Wildfire Spain
A wildfire rages in Spain's Extremadura region, 7 August, 2015. BLOG DE EXTREMADURA/GTwitter

More than 1,400 people have been forced from their homes as wildfires spread in western Spain.

Towns and campsites were evacuated, with planes and helicopters helping to quell the flames in the Sierra de Gata mountain area.

Over 300 firefighters and emergency crew were deployed to battle flames threatening homes in Spain's Extremadura region during the early hours of 7 August.

Local police said the fires burned more than 5,000 hectares (12,400 acres), while around 3,000 hectares of forest and scrubland were destroyed by fires near Murcia, in the south-east of the country.

The government of Extremadura said around 1,400 residents of the villages of Acebo and Perales del Puerto, as well as holidaymakers from several mountain campsites, were taken to the nearby towns of Caceres and Moraleja overnight.

Heat warnings

The dry, hot conditions have already sparked health warnings in several European countries, as a deadly heatwave that originated in the Middle East spreads across the continent.

In Spain a 36-year-old cyclist died on the side of the road on 5 August after medics found and treated him for dehydration and a high body temperature.

Some 20 provinces in the country are on red alert for extreme heat, while neighbouring Portugal is experiencing severe drought and Germany is facing temperatures in the high 30s.

Warnings have also been put in place for extreme heat in eastern France, though the temperature in the UK is set to remain relatively mild over the weekend, with highs of 27C.