Europe forest fires

This item appears on page 5 of the October 2021 issue.

Deadly and destructive wildfires occurred throughout Europe and Asia Minor in July and August.

In Italy, fires in western Sardinia in late July burned more than 50,000 acres of land and caused more than 1,000 people to evacuate, including tourists. An olive tree believed to be more than 1,000 years old, which was the symbol of the village of Cuglieri, was one of the casualties of the fires.

A heat wave in southern Italy in mid-August that saw record-breaking temperatures — the highest temperature ever recorded in Europe, 119.8ºF, was measured in Sicily on Aug. 12 — contributed to multiple fires, which killed one person in Calabria. In the town of Escara, five people were injured when a fire swept through, destroying homes and beach resorts.

In Greece, multiple wildfires occurred in August, including one on the outskirts on Athens. Fires on the island of Evia killed two people and destroyed multiple residences, forcing thousands of people to evacuate.

On Turkey’s Aegean coast, nearly 300 separate wildfires occurred in August, killing at least eight people. Though many were small, some, particularly in the southwest region, were quite large, burning more than 250,000 acres in total, forcing thousands of residents and tourists to evacuate.