Wildfires ravaging forestlands in many parts of world

From North America to Australia, world grappling with massive forest fires

Emel Oz  | 06.08.2021 - Update : 06.08.2021
Wildfires ravaging forestlands in many parts of world Flames rise during Dixie Fire near Chico in Greenville, California, United States on August 5, 2021. ( Neal Waters - Anadolu Agency )


Wildfires have spread to many parts of the world, according to the US space agency NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System.

Most regions of North America and South America, the African plateau, Madagascar, the eastern Arabian Peninsula, and the Mediterranean coast of Europe as well as northern and eastern Europe have been affected by fires.

In Asia, fires have been detected on some coasts of India, Sri Lanka, and in Russia's Siberia region as well as in China, Malaysia, Japan, and Indonesia.

Ukraine and Georgia in Eurasia, and eastern and northern Australia in Oceania are also adversely affected by forest fires.

Countries such as Italy, Spain, Greece, Tunisia, and Egypt as well as Algeria which have a coast on the Mediterranean, are also struggling with forest fires.

According to an emergency map of the European Commission showing forest fires, large and small fires on the entire continent reached almost as far as the north of Russia. On the satellite map, it is seen that fires of various sizes have been burning for at least a week across the EU countries.


The northern and southern parts of the country are experiencing many forest fires, both large and small.

According to local media, thousands of hectares of land have been burned as a result of fires in the Sicily Island and the Calabria, Puglia, and Campania regions in the south of the country over the last few weeks.

Italy requested firefighting aircraft from EU countries, in addition to using its own firefighting aircraft.


Thousands were evacuated to safe areas due to the forest fires in the north of the capital Athens.

Five people were injured in fires in Greece and nearly 60 villages and settlements in the south of the country were evacuated.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said they were facing unprecedented conditions due to the prevailing heatwave in the country.

Also, it was decided that the Greek army should intervene in the forest fires.

Nikos Hardalias, the Greek civil defense and deputy minister for crisis management, said forest fires broke out at 118 points in the last 24 hours, and 60,000 acres of forest area were burned in the last four days, as well as many houses and vehicles were damaged.


Albania is also battling numerous forest fires in recent days.

The Albanian Defense Ministry reported that six fires are still continuing throughout the country.


A forest fire that broke out on July 17 in the city of Monchique in southwestern Portugal destroyed more than 2,000 hectares of land.


The Catalonia region of northeastern Spain on July 26 faced the biggest wildfire in the last two years.


Over 850 hectares of land were destroyed in a fire on July 25 in the province of Aude in the south of France and the road between Toulouse and Narbonne was closed to transportation.

The fire caused damage to lines transmitting electricity to France, Spain, and Portugal.

Losses above average in Europe

According to the European Forest Fire Information System data, the 2008-2020 average has already been surpassed in terms of burned area in Italy, as well as in France and Romania.

While 53,797 hectares of land burned this year in Italy, the 12-year average was recorded as 40,781 hectares.

In France, while 22,807 hectares were burned, the average of previous years was 9,283. Similarly, 18,620 hectares of land burned in Romania in 2021, and the average of 12 years is 16,082 hectares.

The data also showed that among non-EU countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina also lost 25,583 hectares of land in the fire, which is very close to the 2008-2020 average of 30,199.

As 17,599 hectares of land in Tunisia burned this year, it is recorded that this has already exceeded the 12-year average of 6,257 hectares.


Efforts are still underway to extinguish forest fires that started in July in Russia’s northeastern Yakutia region.

Authorities declared a state of emergency for the region, where over 1.3 million hectares of forestland have gone up in flames.

US and Canada

In the US, according to data from the National Interagency Fire Center, the number of active forest fires in the country is 96, and over 1.8 million acres of land were damaged by fires.

The forest fire, which has been going on for about three weeks in the state of California, has turned a historic town into ashes.

The big fire, which is known as "Dixie," started on July 13-14 in the northern region of the state. It spread in the last two days, threatening many settlements.

According to the Canadian Wildlands Fire Information System, 292 wildfires, large and small, continue across the country. A total of 4,891 fires broke out in the country this year, while the previous 10-year average was 3,753. A total of 2,758 hectares of land were burned in the fires – an average of 1,736 hectares of land was damaged over the previous decade.

South America

About 267 major fires have been detected in the Amazon region in 2021, and over 105,000 hectares of forestland have burned. More than 75% of these fires occurred in the Brazilian Amazon.

China and India

Forest fires are less common in India and parts of China where the tropical climate prevails, as the effect of monsoon rains is felt during summer. However, increasing deforestation in these regions is increasing the destructive effect of floods caused by precipitation.

Dozens of people lost their lives in floods in both countries last week.


Australia, where over 10 million hectares of land were burned and more than 1 billion wild animals died in summer forest fires in 2019 and 2020, had a summer with fewer fires this year.

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