WILDFIRES have erupted in Gran Canaria as blazes continue to plague Europe.
Flights were put at risk as flames came within metres of antennae on a mountain top linked to the island’s air traffic control.
Authorities say fires spread rapidly across the Tejeda area of the island.
Hundreds of villagers have been evacuated from their homes, with multiple roads closed.
Helicopters were deployed in a bid to bring raging blazes under control.
More than 500 acres of land have been ravaged by flames, Canarian Weekly reports.
Antonio Morales, head of the Island Council of Gran Canaria, said about 100 firefighters and nine aircraft were working to put out the blaze.
Cops are investigating a 29-year-old man they fear may have started the fire in Tejeda.
He and three colleagues were working with bush cutters in an area of dry grass when flames broke out, reports El Diario.
The Spanish holiday hotspot is the latest destination to suffer forest fires as temperatures in Europe rocket.
A state of emergency has been declared for Rhodes as raging blazes continue.
Forest fires have swept through Greece for eight days – with the worst in Rhodes and Corfu where thousands have fled the flames.
And authorities have warned six new regions in Greece face “extreme danger” of fresh wildfires.
In the last 24 hours, at least 53 fires have erupted in Greece – the worst in Rhodes and Corfu.
It comes as the fire-ravaged country suffers another day of chaos as soaring temperatures could hit up to a scorching 46C amid the country’s third consecutive heatwave.
Authorities have also warned holidaymakers to stay inside and use air conditioners or fans to stay cool.
It comes as…
But there is set to be respite as the temperature is predicted to “drop significantly” by up to eight degrees on Thursday.
Wildfires have also hit the Italian island of Sicily and Turkish seaside resort Kemer as well as areas of Switzerland, Portugal and Malta.
Weather experts have declared 2023 an El Niño year – a natural phenomenon that occurs cyclically and causes fluctuations in the global climate.
The UN’s World Meteorological Organization said it will raise temperatures around the world, and the effect is likely to continue for the rest of the year.
And despite the heat this summer, Europe’s record temperature of 48.8C – recorded in 2021 in Sardinia, Sicily – has not been reached and is currently not forecast to be broken.
The current bout of heat belongs to a weather system originating in North Africa – an anticyclone dubbed “Charon”.
Charon refers to a character from Ancient Greek mythology – and follows on the heels of another high-pressure weather system, Cerberus, responsible for last week’s sweltering heat.
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