Wildfires have cost Europe an estimated €4.1 billion ($4.43 billion) in damages so far this year, as extreme heat seared the Mediterranean from Greece to Spain this summer.
(Bloomberg) — Wildfires have cost Europe an estimated €4.1 billion ($4.43 billion) in damages so far this year, as extreme heat seared the Mediterranean from Greece to Spain this summer.
Nearly 400,000 hectares (988,420 acres) of land across the continent has so far been destroyed by forest blazes, according to the report from Distrelec, a major distributor of power sector components, including sensors that give early warnings of potential wildfire activity. The research was based on data from the European Forest Fire Information System.
Greece has suffered the most damage, with an estimated cost of €1.66 billion ($1.8 billion) and more than 161,000 hectares of land destroyed until Aug. 30. The country has witnessed the most destructive forest fires in 16 years. It’s been on high alert for more devastation since the latest blazes that erupted on August 19th left at least 19 people dead.
Read more: Greek Premier Pledges to Boost Prevention Means to Avoid Fires
Spain was the second-most affected country, with around 84,315 hectares of land burned at an estimated cost of €871 million ($941 million), followed by Italy and Portugal. The estimates for economic impact include costs of firefighting, reforestation, damages and clean-up, according to the report.
Climate change induced blazes have impacted other parts of the world too — impacting everything from agricultural output to tourism.
Read more: Record-Breaking Wildfires Drag Economic Growth Lower in Canada
July was officially the earth’s hottest month on record and Europe, like many other parts of the world, has witnessed summer temperatures soar far above normal this year.
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