The summer season of wildfires is growing more intense and destructive as the climate sizzles.
July was the planet’s hottest month in 142 years of record keeping, according to U.S. weather officials. Several U.S. states — including California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington — also saw their hottest ever July.
In August, wildfires continued to rage across the western United States and Canada, southern Europe, northern Africa, Russia, Israel and elsewhere.
In Greece, which is suffering its most severe heat wave in decades, a large wildfire this week threatened villages outside Athens. Thousands of people were evacuated from homes in a region of the French Riviera threatened by blazing fires. Recent wildfires have killed at least 75 people in Algeria and 16 in Turkey, local officials said.
Drought conditions and high temperatures in northern California have given rise to the Dixie Fire, which has been ablaze for a month and burned more than 1,000 square miles. Some 1,600 people in Lake County were recently ordered to flee approaching flames, and children were rushed out of an elementary school as a nearby field burned.
Last week a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change called Earth’s rapidly warming temperatures a “ code red for humanity.” The report calls climate change clearly human-caused and “an established fact,” and co-author and climate scientist Linda Mearns told the AP that the disrupted global climate leaves “nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.”