Fires devour Portugal, Greece and France…

Fires devour Portugal, Greece and France…

Posted on July 15, 2022

This is a double danger to southern Europe. In addition to being exposed to extreme heat, many huge fires spread in Portugal, Spain, Greece and also in France where they destroyed thousands of hectares in Cévennes or in Gironde. These desolate scenes are increasingly uncontrollable for firefighters as climate change will exacerbate these disasters.

That was in 2020 in Australia. Massive fires have devastated the equivalent of Denmark’s surface, causing “fire-breathing” clouds. Today, southern Europe is engulfed in flames. In France, in the Gironde, more than 7,000 hectares of forest were burned. The situation remains unresolved as firefighters have been battling these fires since July 12. “The fires are still not stable, and unfortunately the conditions are similar to the wind forecast today,” The Gironde firefighter’s spokesman, Matteo Gumin, told AFP. to Landeras,We carry out tactical fires, “ Consisting of Burning plots of land to create virgin areas and reduce the spread of fire.

On Thursday, July 14, the alert rating for the Gironde’s “forest fires” rose to a red (4/5 scale), a measure that has been imitated in the neighboring county of Landes since Friday morning. And these fires, which did not result in injuries, broke out with the beginning of the heat wave that has hit France since Monday, July 11, especially in the west and south. The Gironde was kept on the vigil of the orange “heat wave” by Météo France, like ten other provinces. On Friday, the maximum will remain very high in the south with values ​​close to 38°C to 40°C, according to Météo France.

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The fire burned with scorching heat

A heat wave hit all of southern Europe, exacerbating the fires. In Greece, this battle against the flames left two people dead on Wednesday 13 July when a helicopter crashed into the sea while trying to put out a forest fire on the island of Samos. In Portugal, whose center was devastated for a week by fires sparked by the scorching heat, more than 2,000 firefighters are still mobilized to fight in particular against four homes still active across the country. In one week, the fires destroyed about 13,500 hectares, according to data available on the website of the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS).

In Spain, the most alarming fire has already destroyed at least 4,000 hectares in a mountainous area stretching across the regions of Extremadura, Castile and Leon, near Portugal. Several smaller fires broke out in Italy or Croatia, according to the European Copernican system. On the Iberian Peninsula, which has been facing stifling temperatures for several days, the thermometer reached maximum values ​​for the second day in a row, with a peak of 45 degrees Celsius recorded at 5 pm near Avila, in the midwest.

The device could crack with climate change

As scientists remind us, scorching, blazing summers will gradually become the norm. It is becoming increasingly urgent to adopt a climate change adaptation policy that is commensurate with the challenges. The fire chief, Gregory Alloni, called for the urgent strengthening of the firefighting system in France, which is threatened to be overshadowed by global warming. “We will have to prepare ourselves more“Because the device can crack “If we are exposed to a large number of fires at the same time in the territory”He told AFP.

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However, this is not the path taken by France. As journalist Juliette Noel recently pointed out on Linkedin, in just 8 years, almost all of the major national public operators with a mission to adapt to climate change have all experienced staff cuts. -20% for Mito France, -16% for water agencies, -12% for the National Institute of Geographical Information and Forests … However, according to the Institute for Climate Economics (I4CE) today, France is not well-equipped enough to adapt to heat waves, fires and floods. France will have to invest at least 2.3 billion euros annually to catch up.

Marina Faber-Saudron with Agence France-Presse

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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