Europe wildfires 2022: what’s happening and map of areas affected

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Soaring temperatures have fueled wildfires across Europe, with tens of thousands of people evacuated from their homes

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In Portugal, a pilot was killed fighting a fire after his depth-bomb plane crashed in the Foz Coa area near the Spanish border.

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Temperatures have fueled the fires, with highs of 47C in Portugal and over 40C in Spain fanning the flames.

Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes and holidaymakers were caught up in the carnage, with plumes of smoke visible from the Spanish seaside resort of Torremolinos.

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Authorities in Portugal and Spain have linked at least 261 deaths to the heat and wildfires.

With extreme temperatures continuing, here’s everything you need to know about wildfires in Europe.

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What is happening in France?

Soaring temperatures in France have caused fires to ravage the southwestern Gironde region.

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A ruined restaurant near the beach at Cazaux Lac, near La Teste-de-Buch, southwest France (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Over 12,000 people were evacuated from their homes after 22 regional departments were placed on alert.

Speaking to Agence France-Presse (AFP), a resident named Karyn called the scenes “post-apocalyptic.”

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French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said wildfires had burned 10,000 hectares of land and praised firefighters for their “remarkable bravery”.

What is happening in Spain and Portugal?

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In Spain, firefighters fought fires in the north-western region of Galicia over the weekend.

The southern area of ​​the Mijas Hills was also hit by raging wildfires this week.

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Tourists have been met with plumes of smoke on Torremolinos beach and rising temperatures have only helped fan the flames.

In Portugal, the wildfires were devastating, with a pilot losing his life fighting the fire after his depth-bomb plane crashed in the Foz Coa area.

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The country is most affected in the north-eastern region near the city of Porto.

Record high temperatures have made fighting the wildfires harder, as highs of 47C in Portugal and over 40C in Spain create the perfect conditions to help the fire spread.

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Authorities in Portugal and Spain have linked at least 261 deaths to the heat and wildfires.

Where are the forest fires in Europe?

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Europe has been hit by a series of wildfires that have left devastation in their wake.

Not only France, Spain and Portugal are affected.

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Hungary, Croatia, Greece, Crete and Morocco were also hit by the fires this week.

Here is a map of the areas affected by the wildfires in Europe:

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Wildfires have wreaked havoc across Europe (Image: Mazic News/Mark Hall)

How do forest fires occur?

As the earth warms up due to climate change, wildfires occur regularly around the world.

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Soaring temperatures in Europe have created the perfect storm for rampant wildfires.

To have wildfire, you need three things: oxygen, fuel, and heat.

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Oxygen is already in the atmosphere, fuel is any material that burns like trees, grass and even houses.

The drier the fuel the faster it burns, heat dries out the area giving the fire more fuel to spread.

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In Europe, high temperatures mixed with drought have created a powder keg effect, meaning a small spark can grow into a huge fire.

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