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Fire

Thousands evacuated as hundreds of firefighters battle fire in southern France - 2 killed (UPDATE)

fire
Thousands of people have been evacuated since Monday in southeastern France to escape a rapidly-advancing wildfire.

The evacuations in the coastal Var department took place in the hinterland, particularly around the villages of Grimaud and La Môle, near Saint Tropez.

Twelve campsites were also evacuated, the Prefecture said.

The fire broke out on Monday at the Sigues motorway service area, about 100km north-east of Toulon.

By early morning on Tuesday, it had travelled 22 kilometres and burnt 5,000 hectares of forests. About 100 houses were damaged.


Comment: Update August 18: Deutsche Welle (DW) reports:
Two die in French wildfires near Saint-Tropez

Over 1,000 firefighters have struggled to contain a fire on the Mediterranean coast

Over 1,000 firefighters have struggled to contain a fire on the Mediterranean coast
Wildfires in the hills near the French coastal resort of Saint-Tropez have claimed the lives of at least two people, the regional government said on Wednesday.

"The battle is ongoing and the fire has not yet been contained," French President Emmanuel Macron said after visiting the area on Tuesday. "The coming hours will be absolutely decisive."

What has happened so far?

A total of 1,200 firefighters have tried to extinguish the flames of France's worst fire of the summer that has forced about 7,000 residents and tourists to flee their homes in the French Riviera area.

The blaze has killed at least two people and injured 24 others, including five firefighters, local prefect Evence Richard said.

Crews used high-pressure hoses and water-carrying planes to try to put out flames that were spread quickly by strong winds and high temperatures.

Authorities reported no new evacuations on Wednesday, but another 20 people had to be treated for smoke inhalation.

The blaze that broke out on Monday in the Plaine des Maures nature reserve had still not been stabilized, a government official reported.

Over 7,000 hectares (17,297 acres) of forests, vineyards and wild animals were burnt to cinders in just three days.

Frank Graciano, the Var fire service spokesman, said that although the fire "had not spread" throughout Tuesday night, "that does not mean it is under control."

"We will carry out the same basic work as yesterday by dropping water on the critical places," Graciano added.




Fire

1,000 evacuated from their homes as wildfire in Ávila ,Spain affects 10,000 hectares

FIRE
The fire in Navalcruz is reported to be the worst in Spain so far this year

The record high temperatures in Spain over the weekend of August 14 and 15 have been accompanied by a series of wildfires affecting various parts of the country, the worst of them affecting over 10,000 hectares of land in and around Navalacruz in the province of Ávila (Castlila y León).

Serious fires have also been keeping emergency services busy in Madrid, Castellón and numerous other provinces, but the one which broke out on Saturday morning alongside the N-502 in Navalacruz is by some distance the most extensive and is threatening forest land and livestock as well as villages and towns. Over 1,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in the municipalities of Riofrío, Sotalbo, Solosancho, Sobledillo and Villaviciosa and are being housed temporarily in public buildings and pavilions made available by the Town Hall of Ávila.


Fire

Greece wildfires: New blazes burning outside of Athens

Local residents stand on a hill as flames approaching at Gouves village on the island of Evia, about 185 kilometers (115 miles) north of Athens, Greece, Aug. 8
© AP
Local residents stand on a hill as flames approaching at Gouves village on the island of Evia, about 185 kilometers (115 miles) north of Athens, Greece, Aug. 8
Yet more wildfires broke out in Greece Monday, with two blazes triggering evacuation alerts for settlements to the southeast and northwest of the Greek capital.

Fanned by strong winds, the first blaze, which broke out Monday morning in the Keratea region southeast of Athens quickly burned through shrubland and was headed toward a national park in the Sounion area.

Three settlements in the area were ordered evacuated, while the fire department sent dozens of firefighters, as well as six water-dropping planes and four helicopters. Local officials appealed to people not to approach the area.

On the other side of the capital to the northwest, another blaze broke out in the Vilia area just after noon, triggering an evacuation alert of another three settlements. Strong winds were predicted to last until at least the evening, potentially hampering the firefighting effort.


Fire

Israel: Sky over Jerusalem fills with smoke as massive forest fire breaks out

Huge Jerusalem-area wildfire burns into the night

Huge Jerusalem-area wildfire burns into the night
The sky appeared filled with clouds of smoke following a large forest fire near Beit Meir, western Jerusalem, on Sunday.

