Hexbyte Glen Cove Greece fires under control as reconstruction begins thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Greece fires under control as reconstruction begins

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Rain and falling temperatures helped the fire-dousing effort, but crews remain on alert for possible flare-ups.

Fires burning for over a week that caused Greece’s worst ecological disaster in decades were finally placed under control Friday, the fire department said.

“As of yesterday, there is no major active front, just scattered pockets,” a department spokesman told AFP.

Rain and falling temperatures helped the fire-dousing effort, but crews remain on alert for possible flare-ups in hard-to-access ravines on the island of Evia and in the region of Arcadia in the Peloponnese, the spokesman said.

But with forecast for the weekend, the bulk of a huge multinational force that assisted Greek firefighters this week remains in place, civil protection spokesman Spyros Georgiou said.

“They are helping to monitor the perimeters of burned areas in Evia and Arcadia, which are many kilometres (miles) long,” he said.

“Many of them are actually requesting to remain,” Georgiou said.

Hundreds of homes and many businesses have been destroyed in Evia, Arcadia and the outskirts of Athens in the prolonged fire wave that struck Greece from late July and intensified last week, during the worst heatwave in decades.

Greece is just one of a number of countries in the Mediterranean region that have been hit by a savage fire season.

Heatwaves have become more likely due to climate change, scientists say.

Heatwaves have become more likely due to climate change, scientists say. As global temperatures rise over time, heatwaves are predicted to become more frequent and intense, and their impacts more widespread.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday described the infernos as Greece’s “greatest ecological disaster in decades”.

He pledged hundreds of millions of euros in reconstruction, reforestation and flood prevention works.

“(Recovery funds) will begin to be disbursed in a few days… and they will be greater than ever before, to all those affected,” the told a news conference Thursday.

The government has come under withering criticism from locals in stricken areas whose income from and tourism has been wiped out.

There have been growing calls for the resignation of top public safety officials who as recently as June had insisted that the country was well-prepared.

Mitsotakis on Thursday said the country had battled some 600 blazes in a week, some of them “mega fires”.

But he admitted: “It seemed that this particular phenomenon exceeded our capabilities and the preparations put in place.”



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Greece fires under control as reconstruction begins (2021, August 13)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Forest fires in Bolivia consume vast area: official thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Forest fires in Bolivia consume vast area: official

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Firefighters try to extinguish a grass fire near the Viru Viru airport in Santa Cruz, Bolivia on August 1, 2021; the department has been hard hit by forest fires.

Forest fires this year have consumed more than 147,000 hectares (360,000 acres) in Bolivia’s eastern Santa Cruz department, the regional government reported Saturday.

As in neighboring Brazil, the fires have been aggravated by widespread deforestation aimed at expanding farming or pasture land.

And they come in a year when has become an increasingly urgent issue with mammoth wildfires in the Western US as well as in Greece and Turkey.

“At a departmental level, 147,254 hectares have been affected by ,” Yovenka Rosado, coordinator of Santa Cruz’s Forest Fire Program, announced.

The most severely affected areas border Brazil.

Rosado said a Super Puma helicopter was being used to douse the larger fire sites with water, and and equipment were being deployed to key spots.

Rosado said 831 fires had been reported just in the first days of August, for a total this year of 15,555.

Each year Bolivia confronts forest-fire outbreaks started by settlers in or by agribusinesses trying to expand their production.

Bolivian NGO the Friends of Nature Foundation estimates that forest fires last year destroyed more than 2.3 million hectares of forests and grassland.

In 2019 huge fires in Bolivia’s Amazon destroyed about 6.4 million hectares, the group said.



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Forest fires in Bolivia consume vast area: official (2021, August 8)
retrieved 8 August 2021
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Amazon fires cause Brazil's CO2 emissions to jump amid pandemic thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Amazon fires cause Brazil’s CO2 emissions to jump amid pandemic

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Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Forest fires have sent carbon dioxide emissions soaring in Brazil over the past two years, undermining efforts by the government of President Jair Bolsonaro to restore the country’s environmental credentials.

Emissions jumped 10% in 2019, Bolsonaro’s first year in office, following a decade of small declines or stagnation, according to a report published Friday by Observatorio do Clima, a network of Brazilian environmental organizations. Preliminary data show the new trend accelerating as much as 20% in 2020, even as the pandemic curbs the amount of CO2 being produced by transportation and industrial activity across the globe, the group has warned.

“That’s a considerable increase that has Brazil running against the global trend,” Tasso Azevedo, former chief of the Brazilian Forest Service and now responsible for a system that estimates greenhouse gases emissions for Observatorio do Clima, said in an interview. “That’s basically associated with deforestation; Brazil is getting further away from its Paris Agreement goal.”

The environment ministry didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

Brazil has faced global outrage in the past two years as a growing number of fires destroyed swaths of the Amazon rainforest and the Pantanal wetlands. In June, a group of prominent institutional investors managing about $3.7 trillion in assets sent a letter to the Brazilian government threatening to withdraw from the country unless environmental metrics improved.

Since then, the government has changed its strategy and is now calling on investors to help the Amazon in unconventional ways, such as sponsoring a plot of the rainforest. Government officials led by Vice President Hamilton Mourao have also stepped up efforts to convince the world that Brazil cares about the environment, visiting the forest this week with a group of diplomats from Europe and Latin America.

Observatorio do Clima’s figures place Brazil among the largest carbon dioxide emitters in the world, after China, U.S., Russia, India and the European Union. Deforestation was responsible for 44% of the country’s emissions last year, followed by agriculture, with 28%.

Brazilians produced 10.4 tons of CO2 per capita in 2019, above the global average of 7.1 tons, according to the organization.

Despite to change the world’s perception about Brazil’s environmental policies, Bolsonaro has maintained a combative style when talking about the issue. In a speech at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly this year, he downplayed the seriousness of , saying they are caused by peasants and the indigenous people who “burn their fields in already deforested areas.”

Some members of his Cabinet have gone even further. In a 2019 speech, Foreign Affairs Minister Ernesto Araujo said a May cold front he had experienced in Rome was evidence that theories about global warming are wrong.



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Amazon fires cause Brazil’s CO2 emissions to jump amid pandemic (2020, November 9)
retrieved 10 November 2020
from https://phys.org/news/2020-11-amazon-brazil