Wildfires have been making headlines with multiple fires burning around the world in Australia, Lebanon and California. Fires in the Amazon sparked a global outcry but there have also been fires in Greece.

Sentinel 3 World Fire Atlas showed that there were 79,000 fires in August this year, compared to 16,000 last year, with almost five times as many wildfires in August 2019 compared to August 2018.

The data reveals that 49 per cent of the fires were detected in Asia, 28 per cent in South America and 16 per cent in Africa, whereas the remainder were in North America, Europe and Oceania.

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The Greek chapter of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) noted that forest fires in Greece were less devastating compared to previous years but the impact of climate change on already existing problems on the countryside does not leave much room for optimism.

The latest data of the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), shows that 12,045 hectares of forestland was burnt by fires in 2019 – the lowest figure in the last decade.

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Queensland and New South Wales on Monday declared that they were in a state of emergency as authorities brace themselves for “catastrophic” fire conditions – the first since 2013 when bushfires swept through the area as a result of gusty winds and hot, dry land. More than 850,000 hectares of land in New South Wales were destroyed at the start of this year’s unprecedented bushfire season.

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Global fires detected in August 2018 compared to August 2019. The Sentinel-3 World Fire Atlas recorded 79 000 wildfires in August 2019, compared to just over 16 000 fires during the same period in 2018. Credit: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2019), processed by ESA on ONDA Copernicus DIAS