Summer heat sizzles Europe

A warm air mass from north Africa has caused temperatures to skyrocket into the 40s C throughout the Iberian Peninsula challenging all-time heat records in Europe.

Lisbon, Portugal set a new maximum for 04 August at 44°C and even overnight lows are barely falling below 30°C.

Hundreds of firefighters are battling wildfires in the Algarve region and in neighbouring Spain.

The water in some rivers has become so overheated that fish are dying on a mass scale.

Forecasters say the heat is moving east and will affect France and Germany over the next few days.

The hottest temperature ever recorded in Europe is 48°C (118.4°F) set in Athens, Greece in July 1977.

Northeastern Ontario burning

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Helicopter drops water on eastern flank of Parry Sound 33 fire, 30 July 2018 (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)

A forest fire in northeastern Ontario is edging dangerously close to the Trans Canada Highway which links the northern and southern parts of the province.

Known as Parry Sound 33, the fire has burned more than 100 square kilometres since it began on 18 July and smoke has been creating poor air quality.

Many small communities, south of Greater Sudbury, are either being evacuated or are on alert to leave at a moment’s notice.

More than 600 firefighters from across North America have arrived to help battle this blaze and dozens of others across the region.

Wildfires rage in California

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Wildfires burning in northern California, 29 July 2018 (Google Maps)

The largest of California’s wildfires has claimed five lives and destroyed more than 500 buildings near the city of Redding in the northern part of the state.

Fire officials say the blaze has grown in size to about 360 square kilometres thanks to hot, dry conditions and gusty winds.

Sparks from a vehicle ignited the fire on 23 July and now many of Redding’s 92,000 residents are on evacuation notice.

Further south, crews have made progress containing a wildfire outside Yosemite National Park but heavy smoke has closed the Yosemite Valley until next weekend.

Major flooding in B.C.

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Flooding in Grand Forks, BC, 11 May 2018 (Regional District of Kootenay Boundary)

A combination of heavy rain, warm temperatures and rapid snowmelt from the mountains has created major flooding in Interior British Columbia.

About 4,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes mainly in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

At the confluence of two rivers – the Granby and the Kettle – the city of Grand Forks has been hardest hit where firefighters have rescued dozens by boat.

The province has issued evacuation orders or alerts in six other regional districts and eight First Nations.

Officials say this spring’s flooding is worse than the devastating floods of 1948.

Sizzling heat Down Under

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Crowded Bondi Beach during heat wave in Sydney, NSW, Australia, 07 Jan 2018 (European Pressphoto Agency)


A recent heat wave in Australia was so severe that asphalt melted on some highways, firefighters had to battle wildfires and bats fell out of trees after literally boiling to death.

The daytime high reached a scorching 47.3 C in a western suburb of Sydney on Sunday which was the hottest since 1939 and while Melbourne was cooler, the thermometer still climbed to 40 C.

Beaches were so crowded in Sydney, there was virtually no room to move around.

While it is the height of summer Down Under, the normal January high in the New South Wales capital city is 27 C with an overnight low of 20 C.

California wildfires prompt massive evacuation

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Man watches wildfire in Ventura, CA, USA, 06 Dec 2017 (AP)

More than 200,000 residents have been evacuated in Southern California as hot, dry Santa Ana winds fan the flames of aggressive wildfires.

The winds which blow westward from the Mohave Desert are forecast to gust up to 130 km/h before subsiding by this weekend.

Firefighters say it will be virtually impossible to fight the blazes in those conditions.

Hundreds of homes surrounding Los Angeles have burned to the ground and the fires have even been jumping freeways.

Heavy rainfall earlier this year helped suppress a lengthy drought but a record hot summer has created extremely parched conditions.

Deadly wildfires in California 

Wildfires destroy entire neighbourhoods in Santa Rosa, CA, USA, 11 Oct 2017 (Getty Images)


Fire officials say wildfires will get worse before getting better in the wine country of northern California.

High winds and dry conditions have fuelled the flames destroying entire neighbourhoods in Santa Rosa and at least 13 wineries been either damaged or completely wiped out.

The death toll stands at about 30 with many residents being found in their homes not being able to escape the fires.

More than 3,500 homes and buildings have been destroyed so far and firefighters continue knocking on doors trying to evacuate thousands more being affected by the catastrophic blazes.

Rain… finally!

Location of forest fire, south of Riverview, NB (Google Maps)

Some much needed rain finally fell over parts of New Brunswick early this morning which helped firefighters who are battling a number of forest fires.

A fire about 3 km south of Riverview town limits is now considered “under control” and officials say the rain helped and ground crews are now focusing on hot spots.

The fire was reported on Saturday morning and was attacked by several water bombers and crews from the Department of Natural Resources, Riverview and Hillsborough.

A total of 15 fires are currently burning across the province which are being described as either “contained”, “under control” or “being patrolled”.

Firefighters make progress in B.C. wildfires

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Active wildfires burning in BC, 13 July 2017 (BC Wildfire Service/Google)

More than 300 firefighters from across Canada including New Brunswick are now in British Columbia to relieve those already on the ground battling over 180 wildfires.

Some progress has been made thanks to recent cooler weather but 14,000 residents have been evacuated and thousands more are on alert to leave their homes at short notice.

Forecasters say gusty winds expected this weekend could fan the flames even further and the heat is also expected to return.

The economy of the B.C. Interior is taking a hit this summer with many campgrounds and provincial parks forced to close due to the wildfires and related road closures.

Forest fire tragedy in Portugal

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Burnt cars block a road in the Pedrogao Grande area, Portugal, 18 June 2017 (AP/Armando Franca)

A massive forest fire in central Portugal has claimed more than 60 lives and injured dozens of others with hot, windy conditions fanning the flames.

Many died in their vehicles trying to flee the blaze while others died from smoke inhalation.

Portugal has declared three days of mourning in what has been called the worst human tragedy in recent times.

More than 2,000 firefighters are on the scene with help coming from Spain and across Europe.

Officials believe lightning started the fire on Saturday in the mountainous area of Pedrogao Grande, northeast of Lisbon.