Deadly wildfires across the Mediterranean destroy homes, threaten nature reserves

Deadly wildfires across the Mediterranean destroy homes, threaten nature reserves
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RHODES, Greece (AP) — Major fires raging in parts of Greece and in other Mediterranean countries advanced Wednesday, causing additional deaths, destroying homes, and threatening nature reserves during a third successive wave of extreme temperatures.

The summer wildfires have struck countries across the region, prompting the European Union to expand its support, sending two Spanish firefighting planes to Tunisia after wildfires in neighboring Algeria left at least 34 people dead in recent days.

Here’s a look at some of the major wildfires across the Mediterranean region.

GREECE

New evacuations were ordered overnight on Corfu, Evia, and Rhodes islands, where thousands of tourists were moved to safety over the weekend. Authorities said the charred remains of a missing farmer were found in southern Evia — a discovery made following the death of two Greek firefighting pilots, who were killed in a crash during a low-altitude water drop. French President Emmanuel Macron posted a message of condolence in Greek, while several embassies in Athens lowered their flags to half-staff. The heat wave in Greece has pushed temperatures back above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) while strong winds hampered firefighting efforts. The fire on Rhodes has damaged an inland nature reserve.

ITALY

The bodies of two elderly people were found in a home that had been consumed by flames near the Palermo airport, on the island of Sicily, which had been closed temporarily because of the encroaching flames, according to Italian news reports. Firefighters battled wildfires across southern Italy as searing temperatures continued to scorch Sicily, Sardinia, and Calabria, where dozens of fires broke out and multiple evacuations were ordered. Freak storms in the north of the country also left two people dead on Tuesday from falling trees.

CROATIA

A wildfire was burning several kilometers away from the famous walled town of Dubrovnik, in the country’s south along the Adriatic Sea coast, where water-dropping planes and more than 100 firefighters held back the blaze before it reached houses overnight. The medieval stone city is a protected heritage site and Croatia’s best-known tourism destination. “It’s been a long night but we managed to stave off the part (of the fire) that is important because of the houses,” firefighting unit commander Stjepan Simovic said. “We must be careful because the wind has started to pick up and the fire can grow again.”

PORTUGAL

More than 500 firefighters continued to combat a blaze close to Lisbon, Portugal. The fire forced the evacuation of 90 people from their homes along with 800 farm animals. The blaze near the coastal town of Cascais, 30 kilometers (19 miles) west of Lisbon, was brought under control early Wednesday, helped by cooler temperatures. Firefighters remained in the area to watch for any further flare-ups as temperatures and winds rose again Wednesday. Fears rose that it might spread deep into the nearby Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. No injuries were reported.

TURKEY

A hospital and a dozen homes were evacuated as a precaution in the coastal town of Kemer, where firefighters battled a blaze raging through a woodland for a third day. At least 10 planes, 22 helicopters, and hundreds of firefighters were deployed to extinguish the fire as meteorologists warned temperatures could rise several degrees above seasonal averages. The state-run Anadolu Agency reported that five helicopters with night-vision capabilities worked through the night. Authorities said residential areas were not under threat in the Kemer in the Mediterranean coastal province of Antalya.

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About Mary Weyand 11096 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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