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  • Aahana Roy

Ferocity of Wildfires

A wildfire, also known as a bushfire, is an unintentional and unrestrained fire that spreads in an area of combustible vegetation. In 2020, many of these wildfires made it to the headlines. Some of these were the Australian bushfires (that started last year and continued till March), the wildfires in California, and the wildfire in the Thrissur district of Kerala in India. The cause of wildfires can depend on several factors, ranging from temperature to the presence of what could be potential fuel. However, one thing to note is that all the factors that increase the risk of wildfires are directly or indirectly tied to climate change.

The most recent news of deadly wildfires that hit the headlines was the wildfires in Greece. In the first two weeks of August 2021, a series of wildfires scorched a large swath of the island of Evia and several areas of the Peloponnese region. These fires occurred shortly after one of the worst heat waves the country has ever had to experience since 1980. The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that the wildfire outbreak has been a “disaster of unprecedented proportions.” Fires also broke out near Athens, Olympia, and Arcadia, and several evacuations were organised across Greece.

Another recent news of these wildfires is in California. Named the 2021 California Wildfire season, it is a series of ongoing wildfires that have burned across the land in California. One of these forest fires has been named the 'Dixie Fire'. As of 15th August, according to a morning update by CalFire (The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection), the Dixie Fire is approximately 554,816 acres with 31% containment.

It is not just Greece and California suffering either. Wildfires have broken out recently in 2021 in Turkey, Sardinia, Spain, Lebanon, France, Cyprus, Finland etc. These wildfires have been spreading quickly, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. But what can we do to help from abroad?

People in these affected countries have already attempted to help each other. They have set up several charities and organisations to donate to. These donations help provide the necessary equipment and resources the people need to survive. You can look up the names of these charities, and donate to them. If you cannot donate, you can also spread awareness about the issue and educate yourself.

"Part of being a person is about helping others."

- Regis Murayi


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