Pictures: Courage and ingenuity as Europeans tackle heat and wildfires

Many parts of Europe are suffering under extreme heat conditions which have sparked fierce wildfires and forced thousands of people to be evacuated from their homes. 

People in France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and the UK are looking for inventive ways to stay cool or protect themselves and their property from fires — while firefighters are battling blazes that rage out of control. 

The European struggle with heat, drought and fires is featured in these photographs from across the continent.


People swim on the Moulleau’s beach as the smoke rising from the forest fire in La Teste-de-Buch. Gironde department, southwestern FranceThibaud Moritz/AFP
SouthwesternFrance. July 18, 2022. Thibaud Moritz/AFP
Firefighters put gas in safety in the swimming pool of the 5 star hotel in the town of Pilat sur Merle, as smoke of a firein La Teste de Buch is seen in background.SouthwesternFrance. July 18, 2022. Thibaud Moritz/AFP
the fire brigade of the Gironde region (SDIS 33) via AP Photo
The firefighters fighting wildfires near Landiras, southwestern France. July 17, 2022the fire brigade of the Gironde region (SDIS 33) via AP Photo
Bob Edme/AP Photo
Trucks and cars drive on the A63 motorway invaded by smoke caused by the forest fire 50 km south of Bordeaux, near Belin-Béliet, southwestern France. July 18, 2022Bob Edme/AP Photo
Lewis Joly/AP Photo
Kids jump from a bridge to swim in the Canal St Martin, during a heatwave in Paris. July 18, 2022Lewis Joly/AP Photo


Emilio Fraile/AP Photo
A firefighter cries near a wildfire in the Losacio area in north western Spain. July 17, 2022Emilio Fraile/AP Photo
Lorena Sopena/AP
A firefighting plane drops retardant on a forest fire in the Castellgali area of Catalonia, Spain. July 17, 2022Lorena Sopena/AP
Emilio Fraile/AP Photo
A firefighter tries to extinguish flames as wildfire advance during a wildfire in Ferreras de Abajo in north western Spain. July 18, 2022Emilio Fraile/AP Photo
Miguel Riopa/AFP
A man sprays water on the ground following a fire next to the village of Pumarejo, near Zamora, northern Spain. July 18, 2022Miguel Riopa/AFP
Manu Fernandez/AP Photo
A woman holds an umbrella to shelter from the sun during a hot sunny day in Madrid, Spain. July 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)Manu Fernandez/AP Photo
Emilio Morenatti/AP Photo
Two men cool themselves with water from a public sprinkler on a hot and sunny day in Barcelona, Spain. July 16, 2022Emilio Morenatti/AP Photo


Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP
The firefighter helicopter drops water on a wildfire near Bustelo village in Amarante, north of Portugal. July 16, 2022Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP

The UK

Matt Dunham/AP Photo
A British soldier wearing a traditional bearskin hat, stands with sweat on his face whilst on guard duty outside Buckingham Palace, during hot weather in London. July 18, 2022Matt Dunham/AP Photo
Alberto Pezzali/AP Photo
A woman holds an umbrella to shelter from the sun, as she walks on the south bank of river Thames, in London. July 18, 2022Alberto Pezzali/AP Photo
Jon Super/AP Photo
Traffic crosses a bridge at Woodhead Reservoir in West Yorkshire, England, as water levels dip dangerously low amid record high temperatures in the UK. July 18, 2022Jon Super/AP Photo


Michael Probst/AP Photo
Water from a fountain runs down in front of the Old Opera as a woman takes a picture of two girls in Frankfurt, Germany. July 18, 2022Michael Probst/AP Photo
Michael Probst/AP Photo
A man uses cool morning hours for a run on a small road in the outskirts of Frankfurt, Germany. July 18, 2022Michael Probst/AP Photo
Ina Fassbender/AFP
A puddle of water is photographed amid the nearly dried-up river bed of the Rhine in Cologne, western Germany, as many parts of Europe experience a heatwave. July 18, 2022Ina Fassbender/AFP


Martin Meissner/AP Photo
People cool down during temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius on Lake Zurich in Zurich, Switzerland, July 18, 2022 during a heat wave across Europe.Martin Meissner/AP Photo
Anthony Anex/ AP Photo
Stranded boats are pictured on the dried out shore of the Brenet Lake, part of the Doubs river, a natural border between eastern France and western Switzerland. July 18, 2022Anthony Anex/ AP Photo
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