Destructive Wildfires Cause Havoc
This month in Portugal, northern Spain and further afield in California, life-threatening wildfires have been destroying everything in their path.
At least seventeen people have died in California and thousands have been forced to evacuate their homes. The damage left 115,000 acres of land destroyed.
As well as this, fires in Portugal have taken 27 innocent peoples lives, leaving dozens of people injured and missing.
Even when many thought the danger had passed a spokesman from the Civil Protection Agency reminded residents that ‘the situation was still critical because of the unusually high October temperatures’.
More than two thousand buildings in California were burnt down to the ground, with nothing left of them but heaps of rubble and ashes.
Most of the damage was located in Santa Rosa, north San Francisco, which is 60 miles away from where it originally started. The biggest of the fires destroyed wineries but people have said, ‘The people matter not the wine!’
In Europe’s Iberian peninsula, where winds fanned the flames, local officials believe arsonists started many of the fires.
Worryingly, experts predict fires like these will continue to become more common as the planet warms.
Climate scientist Friederike Otto, from Oxford University, said, “Heatwaves are far more intense than when my parents were growing up in the 1950s. If we do nothing to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, the kind of extreme heat we saw this past summer will be the norm when my young son is a grown man.”
With global warming water evaporates out of the soil and into the air, sucking away moisture from plants that rely on it. This potentially helps increase the drought conditions that we have seen this autumn and therefore the risk of fire.
Frankie and Elvie, Year 6