Wildfires and heat wave across Europe

Tags: International News

Europe, along with countries such as Spain, Greece and France, is battling fierce wildfires and heat waves and struggling to extinguish fires and prevent damage.

Important facts

  • Thousands of hectares of forest land has been burnt to ashes amid the scorching heat.

  • The fire has forced thousands to flee their homes and killed many relief workers.

Cause of the wildfires

  • As far as Europe is concerned, the region has come under fire for being unusually dry and hot.

  • Experts are citing climate change as the reason.

  • They say that above-normal temperatures and drought conditions are causing fire incidents in some parts.

  • Rising temperatures absorb moisture from plants, producing abundant dry fuel.

  • Drought and extreme heat can kill plants and dead grass, and dry forest fires are more likely to occur.

  • Lightning from the sky or sparks generated by the carelessness of the local population also causes fire.

Forest fires in India

  • About 22 percent of the forest area in India comes under the highly fire prone category.

  • Recently, there have been incidents of fire in Sariska Tiger Reserve of Rajasthan, Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary in Odisha, Ladkui forests and forest areas of Mazhagawan region of Madhya Pradesh.

Impacts of wildfire

  • Air pollution caused by forest fires is more intense than other types of air pollution.

  • Wildfire smoke can affect the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. 

  • Forest fires not only destroy flora (trees, herbs, grasslands, meadows, etc.) and their diversity, but also have significant long-term negative effects on fauna, including wild endangered species.

  • Forest fires destroy organic matter in the soil and expose the top layer to erosion.

  • It can disrupt transportation, communications, electricity and gas services, and water supplies.

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