The extreme weather, brought on by climate change, has triggered unbearable temperatures in the 40C. Even after several weeks, temperatures still aren’t abating, while landscapes are drying out, the prospect of drought is looming and winds pick up speed – making it the ideal conditions for fires to take hold.
Here’s all the countries around the world which have reported wildfires recently.
Approximately 20,000 people were evacuated from Rhodes island over the weekend as the blaze, said to be occupying around 10-20% of the land, reached coastal resorts. Hundreds of firefighters tried to tackle the blaze.
Around 2,500 people were offered shelter in Corfu from a wildfire. Another fire also began on the island of Evia, where two firefighting pilots died while dropping water on the blazes.
A wildfire to the west of Athens has been burning since July 17, too. More than 100 houses and businesses have been damaged.
The country put 16 cities on red alert because of high temperatures, including Palermo and Catania.
Fires burned across woods in parts of Calabria, the southernmost part of the country’s mainland.
In Palermo, Sicily, the city’s airport closed briefly on Tuesday after wildfires. Power and water supplies have been cut, too. In some areas, temperatures rose to 47C on Sunday.
Sicily’s regional president Renato Schifani said he intended to ask the government to declare a state of emergency for the island.
In the north of the country, storms have taken hold as well. At least seven people have died due to the extreme conditions.
On La Palma island, a wildfire began on July 15, and 4,000 people were evacuated. It was contained on July 19 after burning more than 7,000 acres, including parts of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park.
Another island, Gran Canaria, saw a rapidly spreading wildfire break out on Tuesday too, leading to the evacuation of hundreds of villages. It has burned through almost 500 acres so far.
The first four months of 2023 were also the driest on record for Spain.
On July 17, mountain villages were ordered to evacuate after a fire broke out in Bitsch, in the Valais canton near the Italian border.
More than 200 people left. The situation was “stable” but the fire still wasn’t under control as of July 22.
Wildfires began in the country’s southeastern Hatay and Mersin provinces and Canakkale province in the northwest on July 16. There were further reports of fires in the southern province of Antalya on Tuesday, with almost 300 acres burned, and the Kemer State Hospital evacuated as a precaution.
Fires broke out on Tuesday in a mountainous area to the west of the capital of Lisbon, and more than 600 firefighters tried to put it out, aided by local residents as wind speeds reached 60kph.
No houses were reported to be damaged and there’s been no reports of major injuries, according to local authorities.
Fire was reported near the holiday destination of Cascais, too.
The country did request help from the EU civil protection mechanism on Tuesday, according to Finland’s interior ministry. Around 90% of the country is experiencing drought right now, following an abnormally hot and dry April.
A bushfire near the town of Sibenik took hold on July 13, aided by strong southerly winds. The village, Grebastica, was damaged, as were cars and homes. Strong winds stopped firefighting aircraft from taking off when wildfires broke out in the south of the Adriatic city of Dubrovnik too.
Nearly 100 firefighters tried to tackle a large fire between Cagnes-sur-Mer and Villeneuve-Loubet, near Nice international airport, which broke out on Tuesday, while more than 300 firefighters were tackling fires near the city of Arles.
In the country’s Urals region, in the centre, a wildfire spread on July 12. A woman died and two people were hospitalised with burns, while 41 houses were burned down, all in the village of Shaidurikha, near Yekaterinburg.
Wildfires broke out in the woods of Latakia, a governorate in north-western Syria. The North Press Agency reported that firefighters confirmed on Tuesday that the blaze was “still uncontrolled”.
Fifth wildfires broke out on Monday in the regions of Skikda, Jijel, Bouira, Bejaia, Tebassa, Medea, Setif and El Tarf – and more than 8,000 firefighters were deployed.
The inferno killed at least 34 people as of Tuesday, ten of whom were soldiers. Authorities said they had managed to bring around four-fifths of it under control, and had evacuated 1,500 people from their homes.
The fire spread from Algeria to northwest Tunisia, in Tabarka, where temperatures were reported to be 49C in some cities.
Moez Tria said priority was for the residential communities in the region and to stop the fire reaching the airport. Fires has broken out in other regions of the country including Bizerte, Beja and Siliana.
Record fires have been burning in Canada all year, and more than 3,400 international firefighters have joined Canadian ranks to fight the blazes. So far in 2023, more than 24,000,000 acres have burned – and it’s still going.
Canada sees intense fires every year, but this year has been particularly bad, with more fires burning than any other fire season since 1990 – and they’re some of the fastest moving fires in the country’s history.
More of the fires have happened in Quebec, although Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Parks Canada and Manitoba have seen intense blazes too, along with smaller fires in Yukon, Newfoundland & Labrador and Nova Scotia.
Four new large fires were reported this week across the US, three in Arizona and one in New Mexico.
There are 33 active fires across the country right now, according to the National Interagency Fire Centre.
However, although 873,766 acres has been burned across 2023, that’s still below the 10-year average of 3,482,377 acres burned.