Wildfire claims second life as Spain’s heatwave enters eighth day and almost entire country at ‘extreme fire risk’

A SECOND person has died in a forest fire raging across the Zamora countryside in Castilla y Leon as Spain’s eight wave entered its eighth day.

The charred body of a shepherd was discovered on Monday morning in an area burnt a wildfire raging across the Sierra  de la Culebra in Zamora province.

On Sunday a firefighter was killed while battling flames in the same region where some residents of some 14 towns were evacuated from their homes.

Thousands of hectares have been ravaged across Spain as fires broke out simultaneously in Galicia, Castilla y Leon, Catalunya, Extremadura and Andalucia during the latest heatwave.

Almost the entire nation has been on alert for ‘extreme fire risk’ as high temperatures and hot dry winds turned Spain into a tinder box.

“There are never words to thank the immense work of those who fight the fires tirelessly,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Sunday night in a condolence message on Twitter.

On Monday, the premier visited an area affected by fire outside Cacares in Extremadura region, emphasising that ‘climate change kills’.

More than 70,000 hectares (173,000 acres) have burnt in Spain so far this year, the worst year of the last decade, according to official data.

Travellers on a high-speed AVE train bound for Galicia from Madrid on Monday morning had a close scare after the blaze veered dangerously close to tracks as it sped through the Zamora fire zone.

The image was captured by Francisco Seoana, a professor at Carlos III University who posted the footage to Twitter.

Temperatures are expected to cool from Monday in Spain after a heatwave that has lasted some eight days and caused an estimated 510 heat-related deaths, according to estimates from the Carlos III Health Institute.

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