At least five people have died so far due to an intense heat wave that is scorching southern Europe with temperatures as high as 110F. The heat wave is expected to intensify and expand northward over the next few days and is likely to cause more loss of life and more wildfires. Spain’s national weather service issued an emergency warning for 31 of the country’s 50 provinces and predicted that temperatures will rise to 111F. In the Alpine country of Slovenia, they experienced their first-ever "tropical night" at an altitude of 4,900 feet when temperatures reached 68F. Heavy traffic is being banned on the roads of Romania due to roadway melt and trains are being slowed to guard against buckling tracks.
Europe is currently experiencing 15 active wildfires, and wildfires are active across the planet at this time. So far, 5.6 million acres of land have burned in 2017, 1.8 million more than in an average year. In the US, despite the fact that Nevada is experiencing its worst fire season in 15 years and Montana’s firefighting budget is nearly depleted, the president’s budget would gut the six Regional Climate Centers that firefighters rely on for firefighting and wildfire prevention data. The US president maintains that global warming is fiction.
Fires are also active across British Columbia and the US city of Seattle just across the border reported a temperature of 94F on Thursday, breaking records. The normal temperature is 77F.
In Italy and Romania, an area roughly the size of Rhode Island has already burned. There are three times the normal total of summer wildfires. In June, 60 people died in Portugal when a wildfire overreached an escape route jammed with traffic.
Wildfires are also burning uncontrolled in Siberia and across large areas of Brazil. Due to their isolation, no attempt is being made to contain these fires.