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Fri, 30 Jul 2021
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Fire

Three dead and ten stranded as wildfire rages across southern Turkey

Smoke and flames rise after a forest fire broke out

Smoke and flames rise after a forest fire broke out
Three people have died in a massive wildfire in southern Turkey, where firefighters battled the massive blaze for a second day on Thursday.

Efforts to rescue 10 stranded people near the resort city of Antalya were ongoing, the country's AFAD disaster agency said.

More than 100 other people had to be evacuated, required medical treatment or suffered damage to property as a result of the fire.


Fire

'Out of control': Greek wildfire rages through forest near Athens

Firefighters battle a wildfire in Dionysos, north east of Athens, on July 27, 2021.

Firefighters battle a wildfire in Dionysos, north east of Athens, on July 27, 2021.
Greek authorities have evacuated several areas north of Athens as a wildfire swept through a hillside forest and threatened homes near the country's capital.

The fire, which started on Tuesday morning, is "out of control," Dionysos mayor Yannis Kalafatelis told Greek radio.

The town located about 30 kilometres northeast of Athens is among those affected, along with neighbouring Stamata and Rodopoli.

74 firefighters were deployed on the ground to try and contain the fire, which sent smoke over Athens.

Five water-dropping planes and five helicopters were being used to fight the blaze.


Fire

Massive wildfires ravage Lebanon's north forcing residents to flee

Smoke billows from a fire in Qoubayat, Lebanon
© Reuters / Mouarbes Jean
Smoke billows from a fire in Qoubayat, Lebanon on July 28, 2021.
Multiple fires have broken out in northern Lebanon, devastating pine forests and threatening multiple villages. The blazes have forced some residents to flee their homes, while at least one firefighter died battling the flames.

Hot weather and strong winds have descended upon the country's northern province of Akkar, fueling multiple wildlife fires. On Wednesday, a massive wildfire broke out close to the town of Qoubayat, the largest Christian settlement in the region.

Footage from the scene shows the flames spreading extremely rapidly across wooded mountains, consuming iconic Lebanese pine forests. The blaze quickly approached the town, as well as other villages in the area.


Fire

Hundreds evacuated from Italian island of Sardinia amid massive wildfires

Sardinia wildfires
© Reuters / Cronache Nuoresi
Massive wildfires have ravaged tens of thousands of hectares on the Italian island of Sardinia. Firefighters are struggling to contain the blaze as it rages for a third day straight, with Rome asking the EU for help.

More than 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) of forest and land have been devastated on Sardinia as wildfires raged through the Montiferru region in the island's west. The outbreaks also stretched east to the province of Ogliastra.

Videos published on social media showed walls of fire moving along the mountain slopes in Sardinia and closing in on some settlements, as plumes of black smoke blotted out the skies overhead. Firefighting aircraft water-bombed the blaze just meters away from homes, the footage showed.


Fire

Thousands evacuated as US wildfires burn across California and Nevada

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Fire crews are battling extreme temperatures as they try to control wildfires in California and Nevada. Hundreds of people have been evacuated.

In Washington DC, the moon turned a bright orange colour due to the smoke from the fires.


Comment: Wildfire smoke now covers much of the United States


Fire

Massive forest fires in Catalonia and Andalusia, Spain

fire
Thousands of hectares have been devastated by forest fires over the weekend in Spain.

Above all, in the region of Catalonia, where the situation is critical. Dozens of people have had to be evicted due to the advance of the fire.

In the provinces of Barcelona and Tarragona, a fire is progressing uncontrollably leaving in its wake about 1,300 burned hectares, including part of a protected natural area, and crops, emergency services reported.

More than three hundred firefighters were deployed in the area with fifty water trucks and the support of fifteen tankers.


Fire

Wildfire smoke now covers much of the United States

The AirNow fire and smoke map shows a film of gray wildfire smoke across most of the US on July 20, 2021.
© AirNow
The AirNow fire and smoke map shows a film of gray wildfire smoke across most of the US on July 20, 2021.
The lower 48 is largely blanketed by hazy, smoke-filled skies as wildfires rage on.

I've been noticing strange sunsets lately in New Mexico where the sun looks like a molten ball of red as it sinks into the west. It's one symptom of wildfire smoke in the sky and a sign of another brutal wildfire season in the US.

The National Weather Service office in Aberdeen, South Dakota, tweeted on Tuesday: "You've probably noticed the persistent hazy skies as of late. Turns out we're not the only ones seeing this -- smoke from wildfires is covering much of the lower 48."

Besides apocalyptic-looking sunsets and orange skies, wildfire smoke can impact air quality far from where a fire is actually located. The wildfires, many of which are burning in the western US, have been fed by severe drought conditions and heat waves. These events have been exacerbated by the climate crisis and the extreme weather it brings with it.

The National Weather Service shared a fire and smoke map from the AirNow air quality monitoring site. What's notable are the wide swaths of gray indicating smoke coverage over the US and Canada, as well as the many marked wildfire locations, denoted by the orange fire icons.


Fire

'Climate change is happening': As wildfires destroy hectares of Siberian forest, local politician points finger at global warming

wildfire Russia's Yakutia region
The wildfires in Russia's Yakutia region are caused by climate change, which has led to abnormally hot weather and 'dry thunderstorms.' That's according to Aysen Nikolayev, the head of the vast republic located in eastern Siberia.

Speaking to the local TV Channel Yakutia-24, Nikolayev noted that the region's average temperature in June was 20C - far higher than it should be. His statement comes as many Russian politicians, including President Vladimir Putin, have upped their rhetoric on fighting global warming in recent months.

"Global climate change is happening," the head explained. "This year is the driest and hottest summer that Yakutia has had in the history of meteorological observations since the end of the 19th century. This is the data of the meteorological service, which can't be refuted."

Comment: See also:


Fire

Canada's B.C. declares provincial state of emergency due to wildfires

Smoke billows from a wildfire near Osoyoos, British Columbia, Canada
© Twitter @DylanGaleas via Reuters
Smoke billows from a wildfire near Osoyoos, British Columbia, Canada July 19, 2021, in this picture obtained from social media
British Columbia is once again under a provincial state of emergency.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth declared a state of emergency on Tuesday afternoon in response to ongoing wildfires burning across the province.

It will take effect at midnight, Tuesday, July 20.

The forecast in parts of the province calls for shifts in winds and weather, raising concerns that property evacuations could rise to a level not yet seen this fire season, the government said.

The province previously declared states of emergencies linked to fires in 2003, 2017 and 2018.

On July 1, 2021, B.C. concluded a 16-month state of emergency, by far the longest in the province's history, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state of emergency is initially in effect for 14 days once issued and may be extended or rescinded as necessary.

Fire

Siberian wildfires spread 17.5% in 24 hours

The fires have been fueled by abnormally high temperatures, historic drought and strong winds.
© Russian Aerial Forest Protection Service / TASS
The fires have been fueled by abnormally high temperatures, historic drought and strong winds.
Wildfires ravaging northeastern Siberia have spread by nearly 70,000 hectares in the past day, marking a 17.5% increase in a single day, the Kommersant business daily reported Friday, citing the regional emergencies ministry.

Some 400,000 hectares of forest are now burning in Russia's republic of Sakha.

Abnormally high temperatures and historic drought as well as strong winds have all contributed to the rapid wildfire spread, Sakha's deputy ecology minister and chief forester Sergei Sivtsev told Kommersant.

"For the central regions of the republic, June 2021 became the second driest in the entire history of observations; the last time such a drought was observed was at the end of the 19th century, in 1888," Sivtsev told Kommersant.