Offbeat Forest fire: a record summer summer burnt in Europe

16:20  16 august  2022
16:20  16 august  2022 Source:   elle.fr

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successive heat waves and the extreme dryness accentuate forest fires, especially in areas that were not until then at risk.

Des pompiers luttent contre un feu de forêt. © Istock of firefighters fight against a forest fire.

This is one of the direct consequences of global warming . The provisional results of the fires increases in the European Union with already more than 660,000 hectares burned since January, establishing a record at this stage of the year since the start of satellite data in 2006, said AFP on Tuesday August 16.

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Since January 1, fires have ravaged 662,776 hectares of forests in the European Union according to data updated on Sunday of the European Forest Information System (Effis), which has been comparable statistics since 2006 thanks to images satellites from the European Copernicus program.

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in Gironde, firefighters from Germany, Poland and Austria in reinforcement

in France, of worst years were recorded in the 1970s, before European standardized data. But 2022 is the most serious year in 16 years according to these figures, and it is largely because of two large successive braziers in Gironde , in the southwest of the country. German, Polish or even Austrian firefighters arrived this week in reinforcement in the area.

The situation is also exceptional in central Europe: firefighters thus took more than ten days in July to master the largest fire in the recent history of Slovenia, helped by a population so mobilized that the government had to ask the inhabitants to stop making donations to firefighters.

But not having specialized planes to fight the fires, Slovenia had to call for help Croatia, which sent an airplane ... before reminding it to turn off its own fires. The Slovenian government is now considering the acquisition of its first water bombers.

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Berlin, also threatened by the

forest fires in Berlin, Germany, a vast fire broke out last week from a police depot, in a drought forest. If the fire was quickly under control, the German capital is increasingly threatened due to the importance of its wooded areas.

But the area most struck by fires is the Iberian Peninsula. Spain, dried up like France by several heat waves this summer, saw 246,278 hectares ravaged by fires, mainly in Galicia in the northwest. However, the situation has improved with the drop in temperatures.

Portugal has also been fighting for more than a week against a fire in the world geo-chief recognized by UNESCO in the region of the Serra Da Estrela mountain, which culminates about 2,000 meters.

With global warming, areas that were spared are now at risk

in terms of burnt area, after Spain are Romania (150,528 hectares), Portugal (75,277 hectares) and France (61,289 hectares) . Over the summer period alone, "2022 is already a record year," Jesus San-Miguel, Effis coordinator told AFP. The previous record for Europe dated from 2017, when 420,913 hectares left for smoke on August 13, and 988,087 hectares in one year.

"I hope we will not have the month of October that we had that year," he continues. At the time, 400,000 hectares were then destroyed across Europe in a month. Exceptional drought in Europe, accumulated with heat waves, facilitates the start of fires. These ultra-dry conditions were more often observed in the residents of the Mediterranean Sea, but "this is exactly what happened in Central Europe" hitherto spared by these meteorological phenomena, adds Jesus San-Miguel.

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