2017 wildfire season

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2017 wildfire season
Greenland oli 2017215 lrg.jpg
Peat wildfire in Greenland on August 3, 2017
Date(s)January–December 2017
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The 2017 wildfire season involved wildfires on multiple continents. On Greenland, which is mostly covered by ice and permafrost, multiple fires occurred in melted peat bogs, described as "unusual, and possibly unprecedented".[1][2] Popular media asked whether the wildfires were related to global warming.[3][4] Research published by NASA states "climate change has increased fire risk in many regions", but caused "greater severity in the colder latitudes" where boreal and temperate forests exist,[5][6] and scholars have described "a warm weather fluctuation that has become more frequent in recent decades" related to wildfires, without naming any particular event as being directly caused by global warming.[7][8]

List of wildfires[edit]

Events during the season include the following:

The La Tuna Fire was the largest in Los Angeles history
Oregon wildfires brought vibrantly hued sunsets (behind fire camp)

2017 was the most expensive firefighting year on record for the US Forest Service with over $2 billion spent.[11] Record setting fires included the Lodgepole Complex Fire, the nation's largest that year; the La Tuna Fire, which was the largest in Los Angeles history;[12] and the 2017 British Columbia wildfires, worst in the history of the province.[13] The western U.S., as of October, witnessed about 50,000 wildfires, with more than 3.4 million hectares burned.[14] In Canada, as of August, 7.4 million acres had burned, and British Columbia recorded its worst year for land burned since 1958.[14] The 2017 California wildfires were the most destructive on record with over $9 billion in insurance claims from the October fires and expected over $20 billion more for December's fires.[15][16]


Depopulation of rural areas of Europe was also described as contributing to fires in Portugal and France.[17][18][19]

The wildfires near the Calampiso seaside resort west of Palermo, forced the evacuation by boat of more than 700 tourists on July 12.[20] More bushfires broke out across southern Italy and Sicily, as temperatures hit 40 °C in the week leading up to July 13.[20] About 23 wildfires raged in southern Italy on Wednesday, including on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius near Naples. Two were north of Mount Etna, in the suburbs of Sicilian city of Catania on the 13th.[20] Italy's environment minister said a man had been arrested on suspicion of arson and Gian Luca Galletti was quoted as saying in Italian media|: “If someone set fire to Vesuvius, I want to see them in jail for 15 years,” on July 13. 150 hectares of pine forest were destroyed in a blaze in Sicily a month earlier.[20]

The June 2017 Portugal wildfires began in the Pedrógão Grande municipality on June 17–18, before spreading dramatically in the heat and thus causing a firestorm.[21] It ended with 64-66 dead, over 250 injured and 40 evacuated villages.[22]

Some 15 wildfires being in reported in Albania on August 5 and others occurred elsewhere in the Balkans and a few other parts of Southern Europe.[23]

Local and mainland firefighters (including a water bomber aircraft) arrived in Corsica to were fires sweeping across the area of Palneca and it environs. Other smaller fires occurred in the rest of southern Europe amid the deadly heatwave on August 18.[citation needed]



  1. ^ A 'Massive' Wildfire Is Now Blazing In Greenland, NPR, August 8, 2017
  2. ^ Wildfires are burning in Greenland, Wildfire Today, August 7, 2017
  3. ^ Robinson Meyer (September 7, 2017), "Has Climate Change Intensified 2017's Western Wildfires?", The Atlantic
  4. ^ Linda Baker (September 6, 2017), "Wildfire apocalypse: Is climate change or forest management to blame?", Oregon Business
  5. ^ Researchers Detect a Global Drop in Fires, NASA Earth Observatory, June 30, 2017
  6. ^ Andrew Masterson (July 3, 2017), "Global drop in wildfires results in lower emissions but threatens life on the savannah", Cosmos
  7. ^ "Research in ancient forests show link between climate change and wildfires", Science Daily, August 29, 2017 (summarizes Portland State University report)
  8. ^ Dominique Schroeder; Mariëtte Le Roux (July 27, 2017), Climate change will feed wildfires: experts, phys.org
  9. ^ Kelly McCleary (May 6, 2017), Wildfire prompts evacuations in Georgia town, CNN
  10. ^ Claire Ricke (March 7, 2017), 4 Dead as wildfires burn across Texas panhandle, Austin, Texas: KXAN-TV
  11. ^ Phil MCCAUSLAND (September 16, 2017), Montana Hopes for Ice to Fight Wildfire Amid Historic, Costly Blaze, NBC News
  12. ^ Nicole Chavez; Joe Sutton & Dakin Andone (September 4, 2017), More than 1,000 firefighters battling largest fire in Los Angeles history, CNN
  13. ^ Scott Brown (August 16, 2017), "Province says 2017 is B.C.'s worst wildfire season on record", Vancouver Sun, archived from the original on September 12, 2017, retrieved September 11, 2017 – via MSN
  14. ^ a b G.F. (13 October 2017). "Why the North American west is on fire". The Economist.
  15. ^ October Wildfire Losses Top $9.4 Billion: California Insurance Agency, Reuters, December 6, 2017 – via The New York Times
  16. ^ California wildfires could mean over $27 billion in damages to homes, CoreLogic says, MarketWatch, December 8, 2017
  17. ^ a b "Wildfires Roar Across Southern Europe", The New York Times, 2017-06-27, retrieved 2017-09-08CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  18. ^ a b "Wildfires are raging in the Mediterranean. What can we learn?", The Local, July 31, 2017
  19. ^ Peter Wise (August 28, 2017), "Forest fires expose Lisbon's neglect of rural interior – Centuries of centralisation blamed for neglect, rural flight and sense of abandonment", Financial Times
  20. ^ a b c d Jones, Sam; Giuffrida, Angela; Smith, Helena (13 July 2017). "Southern Europe swelters as heatwave sparks wildfires and closes tourist sites". the Guardian.
  21. ^ Jones, Sam (18 June 2017). "Huge forest fires in Portugal kill more than 60 people". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  22. ^ "Pedrógão Grande: Quarenta aldeias evacuadas". 24.sapo.pt (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  23. ^ "Heat wave stifles Southern Europe - The Boston Globe".
  24. ^ First real test for Jokowi on haze as annual fires return to Indonesia

External links[edit]