Europe wildfires map shows where devastating blazes are sweeping Portugal and Italy

Wildfires have wreaked havoc in Portugal and Italy this week, resulting in the evacuation of thousands of people as firefighters battle to control the flames. The combination of extreme heat and strong winds has created ideal conditions for the fires to spread rapidly.

In Portugal, wildfires are raging across the southern part of the country, with over 850 firefighters working tirelessly to extinguish the flames. The first fire broke out in Odemira in the Alentejo region last Saturday and has since spread south towards the Algarve. The mayor of the area confirmed that there are active fronts in Odemira and Monchique, a picturesque mountainous area known for its thermal springs and hotels. This is not the first time Monchique has experienced wildfires, as it also burned in 2018.

Meanwhile, a fire erupted in Ourém, Santarém, on Sunday, but has since been brought under control. Another fire in the district of Leiria, specifically in Caranguejeira and Arrabal, was extinguished on Tuesday. These fires have already scorched thousands of hectares of land and forced around 1,400 people to evacuate.

In Italy, wildfires have been spreading across the island of Sardinia, particularly in the provinces of Cagliari and Nuoro. Italian authorities have reported 28 active fires in Nuoro Province and 16 in Cagliari Province. Local media reports indicate that four people have been injured, and around 600 people have been evacuated. Moreover, over 12,000 people have been cut off from their water supply in the Podasa and Siniscola Municipalities. EFFIS, the JRC European Forest Fire Information System, reveals that the main fire in the Posada area covers 514 hectares, while other blazes in the Cagliari Province span 657 hectares.

Not only Europe, but countries outside the continent have also been grappling with wildfires during the scorching temperatures. In Algeria, approximately 35 wildfires have been spreading across more than 11 regions in the northeast since July 24th. The Algerian government has reported 34 deaths, with temperatures exceeding 45°C and high wind speeds exacerbating the situation. The affected regions in Algeria include Bejaïa, Skikda, Tizi Ouzou, Bouira, Jijel, and Boumerdes.

These recent incidents follow the evacuation operation on the Greek island of Rhodes last month, where a wildfire inferno forced more than 20,000 tourists and locals to flee. The Magnesia area in Greece was particularly hard-hit, with wildfires reaching an air force ammunition depot near Nea Aghialos. The blaze caused powerful explosions, and people had to escape by land and sea to the regional capital of Volos. Speaking about the ongoing challenges, Greece’s Climate Crisis and Civil Protection minister, Vassilis Kikilias, emphasized that extreme weather conditions will persist throughout the summer and that the battle against wildfires is far from over.

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