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Greece surveys damage from wildfires of 'exceptional magnitude'

ANI | Updated: Aug 13, 2021 00:12 IST

Athens [Greece], August 13 (ANI): Nearly 100,000 hectares of forestry and farmland had burned in wildfires of Greece fuelled by an extraordinary heatwave at the beginning of August, said European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) on Wednesday (local time).
The extreme conditions of heat and dry weather this year along the Mediterranean have been linked to climate change, reported DW News Agency.
More than half the area of the Greek island of Evia, Greece's second-biggest island was burned in the country's worst fire wave since 2007.
Evia's thick pine forests, which were still ablaze on Wednesday, were largely reduced to ash in the northern part of the island, reported DW News Agency.
"They are still very destructive today everywhere, and have a rare high level of intensity," Mark Parrington of Copernicus, the European Climate Change service, said of the fires in Greece.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mistotakis said the 586 fires that swept through several regions of the country in just a few days was "a natural disaster of exceptional magnitude."

Meanwhile, in the US, California's largest single wildfire is still not contained and continued to grow on Wednesday. Dixie fire has destroyed at least 1,045 buildings, more than half of the homes in the northern Sierra Nevada, reported DW News Agency.
The Dixie Fire began on July 14 and has covered 783 square miles (2,027 square kilometres). As of Wednesday, it was only 30 per cent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Heatwaves and historic droughts, which have been tied to climate change, have made wildfires harder to fight in the Western Region of the US. The US west has become much warmer and drier in the past 30 years, reported DW News Agency.
Also, firefighters, troops and civilian volunteers continue to battle blazes on Wednesday in forests across northern Algeria. The fires have left at least 65 people dead.
The fires have been fueled by high winds in very dry conditions created by a heatwave across North Africa and the wider Mediterranean, fire official Youcef Ould Mohamed told the state-run APS news agency, reported DW News Agency.
Algeria's President Abdelmadjid Tebboune declared three days of national mourning starting on Thursday, to commemorate the victims of the natural disaster.
As per scientists, it's the climate crisis that is making heatwaves and fires more frequent and intense, and therefore more destructive, reported CNN. (ANI)