No respite from forest fires in Europe

Sunday 30 September 2007

Europe continues to reel under forest fires that has up till now caused considerable damage to life, the environment and the economy. Experts have blamed the recent spurt in forest fire on global warming.

Greece witnessed its worst forest fire this year. In the Peloponnese peninsula, more than 150,000 hectares (ha) of land and forest and 2,000 homes were burned down. On August 20, forest fires in Kassandra peninsula went out of control in northern Greece, forcing thousand tourists and local residents to flee. In all, it claimed about 65 lives.

In the north of Algeria, forest fires on August 29 claimed more than 10 lives, even as firefighters and soldiers battled to put out 90 separate fires scattered across 19 regions in the country, destroying 20,000 ha of forest and farmland. In Spain, an incident of fire ate up 1,500 ha, with Croatia losing 500 ha of forestland and Italy reporting the death of 13 people in cases of forest fires.

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