Parts of Europe are being advised to take care as temperatures soar to sweltering levels, causing a European heatwave. There have already been reports of flash flooding, school closures and concerns over the air quality. Countries such as Spain, France and Italy experienced temperatures over 40 degrees centigrade. The extreme heat is said to be heading towards the UK this weekend.
Heatwave causes wildfire in Spain
Currently, firefighters in Spain’s Catalonia region are currently battling huge wildfires. There is concern that these will spread as the hot weather continues. Officials have said that these are the worst the region has experienced for 20 years.
The wildfire in Spain has now reached over 10,000 acres of forest and other vegetation, according to the regional government. The blaze near Tarragona was reportedly started after a heap of manure caught alight due to the heatwave in the country which is due to reach the UK tomorrow.
Spontaneous ignitions - which often then lead to wildfires - can occur when flammable materials (which believe it or not, includes manure) reach a high temperature - high enough to cause combustion.
Staying safe in a heatwave
Health alerts are being issued as a reminder to stay safe when experiencing temperature extremes. Those who are not used to such high temperatures are particularly vulnerable in these times.
If you experience any symptoms of ill-health caused by the heat, such as dizziness, nausea and headaches it is recommended to act quickly to try and cool down. Heat-stroke can set in if your body's temperature goes over 40 degrees Celsius, and this requires urgent medical assistance.
A few tips for staying safe in a heatwave:
- Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. You're more prone to dehydration in hot conditions so it is recommended to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.
- Use a sunscreen of at least SPF 15 and apply this generously. Don't forget the tops of ears and back of the neck.
- Stay in the shade as much as you can. If you have to go out it is advisable to wear a hat or cap.
If you or a loved one is feeling unwell as a result of the hot weather then take steps to cool-down. You can do this by loosening tight clothes, drinking plenty of water or having a cool shower. If your symptoms don't improve within 30 minutes and you are concerned, then call your doctor or NHS 111 for their advice.
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