Heat Still Stifles Parts of Europe as Fires Burn in Greece

Parts of Europe will remain much hotter than normal this week as wild fires destroy homes and force evacuations in parts of Greece.

(Bloomberg) — Parts of Europe will remain much hotter than normal this week as wild fires destroy homes and force evacuations in parts of Greece. 

Madrid will for the next few days get temperatures of just below 40C (104F), or more than 6C above normal for the time of year, according to Maxar Technologies Inc. Red and Orange heat warnings remained in place for parts of Germany and France, respectively. 

It’s been a summer with plenty of extreme weather, ranging from wild fires to flooding and violent storms across the Northern Hemisphere. The world’s hottest month ever was recorded in July and the extreme weather increases the intensity of such events. 

Fires are still raging across parts of southeast Europe as dry, hot weather provides perfect conditions for blazes to start. A wildfire that began on Saturday morning in Alexandroupolis in northeast Greece is still burning, according to the fire brigade. The flames have forced the evacuation of 13 villages over the past two days.

The European Union will deploy two fire-fighting planes based in Cyprus and over 50 firefighters and 10 vehicles from Romania in response to the fires, the EU’s Commissioner for crisis management, Janez Lenarcic, said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. 

On Monday, another fire broke out in an area of Viotia in central Greece, with authorities asking people to evacuate a beach and two villages, while a shepherd was found dead after trying to rescue his animals. A separate fire on the island of Evia broke out on Monday and firefighters are trying to control it before it spreads. 

Temperatures in the nation will approach 40C this week at the same time as strong winds are expected, which will make it even more difficult to combat the flames. Three areas, including the greater capital Athens region, are under extreme fire danger alert on Monday and 10 more on high alert.

At the other end of the continent, the danger of rural fires is at “very high to maximum” level in inland areas of northern and central Portugal, as well as in the tourist hot spot of Algarve, according to the nation’s National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection. Temperatures could soar to as high as 44C, according to The Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere. 

Next week though, temperatures are forecast to ease with some major cities getting cooler than normal levels and it will be more than 2C below normal in London, Berlin and Rome as well as other cities, Maxar said. 

–With assistance from Sotiris Nikas.

(Updates with details on Alexandroupolis fire in Greece from fourth paragraph.)

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.