunidad Valenciana are on the less-severe yellow alert, Spain’s State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) announced.

A slight increase in temperatures will increase the risk of avalanches in the Pyrenees and the central Cantabrian mountain range.

Some roads in the north of the country are already being affected by snow and are being restricted to some traffic such as trucks and heavy vehicles.

Spain’s traffic authority (DGT) called on residents in the northern half of the country to return early from the puente (long weekend) marked by the public holidays of December 6 and 8, ahead of heavy snow forecast for Wednesday.

Of the 108 main roads affected by the heavy snow in Spain, almost half of them are in the northeastern region Aragón.

Aragón, Catalonia and Navarra are at risk of avalanches, according to data from Aemet, while a storm warning has been issued for the coastal areas of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Catalonia and the Basque country.

Heavy rainfall is expected in Galicia, extending to Cantabria and the western Pyrenees.

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