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Wildfires rage in Catalonia amid soaring heatwave temperatures

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By AFP  with Euronews
A view of burned landscape after forest fires affected the area near to Miranda de Arga.
A view of burned landscape after forest fires affected the area near to Miranda de Arga.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos

Spanish rescue services are fighting several forest fires amid an unusual heatwave on the Iberian peninsula.

Temperatures in the country have exceeded 40°C in some areas, complicating efforts by firefighters

The most concerning fire broke out near Baldomar, in the northeastern province of Lleida in Catalonia.

The Catalan regional government says the blaze has already destroyed more than 500 hectares of trees and has "the potential" to spread to 20,000 hectares.

No civilians have been evacuated at this stage but authorities have confined some residential areas as a precautionary measure. In Catalonia, two other active forest fires have burned almost 300 more hectares.

In the northern region of Navarre, firefighters managed to control two other forest fires during the night, the regional emergency services said on Thursday morning.

In Lleida, temperatures of up to 41°C are expected on Thursday, according to the Spanish Meteorological Agency (Aemet).

The unusual heatwave has caused temperatures to soar across the country since last weekend and is expected to last until Saturday.

The increase in heat waves in Europe is a direct consequence of global warming, climate scientists say.