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Tue, 10 Dec 2019 02:50 GMT

WWF Warns of New Faster-spreading Wildfires across Europe


7Dnews London

Thu, 04 Jul 2019 19:12 GMT

There is a warning of possible new faster-spreading wildfires, or “superfires” in Europe, as heatwaves and droughts have been spreading through the region, according to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF).

"The current policy regarding fighting wildfires, which is based exclusively on a system of extinguishment, is obsolete and inefficient in fighting a new kind of 'superfires'," according to a report by WWF Spain, which urged more prevention measures. 

The report blamed the worsening situation of wildfires on rural depopulation and chaotic urbanisation, as well as from rising global temperatures, saying that the fires cost Europe around three billion euros per year.

According to European data, an average of 740 acres of forest burn every year in Europe.

And a total of 225 people in Portugal, Greece, and Spain were killed between 2017 and 2018, due to the hard-to-extinguish superfires, which were fanned by strong winds and updrafts. The situation will only worsen, due to rising global temperatures and inadequate allocation of resources, warned the WWF.

Europe’s most recent heatwave has caused the deaths of 13 people at least, as many countries, including France, have witnessed unprecedented increases in temperature.

The Mediterranean area is the most affected by wildfires. However, huge forest blazes have also recently hit the traditionally wetter and cooler northern European countries.