In pictures: the courage and ingenuity of Europeans in the fight against heat and forest fires

Many parts of Europe are suffering from extreme heat that has sparked fierce wildfires and forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

People in France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and the UK are looking for inventive ways to keep themselves cool or protect themselves and their property from fires while firefighters battle out-of-control blazes.

Europe’s struggles with heat, drought and wildfires are captured in these photographs from across the continent.


Thibault Moritz / AFP
People swim on Mullo Beach as smoke rises from a forest fire in La Teste de Buch. Gironde department, southwestern FranceThibault Moritz / AFP
Southwest of France.  July 18, 2022 Thibaut Moritz / AFP
Firefighters place gas canisters in the swimming pool of a 5-star hotel in Pilat-sur-Merle, with smoke from a fire in La Teste-de-Buch visible in the background.Southwest of France. July 18, 2022 Thibaut Moritz / AFP
Gironde Region Fire Brigade (SDIS 33) via AP Photo
Firefighters put out forest fires near Landiras, southwest France. July 17, 2022Gironde Region Fire Brigade (SDIS 33) via AP Photo
Bob Edme/AP Photo
Trucks and cars drive on the A63 motorway through thick smoke caused by a forest fire, 50km south of Bordeaux, near Belin-Bélie, in southwestern France. July 18, 2022Bob Edme/AP Photo
Lewis Jolie/AP Photo
Children jump off a bridge to swim in the Canal Saint-Martin during a heat wave in Paris. July 18, 2022Lewis Jolie/AP Photo


Emilio Fraile/AP Photo
A firefighter cries near a wildfire in the Losacio region of northwestern Spain. July 17, 2022Emilio Fraile/AP Photo
Lorena Sopena / AP
A fire plane drops flame retardant on a forest fire in the Castelgali region of Catalonia, Spain. July 17, 2022Lorena Sopena / AP
Emilio Fraile/AP Photo
A firefighter tries to put out a blaze as wildfires spread during a wildfire in Ferreras de Abajo in northwestern Spain. July 18, 2022Emilio Fraile/AP Photo
Miguel Riopa / AFP
A man pours water on the ground after a fire near the village of Pumarejo, near Zamora, in northern Spain. July 18, 2022Miguel Riopa / AFP
Manu Fernandez/AP Photo
A woman holds an umbrella to protect herself from the sun on 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 off with water from a public spray bottle on a hot sunny day in Barcelona, ​​Spain. July 16, 2022Emilio Morenatti/AP Photo


Patricia de Melo Moreira / AFP
A fire helicopter drops water on a forest fire near the village of Bustelo in Amarante, north of Portugal. July 16, 2022Patricia de Melo Moreira / AFP

United Kingdom

Matt Dunham/AP Photo
A British soldier wearing a traditional bearskin hat stands with sweat on his face while on 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 shield herself from the sun as she walks along the South Bank of the River Thames in London. July 18, 2022Alberto Pezzali / AP Photo
John Super/AP Photo
Traffic crosses a bridge at Woodhead Reservoir in West Yorkshire, England as water levels drop dangerously low due to record high temperatures in the UK. July 18, 2022John Super/AP Photo


Michael Probst/AP Photo
Water flows from a fountain in front of the Old Opera House as a woman photographs two girls in Frankfurt, Germany. July 18, 2022Michael Probst/AP Photo
Michael Probst/AP Photo
A man takes advantage of the cool morning hours to jog along a small road on the outskirts of Frankfurt, Germany. July 18, 2022Michael Probst/AP Photo
Ina Fassbender / AFP
A puddle of water against the backdrop of the almost dry Rhine in Cologne, western Germany, as many parts of Europe experience a heat wave. July 18, 2022Ina Fassbender / AFP


Martin Meisner/AP Photo
People chill in temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius on Lake Zurich in Zurich, Switzerland on July 18, 2022 during a heat wave across Europe.Martin Meisner/AP Photo
Anthony Anex/AP Photo
Boats ran aground on the dry shore of Lake Brenay, part of the Doubs river, the natural border between eastern France and western Switzerland. July 18, 2022Anthony Anex/AP Photo