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Fri 15 07 2022

Europe is on fire: Forest fires are raging in Europe

by bernt & torsten

Extreme heat has killed hundreds, thousands are fleeing their homes and tourists are threatened by the flames. 45 degrees shows the thermometer in several places in Europe.

Forests are on fire, thousands of people are being evacuated from their homes and rescue helicopters are crashing. Firefighters across Europe struggle to cope with the fires that replace each other.

Here are seven of Europe’s countries that have been hit hardest by the extreme heat of recent weeks.


In Portugal, several forest fires have been raging since last week. On Friday morning, more than 30 active fires were registered, and more than 2,000 firefighters are struggling to stop them, reports The Guardian .

The city of Pompal in central Portugal has been hit particularly hard. Houses burn down, and people are injured.

In the popular tourist region of the Algarve, a fire broke out near the town of Faro and spread to the luxury resort of Quinta do Lago. In northern Portugal, a firefighting plane crashed on Friday. The pilot on board died in the accident, reports AFP.

238 people have been reported dead since the extreme heat hit the country, and several thousand people have been forced to evacuate their homes, writes the BBC .


Several forest fires have hit the tourist-dense sunny coast of Malaga, and over 1,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.

In Extremadura in central Spain, at least 5,500 hectares have been burned, i.e. an area as large as 11,000 football pitches. As a result of strong winds, the fire moved north towards the city of Salamanca, where 49 children were evacuated from a camp, writes Reuters .

At least 43 people have died during the first two days of the heat wave, Spanish health services report.


In the Gironde region on the west coast of France, more than 7,800 hectares are burning. In football field measurements, there are over 15,000 of them. More than 12,000 people have been forced to leave their homes, writes Le Parisien .

Continued high temperatures and strong winds have made firefighting difficult. Several large fires are also raging in the southern parts of the country.


Fires have ravaged the Adriatic coast of Croatia every now and then. Three major forest fires broke out earlier this week in the area between the cities of Zadar and Sibenik.

On the island of Brac near Split, a car caught fire and flared over to a forest area. And then a forest fire started, writes Croatian media.


In the village of Soltszentimre in Hungary, a person was found dead in a burnt-down building in connection with a forest fire.

There were six inhabited farms in the affected area, all of which were evacuated. 114 firefighters from 17 fire stations worked to put out the fire.


During the first days of the week, the Greek authorities announced that about 100 forest fires were raging around the country daily.

One of the most notable fires was on the idyllic Greek island of Samos. Tourists had time to worry, and two villages had to be evacuated.

In connection with the firefighting work on the island, a helicopter crashed into the sea. Two people died in the accident.

The popular tourist destination of Crete and the Attica region on the Greek mainland have also been hit by fires in several places, local media write.

Strong winds in five regions have increased the risk of further fires.


A fire broke out on the outskirts of Rome. Four residential buildings had to be evacuated when 50 firefighters and 20 fire trucks were on site in the Centocelle area to put out the fire, reports Reuters .

The fire badly damaged an archeological park in the area.

The dry and hot weather has also caused the island of Sardinia’s worst grasshopper invasion in three decades.