UK drought, heatwave rages fires in France

Firefighters from across Europe came to the rescue in France to fight the massive bushfires on Friday.Fires were also raging in Portugal and parts of Britain faced a severe drought.

Much of Europe is facing weeks of baking temperatures that have dried up the water levels of Germany’s Rhine and have seen the water sources of Britain’s Thames drier further downstream than before.

In Gironde, southwestern France, the risk of new fires is high due to worsening heat and drought, local officials said. The fires, which have been burning for days, have consumed thousands of hectares and displaced 10,000 people, despite an overnight delay. Man.

Firefighters from Germany, Romania, Greece and others have been dispatched to the scene to help France fight fires in the region, home of Bordeaux wine, and on other fronts, including Brittany in the northwest.

“Country doesn’t matter. We are firefighters and we are there to help.”

French Commander-in-Chief Stephanie Martin welcomed their support in an area that had already fought major fires for weeks last month. It’s really good support for us, so we can also focus on other operations,” she said.

But while France’s third heat wave is expected to end on Sunday, which could bring some relief, fires have already destroyed more than 7,400 hectares (18,286 acres) of forest, including Much destruction remains. Cities such as Nice.

What firefighters called a “monster fire” also destroyed homes, including the ancestral home of the family of Juliette Piran, a 19-year-old student from Bellin-Belliers in the center of the Gironde.

Wildfires in southwestern France

“It’s complicated to process this news. It’s the house the family has lived in for years and it’s especially painful for the grandparents,” Piran told Reuters.

“There was all my great-grandparents’ furniture there, my great-grandmother’s books and encyclopedias… We cried a lot, but we are still here, thinking it was just property damage.”

In central Portugal, massive wildfires plunged into the seventh day as 1,600 firefighters, supported by 13 hydrogen bombers, including those from Spain, destroyed about 15 fires in the Estrela Mountains National Park. You fought the fire that destroyed the %.

After starting in the Covilha district on Saturday, the fires have spread to several neighboring municipalities, burning some 15,000 hectares overall.

Meanwhile, water levels in Germany’s Rhine have fallen again, making some ships no longer navigable, shippers and brokers said. read more

Further north, a heatwave is raging in Britain, with the government officially declaring drought after a period of hot, dry weather in parts of southern, central and eastern England.

England has had its driest July since 1935, with only 35% average rainfall for the month, and parts of England and Wales are now in the midst of a four-day ‘heatwave’ warning.

Water Minister Steve Double said after a meeting of the National Drought Group, “All water companies have assured us that essential supplies are still safe. We have made it clear that it is their duty to maintain.”

Businesses will begin enacting pre-agreed drought plans to protect supplies, and the government has urged the public and businesses in drought-affected areas to use water wisely. said.

Earlier on Friday, Yorkshire’s water authority announced that the hosepipe ban would begin on 26 August. This prohibits customers from using hoses to water gardens, wash cars, and fill paddling pools.

All over France, water use is also restricted and the water police impose fines. Local media have reported that an outdoor jacuzzi has been destroyed in a Vosges tourist area as tensions over water escalate.

Reuters UK drought, heatwave rages fires in France

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