Aeroplanes could be seen flying overhead, dumping loads of fire retardant in efforts to quench the blaze, which was exacerbated by high temperatures and strong winds.

More than 2,000 nearby residents have reportedly been evacuated, with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett telling security forces to evacuate communities without question, regardless of any doubts they may have.


Fire

Wildfire death toll rises to 4 as Italy battles over 500 infernos across the country

wildfire italy sardinia
© Reuters / Vigili del Fuoco
A fire is seen burning a forest near the town of Mandas on the south of the island of Sardinia, Italy, August 12, 2021
Italy's emergency services fought more than 500 fires across the country throughout the night, officials said on Thursday, as the death toll from the blazes rose to four amid intense heat waves across Europe.

With Italy recording a record high temperature of 48.8 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, the nation's firefighters have spent days battling hundreds of raging wildfires throughout the south of the country, including in Calabria and Sicily.

Emergency services were deployed overnight to try and control more than 500 blazes, as Italy and its European neighbours contend with extreme dry summer weather, which experts warn will get worse due to the effects of climate change.

Fire

Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis says wildfires a 'major ecological catastrophe'

greece wildfires
© AP Photo/Michael Varaklas
A burnt forest in Agia Anna village on Evia island, about 181 kilometers (113 miles) north of Athens, Greece, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday described the devastating wildfires that burned across the country for more than a week as the greatest ecological catastrophe Greece had seen in decades.

The fires broke out as the country roasted during the most intense and protracted heat wave experienced since 1987. Hundreds of wildfires erupted across the country, stretching Greece's firefighting capabilities to the limit and leading the government to appeal for help from abroad. Hundreds of firefighters, along with planes, helicopters and vehicles, arrived from 24 European and Middle Eastern countries to assist.

"We managed to save lives, but we lost forests and property," Mitsotakis said, describing the wildfires as "the greatest ecological catastrophe of the last few decades."

Fire

Wildfires in Albania, North Macedonia and Kosovo

fire
Firefighters managed to control a huge fire that broke out Monday night near the village of Kalimash in Albania and threatened the main access to neighbouring Kosovo.

The fire engulfed the area above the Thirrë-Kalimash Tunnel, burning trees and shrubbery.

No injuries occurred and traffic was able resume some hours later.


Comment: More extreme wildfires recently struck (on August 7) another country in the region - Kosovo:




Fire

Algeria wildfires: At least 65 people killed as blazes ravage forests and villages east of the capital

Smoke rises from a forest fire in the mountainous Tizi Ouzou province, east of the Algerian capital, Algiers

Smoke rises from a forest fire in the mountainous Tizi Ouzou province, east of the Algerian capital, Algiers
The dead include soldiers who were killed saving residents from wildfires ravaging mountain forests and villages east of the capital, Algiers.

At least 65 people have been killed in wildfires that erupted in Algeria, according to state television reports.

Officials said the number included 25 soldiers killed trying to save residents.


The fires have been ravaging forests and villages east of the capital, Algiers, in the Kabyle region, covering the mountainous area with thick clouds of smoke.

Prime Minister Ayman Benabderrahmane told state television the blazes appeared to be "highly synchronised", adding that "leads one to believe these were criminal acts".


Fire

British Columbia wildfires by the numbers: Over 650,000 hectares burned

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The sun has risen on another summer day in British Columbia where thousands of hard-working personnel are combining their efforts to get the province's ongoing wildfire situation under control.

Since April 1, there have been 1,451 wildfires in BC that have burned just over 650,000 hectares of land.


Currently, there are 260 active wildfires and here's how they break down by region:

Fire

"Like a horror movie:" Greece wildfires continue to force thousands of evacuations

FLEE
The burning of wildfires in Greece was like living in a horror movie, one resident said as she was evacuated from the Greek island of Evia by ferry on Sunday.

Thousands of people have fled their homes on Evia as wildfires burned uncontrolled for a sixth day, and ferries were on standby for more evacuations after taking many to safety by sea.

Fires that had threatened the northern suburbs of Athens in recent days died back. But the blaze on Evia, a large island north-east of the capital, quickly burgeoned into several fronts, ripping through thousands of hectares of pristine forest across its northern part, and forcing the evacuation of dozens of villages.