Red alerts for Portugal, Spain amid smothering heat wave5 min read

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) – Portugal and Spain are sweltering under an intense wave of heat that has produced near-record temperatures in the southern European countries.

Portugal has issued red alerts for extreme heat for more than half the country Saturday, with thermometers approaching 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 degrees Fahrenheit). The country’s highest ever recorded temperature was 47.4 C (117.3 F) in 2003.

The hot, dry conditions have led to several wildfires in Portugal. The biggest outbreak has burned 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) near the town of Monchique in the southern Algarve region.

A man rests next to the beach during a hot summer day in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

A man rests next to the beach during a hot summer day in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

A man rests next to the beach during a hot summer day in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa warns “it’s a very serious situation of extreme heat.”

Spain has also issued warnings of extremely high temperatures for its southern areas.

The hot air mass coming in from Africa is also bringing dust from the Sahara Desert.

People refresh themselves on the beach during a hot summer day in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

People refresh themselves on the beach during a hot summer day in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

People refresh themselves on the beach during a hot summer day in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

A boy jumps from a platform over the water at La Concha beach during a hot summer day in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos)

A boy jumps from a platform over the water at La Concha beach during a hot summer day in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos)

A boy jumps from a platform over the water at La Concha beach during a hot summer day in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos)

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A woman takes a photo as her child plays in a fountain at a park in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. The hot weather in Moscow is continuing, with temperatures forecast to reach 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) . (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

A woman takes a photo as her child plays in a fountain at a park in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. The hot weather in Moscow is continuing, with temperatures forecast to reach 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) . (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

A woman takes a photo as her child plays in a fountain at a park in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. The hot weather in Moscow is continuing, with temperatures forecast to reach 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) . (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

People crowd La Concha beach in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

People crowd La Concha beach in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

People crowd La Concha beach in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Two women jump from a platform over the water at La Concha beach during a hot summer day in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos)

Two women jump from a platform over the water at La Concha beach during a hot summer day in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos)

Two women jump from a platform over the water at La Concha beach during a hot summer day in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos)

People enjoy a hot summer day at La Concha beach in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos)

People enjoy a hot summer day at La Concha beach in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos)

People enjoy a hot summer day at La Concha beach in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos)

People play with a ball at La Concha beach during a hot summer day in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos)

People play with a ball at La Concha beach during a hot summer day in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos)

People play with a ball at La Concha beach during a hot summer day in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos)

A boy jumps from a platform over the water at La Concha beach during a hot summer day in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos)

A boy jumps from a platform over the water at La Concha beach during a hot summer day in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos)

A boy jumps from a platform over the water at La Concha beach during a hot summer day in the basque city of San Sebastian, northern Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos)

A girl cools herself running through a fountain at a park in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. The hot weather in Moscow is continuing, with temperatures forecast to reach 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) . (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

A girl cools herself running through a fountain at a park in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. The hot weather in Moscow is continuing, with temperatures forecast to reach 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) . (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

A girl cools herself running through a fountain at a park in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. The hot weather in Moscow is continuing, with temperatures forecast to reach 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) . (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

A man walks next to Ticino river in Bereguardo, near Pavia, Italy, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit). (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

A man walks next to Ticino river in Bereguardo, near Pavia, Italy, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit). (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

A man walks next to Ticino river in Bereguardo, near Pavia, Italy, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit). (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

People cool down under a shower at Biarritz beach, southwestern France, Friday, Aug.3, 2018. The hot weather is expected to last for several days across the country. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)

People cool down under a shower at Biarritz beach, southwestern France, Friday, Aug.3, 2018. The hot weather is expected to last for several days across the country. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)

People cool down under a shower at Biarritz beach, southwestern France, Friday, Aug.3, 2018. The hot weather is expected to last for several days across the country. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)

Red roses are in full blossom at a house wall in Niederursel near Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Red roses are in full blossom at a house wall in Niederursel near Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Red roses are in full blossom at a house wall in Niederursel near Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

People refresh themselves on the beach during a hot summer day in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

People refresh themselves on the beach during a hot summer day in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

People refresh themselves on the beach during a hot summer day in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

A woman rests next to the beach during a hot summer day in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

A woman rests next to the beach during a hot summer day in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

A woman rests next to the beach during a hot summer day in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Hot air from Africa is bringing a heat wave to Europe, prompting health warnings about Sahara Desert dust and exceptionally high temperatures that could peak at 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Spain and Portugal. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

A man sprays water on his sand sculpture by the Tagus riverbank in Lisbon Thursday, Aug. 2 2018. The temperature in Lisbon reached 39 degrees Celsius, 102.2 Fahrenheit, on Thursday and is expected to keep rising over the next few days. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

A man sprays water on his sand sculpture by the Tagus riverbank in Lisbon Thursday, Aug. 2 2018. The temperature in Lisbon reached 39 degrees Celsius, 102.2 Fahrenheit, on Thursday and is expected to keep rising over the next few days. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

A man sprays water on his sand sculpture by the Tagus riverbank in Lisbon Thursday, Aug. 2 2018. The temperature in Lisbon reached 39 degrees Celsius, 102.2 Fahrenheit, on Thursday and is expected to keep rising over the next few days. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

A man walks under the water from a garden sprinkler by the Tagus riverbank in Lisbon, Thursday, Aug. 2 2018. The temperature in Lisbon reached 39 degrees Celsius, 102.2 Fahrenheit, on Thursday and is expected to keep rising over the next few days. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

A man walks under the water from a garden sprinkler by the Tagus riverbank in Lisbon, Thursday, Aug. 2 2018. The temperature in Lisbon reached 39 degrees Celsius, 102.2 Fahrenheit, on Thursday and is expected to keep rising over the next few days. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

A man walks under the water from a garden sprinkler by the Tagus riverbank in Lisbon, Thursday, Aug. 2 2018. The temperature in Lisbon reached 39 degrees Celsius, 102.2 Fahrenheit, on Thursday and is expected to keep rising over the next few days. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

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