Heat wave origination in northern Africa engulfs much of Spain, increasing risk of wildfires

Weather stations across Spain are warning people to take extra precautions as a heat wave engulfs much of the country, increasing the risk of wildfires.

The country's meteorological agency says a mass of hot air originating in Africa is moving northwards, bringing with it until at least Monday temperatures reaching 40 C (104 F).

Northeastern Catalonia's meteorological service says in a statement Saturday that the heat brings with it "a particularly high risk of forest fires" in the districts of Barcelona and Girona.

The region's government has banned the use of firework rockets within 500 meters of wooded areas and is asking smokers to not throw away cigarette butts.

It is advising everyone to remain hydrated throughout the day and to avoid drinking alcohol.