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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
Shepody Bay from Dorchester Beach, NB, 26 June 2016 (Dearing)
Greater Moncton reached a daytime high of 29.8 C today which is the warmest temperature so far in 2016.
Environment Canada reports at least nine other communities in New Brunswick reached 30 C or higher.
The hotspot was Bathurst at a sizzling 33.3 C.
The warm, windy conditions were not helpful for firefighters near Bouctouche battling a forest fire which was eventually brought under control.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tours burnt-out areas of Fort McMurray, AB with Fire Chief Darby Allen, 13 May 2016 (Reuters)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Fort McMurray on Friday for the first time since wildfires destroyed more than 10 percent of the city or about 2,400 buildings.
Trudeau praised the work of emergency responders including firefighters for helping to save most of the city including the downtown core.
More than 90,000 people remain displaced and are staying with family or friends or remain in evacuation centres waiting for word on when they can return home.
Trudeau announced an extension of jobless benefits for those in the region which follows emergency financial aid announced for fire victims by the Red Cross and the Alberta government.
Although the wildfires have moved away from Fort McMurray, officials say the blazes could burn for weeks to come in forested areas.
RCMP among few left in Fort McMurray enforcing evacuation, 04 May 2016 (RCMP/Twitter)
About 1,600 buildings have burned to the ground in Fort McMurray as a wildfire engulfed the southwest portion of the city late yesterday.
Alberta has declared a state of emergency as the government confirms many homes in the Beacon Hill and Waterways neighbourhoods have been destroyed.
The wildfire cut the city in two forcing 10,000 people to evacuate north to oil sands camps and at least 80,000 had to head south.
Traffic became gridlocked on Highway 63 as dozens of drivers abandoned their vehicles after breaking down or running out of gas.
Heading further south to Edmonton, drivers faced a slow, tense trip with bumper-to-bumper traffic and long lineups at the few gas stations available.
The military has been called in to help firefighters and hundreds of additional RCMP officers are being deployed to the region.
Wildfire closes in on Fort McMurray, AB neighbourhood, 03 May 2016 (Facebook)
The largest mandatory evacuation in the history of Alberta is underway as more than 80,000 people flee Fort McMurray due to a raging wildfire.
The forest has been tinder-dry and weather has not been cooperating for firefighters either with strong winds, soaring temperatures and low humidity.
The fire had entered the city limits by mid-afternoon and social media reports say homes, a trailer park and a hotel were engulfed in flames.
The airport remains open and officials say the city’s only hospital has been successfully evacuated.
Residents are being told to head north to the oil sands camps or Highway 63 south with evacuation centres on the way to Edmonton.