heat wave

Thousands escape wildfires in France, Spain and Greece

More than 11,000 people have been forced to leave France's south-western Gironde region in the past few days.

Dozens of fires are burning in Portugal and Spain where temperatures have surged above 40C.

At least 281 deaths in both countries were linked to the heat and several towns in western Spain were evacuated.

Portuguese villagers were also told to flee when flames crossed the border from Spain.

Canada heatwave: Lightning strikes fuel wildfires in British Columbia

Canada's federal government said it would send military aircraft to assist emergency services in British Columbia battling to control the fires.

Earlier this week, people had to flee the village of Lytton in the province.

Lytton, which recorded Canada's highest ever temperature of 49.6C on Tuesday, was later destroyed by fire.

The blaze in the village, which is home to some 250 people and located about 260km north-east of Vancouver, forced many residents to leave without their belongings on Wednesday evening.

Heatwave record village overwhelmingly burned in wildfire

Brad Vis said the fire had caused extensive damage to Lytton, in British Columbia, and to surrounding critical infrastructure.

Jan Polderman, mayor of Lytton, told the BBC he had been "lucky to get out with my own life".

"There won't be very much left of Lytton," he said. "There was fire everywhere."

Mr PoldermanĀ told the BBC's Newshour programme his town was engulfed by a "wall of fire".

He had earlier ordered people to evacuate, saying flames had spread through the village in just 15 minutes.

Dangerous heatwave building across Victoria

Sunday will be the hottest in the north-west with temperatures predicted to soar to around 44 degrees Celsius in Mildura, six hours north-west of Melbourne, as the heat begins to build.

A mass of hot air is being strengthened by a cyclone brewing off the West Australian coast.

"Monday will be the warmest day for much of Victoria including the Melbourne area," said Diana Eadie, from the Bureau of Meteorology.

"We're expecting the temperature to be around 41 or 42 degrees.

Australia heatwave forecast with temperatures to top 40C

Severe heatwave conditions are set to stretch across the continent - from north-west to the south-east - as heat is drawn down from the centre.

Tracts of the country face severe heatwave conditions and this will not be a one-day affair.

To hit the official criteria for a heatwave, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) requires "three days or more of high maximum and minimum temperatures that are unusual for that location" - the heat is expected to hang around all the way into next week.