Forest fires, a catastrophe that is repeated year after year


Rising temperatures, heatwaves and droughts greatly facilitate forest fires

Millions of hectares burn each year across the globe, but we are encountering more and more massive fires worldwide.

As the Earth’s heat increases, the frequency and virulence of these extreme events will increase. The formula is simple: the more warming, the longer the summers, the drier the forests, and therefore the more easily they burn.

One of the indicators that show the relationship between climate change and fires are the records that have been broken in the number of fires, as well as in their scope

The flames also became extreme in territories where we would not imagine these events occurring, such as Siberia. Although a fire appears to be not an atypical phenomenon there, last year the fires were unprecedented in scope: no less than 16 million hectares were burned. An area twice the size of Austria.

In the United States, several hundred houses, a hotel and a shopping center were burned, and thousands of people were evacuated due to the forest fires that are advancing on the outskirts of Denver, capital of the state of Colorado, on Thursday (12/30/2021) by the night.

Several outbreaks of fires started on Thursday and spread rapidly due to strong winds. Gusts of up to 169 kilometers per hour were reported in various places, according to the National Weather Service, fanning the flames and hampering the firefighters’ effort.

In the harsh winter cold, flames easily swept through the region parched by a historic drought. The origin of the fire occurred when some electricity towers were collapsed by powerful winds and lit small bulbs that took shape in the dehydrated landscape of Boulder County. These fires that destroyed “in the blink of an eye” entire neighborhoods of the state of Colorado, in the western United States, were extinguished this Friday (12/31/2021) with the fall of snow that extinguished the last embers.

Elsewhere after several weeks of high temperatures, fires broke out in Western Australia, in the touristy Margaret River region. Several regions to the south of Sydney, which suffered the worst fires in the country’s history two years ago, recorded 21 centimeters of water in the last 24 hours.

Forest fires have become the main danger for the countries of the South American Southern Cone in the last hours of 2021 and the first hours of 2022. The fire has already affected more than ten provinces in Argentina and destroyed more than 20,000 hectares on the coast of Uruguay, a record figure for the South American country.

In Argentina, they declared an igneous emergency throughout the country while fighting fires in Patagonia. Forest fires bring with them the inevitable loss of native forest and biodiversity, which represents a threat to forest wealth, flora, and fauna, disturbing the ecology and the environment in general.

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