Fires sweep much of Europe as countries swelter in the heat

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PARIS
Dozens of wildfires have hit countries across northern Europe and Greece as a heatwave continues to hold across much of the continent.
The fires have been particularly devastating in the Attica region around Athens, where dozens of people have died.
Here is a round up of the impact of the fires and the soaring temperatures.
– Greece –
Greece’s deadliest blazes in more than a decade have left 60 dead after wildfires ravaged the seaside areas around Athens.
The bodies of 26 people, including small children, were discovered in the courtyard of a villa at the seaside resort of Mati — the devastation blamed on winds of more than 100 kilometres per hour (60 mph) forcing the flames through the village.
More than 160 people have been wounded, including several children, the government said.
– Sweden –
Sweden’s emergency services said Tuesday there are 21 active wildfires across the country as much of Scandinavia baked in a heatwave.
Some 25,000 hectares (62,000 acres) of land has already gone up in smoke or continues to burn — an area twice the size of the city of Paris.
Authorities on Monday warned of an “extreme” risk of new outbreaks in the south of the country due to high temperatures.
– Finland –
In Finland’s northernmost Lapland province — which calls itself the “official home” of Santa Claus — fires have ravaged woods and grassland close to the border with Russia.
– Norway –
Norway, which experienced its hottest May temperatures on record, has experienced several small fires.
One firefighter was killed on July 15 trying to contain a blaze.
– Latvia –
Fires have raged for almost a week in Latvia, destroying more than 800 hectares in the Baltic state’s western regions.
– Germany –
The German Meteorological Service DWD has warned of a significant risk of fires in fields and forests due to drought.
It forecast daytime temperatures to reach between 30 and 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) during the week.
– UK –
Parts of the UK continue to experience a prolonged heatwave.
The government has issued a “heat-health watch” alert for much of east and south-east England.
– The Netherlands –
The Dutch National Institute for Public Health has issued a heat warning for the whole week, warning air quality was likely to be “bad” for much of the country.
Twelve bridges in Amsterdam have been closed as the extreme heat could buckle the metal, the NOS public broadcaster reported. AFP

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