Extreme Heat Leaves Parts Of Europe Engulfed In Forest Fires, No Respite Expected Today
July 19, 2022
A severe heat wave is raging across Western Europe and the British Isles, causing devastating forest fires in some regions that have led to at least two deaths in Spain – experts say, showing the impact of climate change on the region, Tuesday’s break.
France 24 reports that two huge forest fires have continued for the past five days in the Gironde region of southwestern France due to high temperatures.
Despite the deployment of more than 1,200 firefighters and several aerial firefighting aircraft, authorities were unable to bring the blaze under control.
The Associated Press reports that at least two people have died in a forest fire in the Zamora province of Spain.
Spain has reported at least 537 heat-related deaths this month, while neighboring Portugal – which has experienced its own series of wildfires – has reported at least 659 such deaths.
UK weather officials said the UK could see a record high temperature of 43°C (109.4°F) on Tuesday, and the Met Office issued a ‘red’ warning for high temperatures on Monday and Tuesday.
“Climate change is killing people, our ecosystems and what is most precious to us,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Monday during a visit to survey the damage caused by forest fires.
Climate scientists have warned that unprecedented heat waves like the one in Europe could become the norm as climate change increases global temperatures. Prolonged heat can lead to larger and more destructive forest fires and droughts. Europe’s climate action plans have fallen into disarray in the wake of the energy crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — prompting major economies such as Germany to restart coal plants. On Monday, officials from 40 countries met in Berlin to discuss plans to tackle climate change.