Wildfire iStock

Wildfires burning throughout Europe over the summer have destroyed the second largest area since information on fires began being tracked, with half the fire season still to come, the EU’s Joint Research Centre said.

Over 10 European nations have experienced severe fires in 2022, with thousands of evacuees and destroyed buildings and homes. The total area destroyed by wildfires is over twice the size of Luxemburg, Reuters reported.

Spain, France and Italy are still at the most risk of further fires. Southern Europe’s fire season typically lasts from June to September.

Data showed that wildfires have burned 600,731 hectares in European countries in 2022, the second most damage since 2006, when fire damage numbers began being kept. In 2017, the worst year on record, 987,844 hectares were destroyed by fires.

Of all the years on file, no other year experienced so much burned land by August.

Experts blamed the extreme number and severity of wildfires on climate change, leading to hotter and dryer conditions that aid fires in spreading and burning for longer periods.