Hot weekend for Europe, forest fire warning issued for the Mediterranean region

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People flocked to parks and swimming pools across Western Europe on Saturday for some respite from an early heat wave that saw the mercury top 40C (104F) in France and Spain, and highs of 38°C (100.4F) in Germany.

Officials have warned of wildfires in the western Mediterranean region as high temperatures and a long dry spell have created combustible conditions.

The European Commission’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service said the fire risk was extreme and very extreme in much of Spain, the Rhone Valley in France, Sardinia, Sicily and parts of the mainland Italy.

The 27-nation bloc has put 12 firefighting planes and a helicopter on standby to help countries battling major fires this summer.

Meteorologists in France described the situation as truly exceptional and predicted that a peak of 43C (109.4F) could be reached on Saturday before thunderstorms bring cooler weather from the Atlantic.

Experts say the early heat wave is a sign of what is to come, as climate change makes extreme temperatures normally seen only in July and August more likely in June as well.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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