The heat of around 40 degrees already predicted for the past week is now coming to Germany. Meanwhile, fires and drought are affecting parts of southern Europe. Some regions of France are on alert because of the heat.

Heat, drought and forest fires continue to affect large parts of southern Europe. In Portugal, a pilot died when his fire-fighting plane crashed. In the Italian Adriatic seaside resort of Bibione, tourists fled into the sea because of a forest fire and were rescued there by the coast guard. According to official figures, the number of heat deaths in Spain and Portugal is in the hundreds. According to the German Weather Service (DWD), Germany should reach the heat expected last week. On Tuesday it could be up to 40 degrees locally.

Portugal: A single-engine seaplane crashed on Friday afternoon for unknown reasons near the town of Vila Nova de Foz Côa in the north-east of the country, about 200 kilometers east of Porto, the Público newspaper reported, citing civil defense. The 38-year-old pilot André Serra could only be recovered dead.

The machine was involved in fighting a forest fire in the Torre de Moncorvo region. According to civil defense, 13 larger and dozens of smaller fires are currently raging in the popular holiday destination. However, tourist and larger residential areas were not in danger for the time being. A total of around 1,000 firefighters are deployed. The series of fires that started a week ago is benefiting from a drought and heat that has been going on for many months. According to the ICNF, the blaze destroyed more than 25,000 hectares in just one week – the equivalent of about 35,000 soccer fields.

Spain: 360 heat deaths within a week

Like neighboring Spain, Portugal suffers from peak temperatures of over 40 degrees. A total of 33 forest fires were recorded in Spain as of Saturday morning, 14 of which were out of control. Near Málaga, 2,300 people had to leave their homes in the city of Alhaurín el Grande because of the approaching flames, the newspaper “El País” reported.

Meanwhile, the number of heat deaths rose. In Spain, with around 47 million inhabitants, 360 people have died since last Sunday as a result of the high temperatures, according to the newspaper “La Vanguardia” on Saturday, citing the Carlos III state health institute. reported in Madrid. In Portugal, with a population of a good ten million, 238 more deaths were counted between July 7 and July 13 than in comparable periods in previous years, the state news agency Lusa reported. These deaths would be attributed to the extreme heat.

Italy: Coastguard rescues tourists from fire

In Italy, tourists in the Adriatic seaside resort of Bibione fled into the sea because of a forest fire and were rescued there by the coast guard. According to media reports, the fire in the area popular with German holidaymakers broke out on Friday afternoon. When asked on Saturday, the coast guard was initially unable to confirm whether Germans were among the rescued. Several fire brigades and a fire-fighting helicopter fought the flames on the border between the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions. The operation continued on Saturday.

Videos showed how fire ate up the trees and thick smoke rose into the sky, which could be seen from miles away. “We hope that it will not be revoked in the coming hours, but there should be no missing persons,” said the deputy mayor of San Michele al Tagliamento, Pierluigi Grosseto, the Ansa news agency. The forces fought four fires.

In connection with the extreme drought, fire brigades are currently fighting forest and bush fires nationwide in Italy. In the municipality of Gereut (Frassilongo) in Trentino, northern Italy, 90 firefighters, two helicopters and two fire-fighting aircraft responded to a forest fire in an area of ​​around 70 hectares. Firefighting continued on Saturday. The civil defense warned not to approach the area. Forest and bush fires also raged in Sicily and Sardinia.

Greece: New big fire near Heraklion

In Greece, many dozens of forest fires are currently being registered every day. While most fires can be contained relatively quickly, some can get completely out of control. The reason for this is currently the wind, which is blowing almost stormy in large parts of the country and is driving flames and sparks further. The authorities are appealing to people not to handle fire outdoors under any circumstances.

The big forest fire on Crete, which was meanwhile considered controlled, flared up again on Saturday afternoon. Strong winds fueled the flames near the village of Agios Vasilios, south of the port city of Rethymnon. Houses had to be evacuated again, as reported by the Greek media. Most recently, 132 firefighters with 40 fire-fighting trains were deployed to deal with the fire, and fire-fighting helicopters supported the fire-fighting from the air. Another fire broke out in Crete near the port city of Heraklion on Saturday.

Alert due to heat in other regions in southern France

France: On the Atlantic coast south of Bordeaux, after days of extinguishing work, there is hope that one of the two large forest fires will calm down. The prefecture of the Gironde department announced on Saturday morning that the burned area near Teste-de-Buch had not increased overnight. However, the fire is not yet under control and there is a high risk that it will flare up again.

The situation is different with the second major forest fire in the area. The fire at Landiras burned about 1,000 more hectares of land during the night. The situation remains unfavorable, winds would bring the fire to the southeast. Firefighters have been on duty since Tuesday to extinguish the two large forest fires. In total, more than 9600 hectares of land were destroyed. As a precaution, more than 12,000 people were taken from their homes or from their holiday resort to safety.

Because of the high temperatures, other regions have been put on increased alert. In 22 other departments, mostly located on the Atlantic coast, residents are recommended to be “very vigilant” for Sunday, the weather service Météo-France said on Saturday. A total of 38 out of 101 departments in France are now on increased alert. The heat wave in France with temperatures of up to 41 degrees is expected to last at least until the beginning of next week. The southwest and the south of the country are particularly affected at the moment.

Great Britain: National crisis team meets because of expected record heat

In view of expected record temperatures in Great Britain, the national crisis team (Cobra) was convened on Saturday. The British weather service Met Office had previously issued a red weather warning for parts of the country due to heat for the first time. Temperatures of up to 40 degrees are expected in large parts of England between London and Manchester on Monday and Tuesday next week. The previous temperature record is 38.7 degrees and was measured in Cambridge in 2019.

According to the German Weather Service (DWD), the 40-degree mark can also be reached locally during the heatwave expected for next week. As the forecast from Saturday shows, the provisional peak of the heat wave is to be expected on Tuesday. The temperatures reached around 35 degrees, in the southwest and west up to 39, possibly even 40 degrees, it said.

On Sunday there will be a lot of sun across the country. Denser clouds could only pull through in the north. According to the DWD, the highest temperatures are reached in the southwest. There they should climb to 25 to 31 degrees.