Aerial Images Lay Bare Wildfire Damage In The U.S. And Europe—Officials Warn Climate Crisis Will Only Make Things Worse

06 August 2021

Published by https://www.forbes.com/ 

USA –  As firefighters battle to contain devastating fires tearing through parts of Europe and North America, officials have attributed the extreme events to climate change while experts warn the worst is yet to come as human-driven climate change amplifies the chances of the hot, dry weather fueling the blazes.

CRUCIAL QUOTE

Gov. Brown  the heat waves, ice storms and wildfires in Oregon are a “sign of the changing climate impacts.” The fires are “hotter, they’re more fierce and obviously much more challenging to tackle,” she said. “So climate change is here, it’s real and it’s like a hammer hitting us in the head. And we have to take action.”

KEY BACKGROUND

While wildfires are a natural and  part of some environments, the scale and severity of the wildfires burning now is extreme. Many regions, including parts of the U.S., have endured record breaking wildfire seasons in recent years and experts believe this will only get worse. Overwhelmingly, experts    change is to , increasing the likelihood of dry and hot conditions favorable to wildfires happening. The U.S. has already faced an  of  heat waves this year, including the brutal heat dome which  more than 100 people in Oregon, 30 in Washington and nearly 500 in the British Columbia province in Canada. Scientists  such extreme conditions would have been “virtually impossible” without climate change. Parts of  are also experiencing extreme heat—almost record-breaking in some areas—spurring the wildfires. Climate change doesn’t just drive extremes of temperature. This summer, extreme weather has caused extensive flooding across  and . The winter storm that left vast parts of Texas without power in early 2021 can be  to the warming Arctic.

BIG NUMBER

3,361,159. That’s how many acres of the U.S. have burned in wildfires this year,  to the National Interagency Fire Center. This is from 38,707 reported fires. Montana (24), Idaho (20), Oregon (1) and California (11) are the states with the highest number of active large fires.

KEY FACTS

California’s wildfire season is already racing ahead of last year’s  season—including the  fire, the state’s largest this year—and officials are  with the thousands of residents under evacuation orders to “forget the politics” and leave rather than taking their chances and stay.

Firefighters in Oregon have been  the country’s largest wildfire, Bootleg, for a month and Democratic Governor Kate Brown  that the “harsh reality is that we’re going to see more of these wildfires” in the future due to climate change.

Firefighters on Hawaii are facing Big Island’s largest wildfire in recorded history, with officials  of more blazes to come amid the dry, windy conditions.

Heat wave conditions are  fierce blazes through  —endangering ancient monuments at Olympia, the ancient birthplace of the Olympic Games—which Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis  to climate change.

The heatwave has  some of the  worst wildfires in decades,  to European Union Commissioner for the environment Virginijus Sinkevicius, with Turkey, Italy and Spain also dealing with blazes.

Canada’s province of British Columbia  a state of emergency in July due to hundreds of wildfires spreading across the region,  Minnesota to issue air quality alerts as winds carried smoke from the fires to the state.

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