IRISH tourists to Spain have been warned of an urgent wildfire alert as temperatures are set to soar to 44C this week.
There is a “very extreme danger” of fires across large parts of southern Spain and Portugal, emergency chiefs have warned as they face a fresh wave of summer heat.
The Copernicus Emergency Management Service predicted that the forest fires would be most severe in the regions of Andalusia and Extremadura, in the south and west respectively.
The Spanish meteorological agency AEMET has also issued a red alert due to extreme conditions in the cities of Seville and Badajoz for July 13, when the mercury is expected to reach searing highs of 44C in those areas.
They also issued an orange warning for large parts of central and southern Spain, where highs of 41C are expected.
While Spain’s east coast, a favorite with Irish tourists, won’t be as badly affected, temperatures are expected to soar to 37C in hotspots like Valencia, Alicante and the island of Majorca.
The famed Costa Del Sol has avoided the harshest conditions as the tourist center of Malaga is set to hit highs of 31C while the Canary Islands sit at a comfortable 27C.
The AEMET expects a slight reprieve on Friday July 15, where temperatures are expected to drop slightly, but significant drops are not expected until next Monday.
AEMET also warned of cloudiness and scattered thunderstorms across the country, but rainfall levels will remain low due to the movement of a hot, dry air mass from Africa to the north.
And Carlow Weather expert Alan O’Reilly said the charts show possible highs of 45C for some areas, tweeting: ‘Maximum temperature forecast of 45C in Portugal and Spain later this week and up to 47°C in the south of France early next week.”
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Spanish nights are also expected to be warm with temperatures around 25°C.
The Spanish Ministry of Health has launched a series of recommendations for tourists in the face of this week’s heatwave to minimize health risks.
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks
- Pay particular attention to infants, pregnant women, the elderly and people whose conditions are aggravated by heat
- Stay in cool, shady areas
- Reduce physical activity in direct sunlight
- Wear loose, light clothing
- Never leave anyone in a locked vehicle
- Eat light meals that help replenish salts lost through sweat (fruits, vegetables, juices, etc.)
Spain’s last heat wave of the summer has once again been blamed on the rise of hot air from Africa.
Their May heat wave was unprecedented as temperatures soared 15C above average, making it the hottest month this century.
The country has also lost thousands of hectares of land to forest fires this year.
In light of this, AEMET said fire weather early warnings are essential to protect both people and ecosystems.
They urged anyone who sees fire or smoke in their area to immediately call emergency services on 112.