More than 1,000 firefighters, backed by water-bombing planes, battled for a third day a fire that has forced thousands from their homes and scorched thousands of hectares of forest in France's southwestern Gironde region.
Europe isn’t alone in the crisis, with drought conditions also reported in East Africa, the western United States and northern Mexico.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Friday called on office workers to throw sartorial caution to the wind and ditch their ties amid scorching summer temperatures.
Spain was gripped by a heatwave affecting much of Western Europe, which pushed temperatures as high as 45˚C in some regions last week, sparking dozens of wildfires.
"Heat kills. Over the past decades, hundreds of thousands of people have died as a result of extreme heat during extended heatwaves, often with simultaneous wildfires," WHO regional director Hans Kluge said.
Local police said on Saturday afternoon they had evacuated over 450 people from two hotels and 92 houses and that 60 officers were scouring the area for anyone that refused to move.
There were nearly eight times as many heatwaves, 27 in all, and lightning strikes rose more than 111 times, killing 907 people, the Ministry of Earth Sciences said in a report to parliament. Thunderstorms increased more than five times to 240.