A heat wave sweeping most of the Iberian Peninsula sparked the first of three wildfires in Spain on Thursday. All three are located in the northeast of the country. Spanish and Portuguese authorities raised the alert level in both countries.
The Spanish Ministry of Environmental Transformation announced in a tweet that it had sent nine firefighting planes to deal with the three fires in Aragon, La Rioja and Catalonia. Firefighting aircraft must assist the regional emergency services.
The worst fire occurred in Catalonia, in a protected forest area of 41 hectares on the coast in the province of Tarragona.
Fire risks in large parts of Spain are estimated as “extreme” on Thursday and Friday by the AEMET weather service. In Portugal, the weather service in the north and center of the country has put the risk of fire at its highest level.
The fires are the result of a heat wave that will cause temperatures to exceed 40 degrees Celsius through Monday. Therefore, in the tourist region of Catalonia, camping in the forest or sports activities in the countryside are prohibited. Some agricultural activities are also prohibited at certain times.