San Diego,CA.,October 26, 2007--Northern California fire crews work into the night clearing fireline and monitoring a backburn that was set to stop the Poomacha fire from advancing westward. Currently the fires in Southern California have burned more than 355,000 acres. FEMA photo/Andrea Booher

On Tuesday, firefighters in southern France fought large forest flames, Britain registered its highest ever temperature, and Portugal reported more than 1,000 heat-related fatalities as Europe scorched.

Southern and western Germany, as well as Belgium, were bracing for possibly record-breaking temperatures as the heatwave, blamed on climate change, moved north and east.

In Italy, many wildfires have been recorded. One of the largest fires started on Monday night in the Tuscan hills of Massarosa and was still burning on Tuesday afternoon.

“Fire continues to devour the woods in a frightening way due to the wind,” Tuscany Governor Eugenio Giani stated, citing the destruction of 365 hectares (900 acres) of land.

Fires were also recorded in Rome, as well as on the beaches of Lake Orta north of Milan and near Trieste in the northeast.

A blaze raged on the outskirts of Athens, fueled by high winds, causing officials to urge the evacuation of at least one neighbourhood.

The Met Office reported a temperature of more than 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time in Britain, and officials declared a “national emergency” due to the high temperatures.

Trains from London to the east and west coasts of the nation were cancelled, and typically bustling city centers were deserted. Network Rail posted images of bends and kinks in the rails on Twitter.

A massive fire devoured residences in the community of Wennington to the east of the city, with flames rushing through neighboring fields and reaching a historic church. The grass surrounding the capital was on fire.

Source: Reuters


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