The Red Cross is supporting people affected by wildfires and unprecedented temperatures caused by climate change across Europe.

Last updated 24 July 2023

Extreme temperatures cause wildfires across Europe

Southern Europe has been at the centre of ferocious and unprecedented heatwaves for more than two weeks, with temperatures exceeding 47C on the Italian islands of Sardinia and Sicily.

Greece has been battling more than 80 wildfires, with the most severe on the islands of Rhodes, Evia, Corfu and Greece. 19,000 people had to be evacuated from Rhodes, in the biggest wildfire evacuation the country has seen.

Teams from the Greek, Italian, Turkish and Spanish Red Cross societies have been on the ground fighting wildfires, supporting with evacuation efforts and providing psychosocial and practical support.

A Portuguese Red Cross volunteer observes a fire raging in the countryside.

The Portuguese Red Cross has been supporting people affected by wildfires across the country.

Arrow icon How is the extreme heat affecting people?

Arrow icon How is the Red Cross helping those affected by extreme heat?

How is the British Red Cross supporting people in Europe?

The Red Cross has been supporting people affected by the Cerberus and Charon heatwaves in Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain and France. This includes evacuation support, first aid, and providing food, water and psychosocial support.

The French, Greek, Portuguese and Italian Red Cross societies have also been issuing safety advice in person, and via social media. This includes advice on avoiding heatstroke and warning people not to leave animals or children in parked cars.

With high alerts set for nearly all major Italian cities, the Italian Red Cross has been checking on the elderly and very young, who are less able to regulate their temperatures.

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