2022 wildfires in North Africa and Europe

Article

August 15, 2022

Wildfires 2022 in North Africa and Europe have been occurring since June 2022 in parts of Europe and North Africa affected by a heat wave making conditions suitable for them to be started by lightning or a human cause. The main disaster areas are in France, Greece, Morocco, Portugal and Spain.

By country

Croatia

Three large forest fires are taking place along the country's Adriatic coast.

Spain

Wildfires have erupted in the Sierra de Mijas mountains, forcing 2,300 people to flee near the Costa del Sol. In July, Extremadura experienced forest fires that spread to Salamanca in Castile and León and burned more than 4,000 hectares.

France

Two large-scale forest fires broke out at 1:30 a.m. on July 12 in Gironde. The first is located in the town of Landiras, the second in the town of La Teste-de-Buch. These forest fires lead to very many evacuations, so much so that on the morning of July 19, 37,000 people were evacuated, and other evacuations are planned. On July 14, a large fire spread over the Montagnette massif in the Bouches-du-Rhône, and threatened the town of Barbentane. It suffered several times after being subdued, and covered a total of 1,620 hectares and caused the evacuation of 800 people to 1,000 people. On July 17, a major resumption of the fire at La Teste-de-Buch was noted, which reached the ocean at La Lagune beach and burned 2,000 hectares in 1 hour 30 minutes. Mid-morning on July 19, the prefecture de Gironde reports that more than 19,000 hectares of vegetation burned in the two forest fires (including 6,500 hectares for that of La Teste-de-Buch and 12,800 hectares for that of Landiras). Several thousand firefighters are mobilized. On July 18 in the evening, following a new change of winds, the fire of La Teste-de-Buch underwent a new recovery and took the direction of the town, thus leading to massive evacuations. Also on July 18, at the end of the afternoon, a major forest fire broke out near the town of Brasparts in Finistère, forcing the evacuation of 300 people. More than 1,700 hectares have burned, making it the biggest fire in Brittany since 1976. The fire was caused by two separate man-made fires, one obviously criminal according to Quimper prosecutor Carine Halley . On July 23, the La Teste-de-Buch fire was fixed, after burning 7,000 hectares in total. That of Landiras, close to being fixed, burned 13,800 hectares, bringing the total area destroyed by the flames to 20,800 hectares in Gironde. On July 26, two fires broke out in the towns of Gignac and Aumelas in the Hérault. The two fires come together and cause a new major fire. It has already burned 1,000 hectares of vegetation, injured 5 firefighters and caused the evacuation of 280 people. The next day, July 27, the firefighters managed to contain the forest fire in Gignac and Aumelas, but other major fire outbreaks were reported around Aubenas, in Ardèche. We learn the same day that a chief warrant officer of the firefighters of Tain-l'Hermitage died following a malaise, which occurred while he was fighting a forest fire near Tarascon on July 15. In all, 1,200 hectares are burned during these fires, and a suspect is arrested before recognizing the facts in police custody. On July 31, a forest fire broke out around 3 p.m. near Aubais in the Gard, and spread very quickly in the pine forest. Hundreds of firefighters and 5 Canadair fight all afternoon against this fire, which is fixed the following night after having covered more than 350 hectares and destroyed several buildings. The 5 a