Big fires in the south are spreading

A large forest fire in the west of the island of Euboea is currently keeping the fire brigade in suspense. Because of strong winds, the flames spread rapidly. In the morning, five fire-fighting planes and helicopters as well as 150 firefighters with 32 fire-fighting trains were deployed. A village was evacuated and the residents of the region were also alerted by civil protection via warning SMS, the ANA news agency reported.

The second largest Greek island was one of the hardest hit by the devastating forest fires in the hot summer of 2021. At that time, tens of thousands of hectares of forest fell victim to the flames. The government has since upgraded firefighting. Other EU countries are also helping. As part of an EU aid program, around 250 foreign firefighters will be stationed in Greece this summer. Foreign countries are also providing support by sending around 90 fire-fighting helicopters and planes.

Earliest heat wave in France since 1947

Several temperature records have been set in France in recent days, with the provisional peak value being reached in Biarritz on Saturday at 42.9 degrees. The weather service Meteo France spoke of the earliest heat wave since 1947. Numerous festivals, sporting and cultural events were canceled nationwide. In Bordeaux, the museums waived the entrance fee for visitors when the temperature reached 40 degrees, so that they could temporarily cool down in the air-conditioned rooms.

Military exercises trigger forest fires

In the Var region in southern France, artillery exercises by the army triggered a forest fire, and around 600 hectares of land went up in flames. According to the fire department, no one was affected, only 2,500 sheep had to be brought to safety.

APA/AFP/Cesar Manso

Firefighters battle a sea of ​​flames in northern Spain

14 towns evacuated in Spain

In Spain, forest fires in the Sierra de la Culebra mountain range in the north-west of the country have already devastated almost 20,000 hectares of land, 14 towns were evacuated as a precaution and hundreds of people had to leave their homes. In several other regions, emergency services fought other fires.

Italy: regions before state of emergency

Because of the worst drought in the past 70 years, the northern Italian regions want to declare a state of emergency. This could give them a free hand in taking emergency measures to combat water shortages. On Wednesday the Presidents of the Regions will meet Minister of Agriculture Stefano Patuanelli. Among other things, measures to increase the efficiency of the Italian water supply system will be discussed.

The state of emergency is “inevitable,” Patuanelli said, according to the media. “There are entire stretches of land in Italy and Europe where it hasn’t rained for months.” Piedmont President Alberto Cirio announced that 170 municipalities in his region will only be able to use water for essential purposes such as drinking and food preparation. The water supply in ten cities, most of them in the province of Novara, is completely cut off at night.

Forest fire also in Germany

In Germany, too, there is a fire near the small town of Treuenbrietzen in Brandenburg – around 80 kilometers southwest of Berlin – on an area of ​​around 100 hectares. The extinguishing work was made more difficult by the fact that the affected area was partially contaminated with ammunition, so that the emergency services could only move on secured routes.

part of the climate crisis

According to experts, the increase in heat waves and droughts is a direct result of global warming. The intensity as well as the duration and frequency of these phenomena are increasing. Climate change is leading to earlier heat waves, explained Clare Nullis from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva. “Unfortunately, what we are seeing today is a foretaste of the future” if greenhouse gas emissions do not decrease, the expert warned. According to the WMO, the number of severe weather disasters increased fivefold between 1970 and 2019.

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