Climate

'Heat apocalypse': Photos show Europe's devastating fires as temperatures surge

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First-ever heat emergency in U.K.

Dubbed a "heat apocalypse" by one French meteorologist, many nations in Europe are sweltering under record temperatures, causing devastating fires in some parts of the continent.

Spain and Portugal have seen over 1,000 deaths in the last week attributed to the weather, according to Reuters. Firefighters in France and Greece have also been out in force to try to combat huge wildfires in rural areas.

Heat records have been broken in many parts of Western Europe, with Britain recording its hottest-ever day Tuesday.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the capital's fire brigade had declared a major incident after a "huge surge" in fires across the city Tuesday. At least one home was completely destroyed and several others severely damaged after grass fires broke out in a village on the outskirts of east London, Sky News reported.

In Germany, fears are growing over falling water levels in the Rhine River, a vital shipping route in Europe's economic heart.

A fire burns during a heatwave, in Rainham, east London, in Britain

A fire burns during a heatwave, in Rainham, east London, Britain, July 19, 2022.
Tony O'brien | Reuters

A car drives near a fire that burns during the UK heatwave, in Rainham, east London

A car drives near a fire that burns during a heatwave, in Rainham, east London, Britain, July 19, 2022. 
Tony O'brien | Reuters

A firefighter attends a gorse bush fire, during a heatwave near Zennor, Cornwall, in Britain

A firefighter attends a gorse bush fire, during a heatwave near Zennor, Cornwall, Britain, July 19, 2022. 
Tom Nicholson | Reuters

Firefighters try to extinguish a wildfire next to the village of Tabara, near Zamora in northern Spain

Firefighters try to extinguish a wildfire next to the village of Tabara, near Zamora, northern Spain, on July 18, 2022.
Miguel Riopa | AFP | Getty Images

Paramedics help a patient into an ambulance during a heat wave in Barcelona, Spain

Paramedics help a patient into an ambulance during a heat wave in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday, July 18, 2022.
Angel Garcia | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Firefighters take positions as smoke rises from a forest fire near Louchats, in the Gironde region of southwestern France

Firefighters take positions as smoke rises from a forest fire near Louchats, as wildfires continue to spread in the Gironde region of southwestern France, July 18, 2022.
Philippe Lopez | Reuters

Firefighters operate at the site of a wildfire in Pumarejo de Tera near Zamora, northern Spain

Firefighters operate at the site of a wildfire in Pumarejo de Tera near Zamora, northern Spain, on June 18, 2022.
Cesar Manso | AFP | Getty Images

Firefighters respond to a wildfire that broke out in woodland at Lickey Hills Country Park on the edge of Birmingham, England

Firefighters respond to a large wildfire that has broken out in woodland at Lickey Hills Country Park on the edge of Birmingham.
Jacob King - Pa Images | Pa Images | Getty Images

A helicopter works during a forest fire in Cebreros in Avila, Spain

A helicopter works during a forest fire in Cebreros on July 18, 2022 in Avila, Spain.
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Firefighters try to control a forest fire near Louchats in Gironde, southwestern France

Firefighters try to control a forest fire near Louchats in Gironde, southwestern France on July 17, 2022.
Thibaud Moritz | AFP | Getty Images

Tourists look at the plume of dark smoke over the Dune of Pilat from Cap Ferret due to a wildfire in a forest near La Teste, southwestern France

Tourists look at the plume of dark smoke over the Dune of Pilat from Cap Ferret due to a wildfire in a forest near La Teste, southwestern France.
Olivier Morin | AFP | Getty Images

A puddle of water amid the nearly dried-up river bed of the Rhine in Cologne, western Germany

A photo taken on July 18, 2022 shows a puddle of water amid the nearly dried-up river bed of the Rhine in Cologne, western Germany, as many parts of Europe experience a heatwave.
Ina Fassbender | AFP | Getty Images

—CNBC's Karen Gilchrist contributed to this article.