Wildfires – Israel
Israel sent teams of firefighters and planes on Thursday (Jul 18) to contain a blaze near Jerusalem as record temperatures fuelled wildfires across the country.
Some 100 fires have been reported in Israel in recent days and at least three or four areas had to be evacuated. No one had been injured in the fires, which were likely sparked through negligence and amplified by high temperatures, drought and winds.
Wildfires – Arizona, USA
The Cellar Fire near Prescott, Arizona has grown to 8,000 acres as of 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to Arizona Interagency Wildfire Prevention. The fire is burning about 16 miles south of Prescott. Prescott National Forest says the fire was likely caused by lightning and has zero containment.
Wildfires – Russia
Firefighters are extinguishing around 160 wildfires on a total area of almost 155,000 hectares across Russia, the press service of the Federal Aerial Protection Service reported on Monday. The day before the area affected by fires amounted to 144,500 hectares.
“As of 00:00 Moscow time on July 15, 2019, 160 forest fires were raging on a total area of 154,940 hectares, including 40 fires in the Krasnoyarsk Region (70,771 hectares) and 40 fires in the Irkutsk Region (45,307 hectares). Work to extinguish them was in progress,” the press service said.
Large fires have been registered in the Magadan Region, the Chukotka Autonomous Region, Kamchatka, the Trans-Baikal Region and Buryatia. The firefighting effort involves more than 3,300 people and 428 pieces of equipment. As many as 72 aircraft are monitoring the situation and 35 extinguish fires. A total of 50 wildfires on a total area exceeding 3,300 hectares have been extinguished over the past 24 hours.
Wildfires – Greenland
Satellites spotted another bushfire in western Greenland this week. The blaze first showed up on Wednesday. Fire crews were able to smother the flames according to the Greenlandic Broadcasting Corporation, but forecasts from the European Commission’s Global Wildfire Information System shows that the risk of fires remains high to very high over the next week in western Greenland.
Wildfires – Italy
Firefighters are battling wildfires on multiple fronts in southern Italy, including one blaze in Puglia that left at least one person dead. Firefighters said Saturday they had sent up three Canadair aircraft to dump water on a wildfire raging in Tortoli, Sardinia, that forced the evacuation of a beach and some homes. Canadairs were also deployed over a forest in Puglia’s Gallipoli, near a beach and a protected park. Firefighters said a burned body was discovered during land-based operations.
Wildfires – Hawaii, USA
Thousands of people on Maui have been ordered to evacuate two towns in the path of a spreading wildfire. The 1,200 hectare (3,000 acre) brush fire in the island’s central valley was uncontrolled on Thursday night. Firefighters were monitoring it overnight but it was too dangerous to battle in the dark.
Wildfires – Idaho, USA
Firefighters appear to be getting an upper hand on three wildfires that scorched more than 17,000 acres in Eastern Idaho over the weekend. None of the three fires burning threatened any structures nor prompted any evacuations. Still, the largest fires, located near Aberdeen and Raft River, spread exponentially on Saturday and Sunday as they were driven by high winds created by thunderstorms.
Wildfires – Greece
Two new brush fires broke out overnight on the Greek island of Evia, forcing the evacuation of four villages, authorities said Friday.
The new wildfires came several hours after a major blaze led to the mobilization of more than 100 firefighters and the evacuation of another village. Firefighters managed to limit the spread of the initial fire, which was burning woodland and agricultural areas, but difficult terrain and high temperatures hampered their efforts to extinguish it.
Wildfires – Arctic
Across the Arctic, more than 100 wildfires are releasing clouds of carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions into the atmosphere.
The fires have been burning across the Arctic Circle in Siberia and Alaska for weeks. Though fire is a natural part of some Arctic ecosystems, scientists are calling the wildfires “unprecedented” for the month of June based on their size and carbon dioxide emissions.
“These are some of the biggest fires on the planet, with a few appearing to be larger than 100,000 hectares,” Thomas Smith, professor of geography at the London School of Economics, said in an email. “The amount of CO2 emitted from Arctic Circle fires in June 2019 is larger than all of the CO2 released from Arctic Circle fires in the same month from 2010 through to 2018 put together.”
Wildfires – Germany
Sweeping wildfires forced the evacuation of four villages in eastern Germany, the latest fallout from a Europe-wide heatwave that has raised concerns about climate change.
Discarded bullets and other munitions exploded at an abandoned military firing range as fires covering 600 hectares (1,500 acres) neared the villages of Trebs, Alt Jabel, Volzrade and Jessenitz-Werk about 55 miles southeast of Hamburg. Four military helicopters scooped water out of the nearby Elbe River to douse the flames.
Wildfires – Alaska
Alaska’s heat wave is driving wildfires and melting glaciers, choking the state’s biggest cities with smoke and bloating rivers with meltwater.
The Swan Lake wildfire to the south in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge has burned since a June 5 lightning strike and consumed more than 68,000 acres
To the north, in Fairbanks, fire officials ordered evacuations in two areas and told residents in a third to be prepared to leave because of the Shovel Creek Fire, which had grown to 5,568 acres by Sunday.
In all, there were 354 wildfires covering 443,211 acres in Alaska as of Sunday morning, according to state and federal fire managers.
Wildfires – France
Wildfires have burned several houses and hundreds of hectares of land in the south of France as the country struggles with a record-breaking heatwave. The fires are burning in the southern Gard department, a region that has seen little rain and where temperatures have hit 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).
Wildfires – Spain
Firefighters battled wildfires at a scale not seen for 20 years in Spain. More than 500 firefighters and soldiers struggled to bring a huge forest fire under control in the Catalan province of Tarragona that has so far burned across 5,500 hectares (12,355 acres) of land. Fifty-three people have been evacuated from their homes, five roads remain cut off and the civil protection authorities have advised people not to enter the area unless absolutely necessary. Hundreds of sheep have died in the smoke and flames.
Wildfires – Australia
Firefighters and volunteers from Bushfires NT have been working overtime to control a bushfire that has burned through 500 hectares of bush west of Eva Valley. The fire had started near Cheeney Rd in the Chin sub-division and was moving northwest. The blaze posed a risk to upwards of nine properties in the area.
Wildfires – Jamaica
A bush fire which has been burning in the Mavis Bank area of St. Andrew for a few days, has been brought under control, reducing the threat posed to hundreds of acres of coffee.
Wildfires – Europe
Nearly 1,400 fires have hit Europe so far this year compared to an annual average of 174 in the same period over the past ten years. This has resulted in a near five-fold increase in burnt areas. Blazes have so far this year burnt 207,440 hectares. In the decade from 2008-2018, an average of 44,491 hectares had burnt by June 25 every year.
The recent heatwaves alone do not explain higher risk of fire. A number of conditions impact whether fires will spread and intensify. They include the available amount of dry foliage, temperature, overall soil moisture, wind speed and the presence of potential ignition sources, which can be natural — such as lighting — or due to human activity — such as a piece of glass or a smouldering cigarette.
Wildfires – Arizona, USA
One of the largest fires in Arizona continues to burn as more than 700 homes have now been evacuated. The Woodbury Fire began on June 8 in the Tonto National Forest near Roosevelt Lake and has since forced the evacuation of about 700 homes as the human-caused wildfire has grown to more than 100 square miles.