Forest fires fueled by a protracted heat wave continued to rage on Thursday from Italy to Turkey and through the Balkans. The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said July was the second-hottest on record in Europe. The heat wave has continued through August to ignite wildfires. Major fires broke out in Greece and Turkey amidst the worst heatwave in years. Neighboring countries are also facing similar crises. An EU disaster response group said firefighters and water-dropping planes were being sent from the bloc’s members to Italy, Greece, Albania and North Macedonia, where the government declared a 30-day state of emergency.
For more than a week, Greece has battled a heatwave that authorities describe as the country’s worse since 1987, with temperatures spiraling to 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit). The heatwave is forecast to last until at least Sunday.
Scientists have no doubt that climate change is the key driver of yet another extreme fire season. They also understand that climate adaptation in fire-prone countries is inadequate to deal with wildfires that are set to worsen.
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