Tuesday. 05.07.2022
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Spanish heatwave eases, but forest fires continue to rage

The worst fire in the Sierra de la Culebra in north-western Spain near Portugal was brought under control, however, thanks to falling temperatures and occasional rain

19 June 2022, Spain, Maquirriain: A firefighter arrives to the Maquirriain area after advancing the Ujue fire. This is one of the fires that remain active in the region. Photo: Eduardo Sanz/EUROPA PRESS/dpa.
19 June 2022, Spain, Maquirriain: A firefighter arrives to the Maquirriain area after advancing the Ujue fire. This is one of the fires that remain active in the region. Photo: Eduardo Sanz/EUROPA PRESS/dpa.

After several days of scorching heat, temperatures in large parts of Spain finally dropped below 40 degrees Celsius on Sunday.

In the northern city of Zaragoza, temperatures were forecast to reach a mere 34 degrees, down from up to 42 degrees on Saturday.

The extreme and unusually early heat also eased to an agreeable level on the popular holiday island of Mallorca, where thermometers showed some 30 degrees, but forest fires that had broken out there a few days earlier continued to rage.

Meanwhile firefighters were still battling five active forest fires in the northern autonomous community of Navarre, according to the regional government, which said the situation was "very critical," as winds were making the fires unpredictable.

Residents from smaller villages nearby, including Etxarren, Arzoz, Muskiz and San Martín de Unx, had been evacuated.

The worst fire in the Sierra de la Culebra in north-western Spain near Portugal was brought under control, however, thanks to falling temperatures and occasional rain.

The blaze had already destroyed some 25,000 hectares of forest.

Fires in Catalonia

According to the regional government in Catalonia, most forest fires had been extinguished or brought under control there too.

A spokesperson for Spain's meteorological service Aemet, Rubén del Campo, said that the country would see more and longer heatwaves in the future due to climate change.

Last year, an all-time record of 47.4 degrees Celsius was recorded in Montoro, Andalusia, in August.

In an interview with Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, del Campo said that the 50-degree mark would certainly be reached at some point.

Spanish heatwave eases, but forest fires continue to rage
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