Hot Weekend for Europe, Officials Warn of Extreme Fire Risk

Hot Weekend for Europe, Officials Warn of Extreme Fire Risk
People enjoy the beach, near to the Baltic Sea in Warnemunde, Germany, on June 18, 2022. (Jens Buttner/dpa via AP)

BERLIN—People flocked to parks and pools across Western Europe on Saturday for a bit of respite from an early heat wave that saw the mercury rise above 40 C (104 F) in France and Spain.

In Germany, where highs of 38 C (100.4 F) were expected, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach urged vulnerable groups to stay hydrated.

“Heat and too little fluids can be deadly for older people,” Lauterbach wrote on Twitter. “We need to keep an eye on the elderly and those with disabilities today.”

Meanwhile, officials warned of wildfires across the western Mediterranean region as high temperatures and a long dry spell made for combustible conditions.

The European Commission’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service said the fire risk was “extreme” and “very extreme” in much of Spain, the Rhone river valley in France, Sardinia, Sicily, and parts of mainland Italy.

The 27-nation bloc has put 12 firefighting planes and a helicopter on standby to assist countries struggling with major blazes this summer.

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