Major wildfires are burning all over the world right now. Record heat, drought, and deforestation are contributing to wildfire risk.
More than 21,000 square miles of forest have gone up in flames in Siberia this month, putting Russia on track for its worst year on record for wildfires. The smoke from these blazes shrouded large parts of the country, including major cities like Novosibirsk, and has crossed the Pacific Ocean into the United States.
On Monday, a wildfire in the Canary Islands forced more than 8,000 people to flee. Over the weekend, new fires ignited in Alaska, extending what’s already been an unusually long fire season for the state. Last week, Denmark dispatched firefighters to Greenland combat a wildfire approaching inhabited areas. If not extinguished, officials are worried the blaze would burn through the winter, further driving up the already massive ice melt Greenland has experienced this year amid record heat.
But perhaps even more alarming are the wildfires in the Amazon rainforest, the world’s largest tropical forest. It’s an area with torrential rain that almost never burns on its own, yet the blazes have burned for more than two weeks, growing so intense that they sent smoke all the way to São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city.