JUL 03, 2017 5:52 AM PDT

Wildfires ravage the Western US and Spain

Wildfires have been sparking up all over the Western United States, with more than 20 isolated spots burning in the last week. The largest, which is located near Brian Head in Southern Utah, has burned more than 67 square miles; over 1,500 people had to be evacuated from their homes.

In Arizona, too, high temperatures and dry conditions are driving a wildfire near Prescott, CBS News correspondent Jamie Yuccas reported. Continued drought and surging heat are tell-tales signs of climate change, and the convergence of these consequences are not only being seen in the US.

A wildfire ravaged a national park in Spain this past week as well. Donana National Park, a renowned conservation wetland and UNESCO World Heritage site since 1994, evacuated 2,000 people this past week, officials said. Authorities sent 10 helicopters, seven planes and four waterbombing jets to manage the fire and luckily, Spanish firefighters were able to contain the fire and stopped the fire from spreading from Spain’s southwestern coast actually into the park. The blaze started about 30 kilometers (20 miles) west of the park.

The cause of the fire was not clear and regional president Susana Diaz, commented that "the human factor cannot be excluded." Yet even if the fire was not deliberately started by humans, there were definitely anthropogenic causes in the form of climate change. Diaz said hot, dry weather, with highs of 39 degrees Celsius and shifting winds made the fire difficult to contain.

Nevertheless, Andalusian regional environment chief Jose Fiscal reported that a reconnaissance flight showed the fire had basically been tackled. Additionally, Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido tweeted that the fire that started Saturday was "under control”. The area’s roads were reopened and all personnel fighting the fire returned to their bases.

Wildfires spread through Spain's coast. Photo: Daily Mail

Donana National Park protects more than 107,000 hectares land. It's home to many species of migratory birds and other fauna, the most charismatic of which are the Iberian lynx, which is endangered, and the Spanish Imperial eagle. Unfortunately, one lynx was victim as a consequence of resettlement after the fire, dying from stress when workers tried to get her and other adults and cubs out of a breeding center near Donana.

These fires come only shortly after a wildfire in Portugal just several weeks ago, when after drought and extreme heat 64 people were killed.

Sources: ABC, Firefighter Nation, Al Jazeera, CBS

About the Author
BA Environmental Studies
Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
AUG 09, 2022
Space & Astronomy
The Square Kilometer Array: Soon to be the World's Biggest Radio Telescope
AUG 09, 2022
The Square Kilometer Array: Soon to be the World's Biggest Radio Telescope
The Square Kilometer Array Observatory (SKAO) will soon be the largest radio telescope in the world. Construction on the ...
AUG 30, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
Physics in a Femtosecond
AUG 30, 2022
Physics in a Femtosecond
In a recent study published in Physical Review Letters, an international team of researchers examined how ions interact ...
SEP 05, 2022
Earth & The Environment
Grad Student Highlights: Nikoletta Karapanos (Sonoma State University)
SEP 05, 2022
Grad Student Highlights: Nikoletta Karapanos (Sonoma State University)
This interview series is focused on the graduate student experience across all STEM fields that allows them to get their ...
SEP 08, 2022
Microbiology
Sir Ronald Ross- A Scientific Pioneer
SEP 08, 2022
Sir Ronald Ross- A Scientific Pioneer
In the 19th century Sir Ronald Ross, a soldier, pioneer, microbiologist, botanist, and a knight helped shape how we view ...
SEP 08, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
Boiling Away Forever Chemicals
SEP 08, 2022
Boiling Away Forever Chemicals
Forever chemicals are in hot water. In a paper published on August 18 in Science, researchers at the University of Calif ...
SEP 14, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Looking Back in Space: NASA's Project Gemini
SEP 14, 2022
Looking Back in Space: NASA's Project Gemini
This series will explore historic space missions from the start of the Space Age to the present day, including both crew ...
Loading Comments...