EUROPE FIRES – Firefighters in Spain, France make progress as heat eases but Italy struggles

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The scorching heat wave gripping Europe eased Thursday, allowing firefighters tackling wildfires across multiple countries to regain control of many of the largest active blazes.

The improved weather conditions, in particular in terms of wind, in Spain have tipped the balance back in favor of firefighters, allowing for many who were evacuated from their homes to return.

In southwest France, two fires that broke out on July 12 south of Bordeaux have not spread for at least two days, although firefighters still consider the blazes, which have burned some 20,800 hectares of pine forest, to be active.

While the situation in France and Spain is improving, at least 25 fires in Italy are still spreading as the heat wave moves east across the continent.