Thousands of firefighters are continuing to battle wildfires in Portugal, Spain and France, as a heatwave shows no sign of easing.

In northern Portugal, a pilot died when his waterbombing plane crashed in the Foz Coa area, near the Spanish border.

The Portuguese authorities say at least 238 people have died from the heat over the past week.

Fires are ravaging areas of France’s south-western Gironde region, where over 12,000 people have been evacuated.

Heatwaves have become more frequent, more intense, and last longer because of human-induced climate change. The world has already warmed by about 1.1C since the industrial era began and temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to carbon emissions.

The Frenchweather service has forecast temperatures of up to 41 degrees in parts of the country’s south on Sunday and new heat records are predicted for tomorrow.

Late on Saturday the country placed 22 more regional departments mostly along its Atlantic coast on high orange alert.

One resident in south-west France described the forest fires as feeling “post-apocalyptic” – “I’ve never seen this before,” Karyn, who lives near Teste-de-Buch.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said fires had so far burned 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres) of land and praised firefighters’ “remarkable courage”.

Credit: BBC