TE24 International Desk:
Wildfires have burned the second largest area on record in Europe this summer, according to data from the European Union’s Joint Research Center, even though the region is halfway through its normal fire season. This year, thousands of people have been forced to evacuate, destroying homes and businesses.
Countries including Italy, Spain and France still face extreme fire risks, Reuters reports. Wildfires have burned 600,731 hectares in European Union countries so far this year, the data shows.
It ranks as the second-highest total for any year since 2006, when records began In 2017, 987,844 hectares were burnt The area burned this year is more than double that of Luxembourg No other year in the dataset has seen so much land burned in Europe by August. The typical fire season in the Mediterranean region runs from June to September.
Climate change is exacerbating fires, increasing hotter and drier conditions that help them spread faster, burn longer and rage more intensely. Hot weather saps moisture from vegetation, turning it into dry fuel — a problem compounded by shrinking manpower in some areas to clean up.
Victor Resco de Dios, professor of forest engineering at the University of Lleida in Spain, said the large fires that France and Portugal suffered in early July were “highly unusual” and showed that climate change is causing fire seasons to start earlier and last longer. .
Today’s fires in the Mediterranean are no longer being extinguished…big fires are getting bigger,” he said. The JRC data covers fires of more than 30 hectares. Southern European countries like Portugal and Greece experience fires most of the summer, but rising temperatures are fueling wildfires in the north. , including Germany, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, which have been affected this season.The risk of wildfires is increasing.
Several measures will help limit the fire. B. A controlled fire setting that mimics low-intensity fires found in natural ecosystem cycles. But scientists agree that heat waves, wildfires and other climate impacts will be significantly worse if we don’t significantly reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases that drive climate change.
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