Particularly susceptible: Wildfires in the middle east

Particularly susceptible: Wildfires in the middle east

July was the hottest month on record in the history of the planet. The average global temperature was 16.95c, exceeding the previous record, by a third of a degree.

This has left the Middle East in conditions perfect for wildfires. In the Arab region, temperatures reached highs of 45 degrees Celsius, with conditions in Iraq close to boiling points. Many across the region were suffering from dehydration and heat stroke as they were battered by the roaring sun.

This intense heat has led to grass and vegetation being completely dried out – perfect fuel for spreading grass fires – capable of sparking full-on wildfires. These wildfires have spread through the dry, flat ground – accompanied by a breeze capable of carrying cinders from one area to another. As a result of these cinders, grass fires pop up in other areas local to the original fire.

The perfect conditions are met, as not only will dry grass and breezes spread fires, but many plant species native to the Middle East have adapted to the region by developing oils and resins that are extremely combustible, especially during heat waves. Alongside this, there are a number of greenhouse gases and hot winds, such as the Khamisin, which can continue to shift and push wildfires throughout the summer season.

With climate change and wildfires, becoming more prevalent, readers in the Middle East are urged to keep water with them to stay hydrated – and urged to stay aware of local conditions.