In recent times, the catastrophic effects of wildfires that have killed over 100 people, left thousands homeless are dominating the headlines everywhere. Many countries have reported the worst fires in decades, including the wildfires across the Mediterranean. Wildfires have engulfed at least 90 in Algeria.
The Dixie fire in California and Siberia’s wildfires have been plugged as a few of the largest fires recorded in history.
The magnitude of wildfires
According to the research of the European Space Agency, an estimated of four million square kilometers of Earth land is affected by fire each year. To crunch the numbers, that is four times the size of Nigeria, larger than India and half the United States. Scientists use low Earth-orbit satellites like Copernicus Sentinel-3 to gather observations about the size and impact of these fires on the atmosphere, climate, and vegetation.
A UN report, in August, has blamed human activity for the changes to the climate. As a result, humanity across the globe is to experience extreme weather conditions in the coming years as a consequence of melting Arctic ice and rising sea levels.
The deadliest fires ever witness.
Wildfires have killed at least 4,500 people, injure 11,000, and affected more than 17 million around the world, according to the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters. So far, Minnesota’s Cloquet Fire in 1918 remains the deadliest wildfire on record, killing an estimate of 1,000 people.
Due to the hot air from Africa, a heatwave across southern Europe has birthed hundreds of fires from Algeria to Jerusalem in the past month.
Turkey has witnessed an average of 2,600 fires across the country every year in the last decade.
Italian firefights have battles at least 500 blazes in the Southern Calabria region and Sicily. On August 12, Sicily went on to report its highest temperatures of 48.8C.
Wildfires engulfed landscapes like resort regions with vineyards and forests that were major tourist attractions. The fires shattered the biodiversity and natural heritage.
Though authorities hold arsonists and criminals responsible for the outbreaks, the nation declared three days of national mourning for the deadliest fires in Algerian history.
In recent July, wildfires outspread through the forests in the Akkar region. Even the 15-year-old who participated in putting out the blaze was killed.
California’s dixie fire
Ince mid-July, California Dixie Fire has been raging, spanning over 253,637 hectares, and remains only 31% contained.
Low humidity, drought, and winds are fanning the blazing mad wildfires. The West is now drier and warmer in the last 30 years as a result of climate change.
The weather further extreme, and wildfires more unforgiving are imminent.