Cooler weather helps Spain with fires; rain helps in Germany
Cooler temperatures helped firefighters stabilize a wildfire in northwestern Spain on Monday, the largest on record in the country, according to reports.
The fire in the Sierra de Culebra Mountains in Zamora province has so far set fire to 31,000 hectares (77,000 acres). State news agency Efe said it was the largest ever since a fire in southwestern Huelva province in 2004 destroyed nearly 30,000 hectares.
Although the Zamora fire was not fully contained, there are no more flames and the fire is not spreading, authorities said Monday.
A drop in rising temperatures allowed some 650 firefighters, supported by water-draining aircraft, to establish a perimeter around the blaze that started Wednesday. In the past week, people from 18 villages had to be evacuated.
Elsewhere, 900 people were evacuated from 13 villages in the northern region of Navarra, where two wildfires were still raging.
Spain is on the lookout for an outbreak of severe forest fires as the country experienced record temperatures in many places in June last week. Experts link the abnormally hot period for Europe to climate change.
In Germany, heavy showers overnight and Monday largely helped put out two major wildfires about 20 kilometers (12½ miles) apart southwest of Berlin. Officials said hundreds of people were able to return to their homes after being evacuated as a precaution over the weekend. Roads were also reopened.
Hundreds of firefighters stayed on the scene for fear the wind could stir up smoldering embers.
Spain and Germany fight wildfires amid unusual heatwave
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