Smoke from a massive forest fire in central Portugal engulfed the skyscrapers known as the “Four Towers” in Madrid, 400 km away, on Tuesday, and residents of the Spanish capital complained of a strong smell of burning.
This is written by Reuters, “European Truth” reports.
A fire in Portugal’s Serra da Estrela National Park, which started on August 6 and was brought under control only on Sunday, flared up again on Monday, prompting the evacuation of several villages.
More than 1,100 firefighters supported by 13 aircraft were battling the blaze, which has already burned more than 17,000 hectares. NASA Worldview satellite images showed a plume of smoke stretching from the west of the Iberian Peninsula to its eastern half and beyond Madrid, where emergency services had to explain to concerned residents that there is no fire nearby.
However, in eastern Spain, hundreds of firefighters worked around the clock to extinguish two wildfires in the Valencia region.
Climate change has made parts of the peninsula the driest in 1,200 years, according to a study published last month in the journal Nature Geoscience.
July was the hottest month on record in Spain since at least 1961, when Spain’s meteorological service began keeping records.
According to the European Forest Fire Information System, forest fires burned more than 270,000 hectares in Spain in 2022, far above the 15-year average of 70,000 hectares.
In Portugal, forest fires destroyed about 85,000 hectares, or almost 1% of the country’s territory, which is the highest figure in the European Union.
We will remind, the European Union is on the way to a record season of forest fires, the fire has already destroyed 660,000 hectares of territory.
This year’s drought in Europe could be the worst in 500 years.