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Why so many wildfires?

Nowadays, countries like Greece, Spain, and Portugal have experienced some of the worst wildfires in recent years, with many fires sparked by human activities and worsened by changing climate conditions. The combination of human negligence and a warming climate creates a dangerous situation for these regions, leading to devastating wildfires that threaten lives, property, and ecosystems.

Wildfire activity in Europe and the Mediterranean during the 21st century is unprecedented. These areas are experiencing longer fire seasons, prolonged droughts, and record heat, all contributing to a new and challenging fire landscape. Historically, wildfires in these regions were rare, occurring only once every few centuries in any given area.

Invasive grass such as: reed canary grass, giant reed, and pampas grass have spread throughout the open spaces between native Mediterranean vegetation. This proliferation creates connectivity and additional fuel, which intensify and spread wildfires.

Among the causes of wildfires, we must consider several human-related factors. These include burning debris, arson, fireworks, smoking cigarettes, campfires, vehicles, and electrical power lines. Climate change is also a major factor in causing extreme lightning storms. Warmer and longer summers heat up the land, and increased carbon emissions lead to stronger updrafts. These conditions make powerful and frequent lightning storms more likely.