Firefighters try to extinguish a wildfire in Greece
Extreme fires have swallowed up huge swathes of land, destroyed homes and threatened livelihoods across the world in the first half of 2022.
Below is a list of the bigger blazes - once relatively rare events that scientists say have become increasingly frequent and fierce, fuelled by heat waves, droughts and the growing menace of climate change.
* In South Korea, a fire started in the coastal county of Uljin, posing a threat to the Hanul Nuclear Power Plant. The fire that started in early March consumed around 42,008 acres and forced more than 7,000 people to evacuate, according to NASA's Earth Observatory services.
* In Morocco, several fires ripped through the provinces of Larache, Ouezzane, Tetouane and Taza. They burned nearly 5,000 acres, displaced thousands of people and killed one person.
* In France, wildfires blazed in southwestern Gironde region, burning roughly 47,700 acres as of July 19. About 34,000 people evacuated.
* In Greece, a wildfire broke out on July 19 some 27 km (16 miles) north of Athens. It was brought under control a day later, but more fires raged near the city of Megara, west of Athens, and on the island of Salamina.
* In Italy, a fire started on July 20 near Carso and spread across the border to Slovenia. It burned over 5,000 acres as of July 21.
On July 19, a fire broke out in Tuscany and destroyed 1,606 acres as of July 20. About 500 people were evacuated and some liquified gas tanks exploded.
* In Portugal, a wildfire ripping across Murca municipality consumed roughly between 24,711 to 29,653 acres and killed two people.
Earlier in July, several wildfires broke out in Ourém municipality and burned over 7,413.1 acres, according to a report by Copernicus, EU's Emergency Management Service.
* In Spain, as of July 19, more than 30 wildfires were still ravaging parts of the country. Authorities focused on blazes in Castile and Leon and Galicia.
On July 18 a blaze started in Zaragoza province and burned about 4,942 acres, according to a report by Copernicus.
Earlier, a fire broke out in Zamora province and scorched at least 49,421 acres of land and prompted to evacuate 11 villages.
On June 8 firefighters managed to stabilise a wildfire in Malaga province that ravaged 8,600 acres of woods and bushes.
* In Turkey, a wildfire broke out on July 13 in the province of Mugla along the Aegean coast. Nearly 1,800 acres were ravaged and some 3,530 people were evacuated.
* In Canada, a blaze broke out on July 14 in British Columbia and burned nearly 2,000 acres. Residents of several First Nation reserves and 24 property owners had to evacuate.
* In the United-States, a fire started on July 8 in part of California's Yosemite National Park, home of some of the world's largest and oldest giant sequoia trees. As of July 13, flames had consumed 3,772 acres, according to a report by InciWeb, a U.S. interagency all-risk incident information management system.
On April 17, the Pipeline Fire in Arizona burned over 20,000 acres and prompted more than 2,100 homes to evacuate.
In New Mexico, the largest blaze to date was the merger of the Hermits Peak Fire and the Calf Canyon Fire in San Miguel and Santa Fe counties, burning 341,735 acres as of July 15, according to InciWeb. The Hermits Peak Fire started on April 6 and the Calf Canyon Fire started April 19.
In California, on Jan. 21, Colorado Fire started, burning as per Jan. 22 about 1,500 acres.
* In Argentina, the Corrientes wildfires, in the Corrientes province, near Paraguay's borders, started in February, and ravaged about 2,223,948 acres of nature. It displaced or killed wild animals such as capybaras and alligators.
NOTE: For this list, a fire is ranked "extreme" after burning 1,000 or more acres.
Reporting by Dina Kartit; Editing by David Gregorio
Leave a comment