Summer is here, it means that it’s the season to be hot and tan yourself under the sun. However, this year’s summer might be a tad bit different compared to the past years. The temperature has been increasing steadily as the years go by, and it’s getting warmer and warmer. The extreme heat, dry weather fuelled many wildfires in countries across Europe and North America. These fires have cost lives and destroyed livelihoods of many.

Here are some of the countries currently battling severe wildfires:


Wildfires Across the World: Where Are the Blazes?
A British Columbia Wildfire Service firefighter looks on while conducting a controlled burn to help prevent the Finlay Creek wildfire from spreading near Peachland, B.C.

The British Columbia has seen nearly 5,800 square kilometres of its forest burned since the spring. Residents of two towns are told to evacuate as the fires continue to spread. Experts have linked a brutal heatwave earlier in the summer, continuous dry spell, to climate change, warning that wildfires will be a common occurrence in the future.


Wildfires Across the World: Where Are the Blazes?
Cars are parked by the road as fires have been raging through the countryside in Cuglieri, near Oristano, Sardinia, Italy.

As wildfires rage continues in southern Italy, many are forced to flee their homes. Sicily record Europe’s ‘highest ever’ temperature of 48.8C, levels some scientists believe could be the highest in European history. The first significant wildfires in the country, between 24 and 26 July, destroyed 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres) of forest and forced the evacuation of 800 people from their homes in south-west Sardinia. Four people have died over the past week, with the death all linked to wildfires.


Wildfires Across the World: Where Are the Blazes?
An image released by Nasa shows smoke from hundreds of forest fires covering most of Russia on 6 August.

From June 2021, the taiga forests in Siberia and the Far East region of Russia were hit by unprecedented wildfires, following record-breaking heat and drought. The Washington Post has noted that the Siberia’s wildfires are bigger than all the world’s other blazes combined. NASA’s Aqua satellite also captured images of large fires raging in Kamchatka. A state of emergency was declared, and military planes and helicopters were used to douse the fires and to seed clouds to bring down rainfall. NASA also noted that the wildfire smoke had travelled more than 3,000 km from Yakutia to reach the North Pole, a feat that “appears to be a first in recorded history.”    

United States

Wildfires Across the World: Where Are the Blazes?
Satellite imagery of the Dixie fire.

The Dixie Fire, named for the road where it started has grown to an area of 1,875 square kilometres. It has scorched an area more than twice the size of New York City. Only 21 percent of the fire is contained and it was the worst fire season in recorded state history.


Wildfires Across the World: Where Are the Blazes?
Nearly 57,000 hectares (140,000 acres) were burnt in Greece.

In the 10 days to 7 August, nearly 57,000 hectares (140,000 acres) were burnt in Greece, according to the European Forest Fire Information System. The average area burnt over the same period between 2008 and 2020 was 1,700 hectares. Evia, Greece’s second largest island, was under severe threat over the weekend and thousands packed up their belongings and fled their homes. Firefighters from several European countries have been deployed to help the Greek teams on the island of Evia to contain the wildfires.


Wildfires Across the World: Where Are the Blazes?
Tourists wait to be evacuated from smoke-engulfed Mazi area as wildfires rolled down the hill toward the seashore, in Bodrum, Mugla, Turkey.

Over two hundred wildfires burnt 1,600 square kilometres of Turkey’s forest in its Mediterranean Region in July and August 2021, the worst ever wildfire season in the country’s history. At least eight people were killed and tens of thousands other have been evacuated.

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