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European Wildfires Have Burned Areas Equal to One-Fifth of Belgium

Europe’s worst fire season is hitting Spain, Romania and Portugal the hardest — and it’s not over yet.

Burnt land following a wildfire in the Moncayo Natural Park, near the village of Borja, Spain.

Burnt land following a wildfire in the Moncayo Natural Park, near the village of Borja, Spain.

Photographer: Ander Gillenea/AFP/Getty Images 

Updated on

Drought and extremely high temperatures made worse by climate change across Europe have led to record levels of fire activity in the continent, with blazes burning through an area roughly equivalent to one-fifth of Belgium. 

Wildfires in the European Union have consumed 660,249 hectares (1,631,511 acres) of land for the year through August 13, according to data from the European Forest Fire Information System, which provides weekly updates on the fires. The area burnt this year is more than three times the average between 2006 and 2021.