Sunday, August 14, 2022

Amid soaring temperatures, wildfires rage in Europe

A heatwave spreading across Europe is fuelling wildfires in Portugal, France and Spain.

Around 3,500 firefighters in Portugal are battling dozens of blazes, as temperatures break records in various parts of the country.The worst has been reported in Leiria, Central Portugal, where 600 people were forced out of their homes, a report in the Indian Express, says.

It has triggered memories of wildfires in 2017, which claimed the lives of more than 100 people.

Heatwaves have become more frequent, more intense, and longer-lasting because of climate change. The world has already warmed by about 1.1C since the industrial era began.

Adelino Rodrigues, a 77-year-old farmer in Leiria, said that “everything burned. It looked like the end of the world,” he said.

The body of one person was found in a burned area in the northern region of Aveiro, officials said.

In France, about 1,000 firefighters are trying control two major wildfires.

The fires in the south-west of the country have already burned almost 4,000 hectares.

Most of Spain was put on high alert last week, and the country’s state meteorological agency AEMET said some regions were “suffocating”. 

The Andalusian town of Almonte recorded a temperature of 45.6C 

More than 70,300 hectares were burned in Spain between 1 January and 3 July, the government said – almost double the average of the past 10 years.

Meanwhile, more than 3,000 people have been evacuated in Turkey due to a wildfire in the south-western Datca peninsula.

In the UK, the heatwave is forecast to peak on Tuesday, with highs of 36C (96.8F) forecast.

As summer temperatures soared in Europe, southwestern France and Spain were embattled by raging wildfires on Saturday. Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes. 

Helicopters extinguished the fire that has scorched over 3,000 hectares near Casas de Miravete in the Extremadura region in Spain. This fire has forced two villages to evacuate and can even reach the neighbouring Monfrague National Park.

At least 9,650 hectares have been torched in recent days as a result of the flames. 

According to Portuguese official media RTP, the yearly total amounts to more than 30,000 hectares, surpassing the annual estimate for 2021. The land mostly caught fire last week. Another blaze that began near the Mijas village in the Malaga province in southern Andalusia has endangered villages and forced 3,000 people to evacuate. 

As summer temperatures soared in Europe, southwestern France and Spain were embattled by raging wildfires on Saturday. Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes. 

Over 200 firefighters along with 18 airplanes were involved in the efforts to contain the fire. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire. (AP)

Firefighters tried saving as many homes as possible by surrounding at-risk villages with firetrucks on Saturday. The President said over 3,000 firefighters with assistance from water-dumping planes are fighting off the fire in southern France. Greece has also provided firefighting equipment for aid. (AP)

Some of the worst fires have been reported from Portugal one of which killed the pilot of a firefighting plane. The incident took place on Friday when the plane crashed during an operation in the northeast. This was the first fire-related fatally from Portugal this year. (AP)

Around 10,000 people were evacuated from the two wildfires in the Bordeaux area of southwest France, which destroyed more than 7,000 hectares of land. Being one of the many places in Europe to have wildfires, the firefighting efforts in the region have been affected. 

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