The world is burning
Heat waves are taking their toll; forests are burning all over the world. Here's a global look at some of the most devastating fires.
Russia: No sign of relief
Many regions in Russia have been burning for weeks, with the area around Yakutia in the far northeast having been hit particularly hard. The authorities have counted more than 250 fires currently burning across Russia, covering a total area of more than 3.5 million hectares (8.6 million acres).
This is no morning mist
But it's not just the fires that are causing problems for locals. Dense smoke has been drifting across populated areas, for example the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. This is especially hard for the elderly and children, as it's nearly impossible to breathe outside.
Greece: We're outta here!
Evacuees on a ferry at the port of Pefki, Euboea — they are embarking on a journey into the unknown, as their homes and belongings will probably be destroyed by the time they return. For the first time since the forest fires started on the Greek island of Euboea at the beginning of last week, massive air missions are now being flown to fight the fires. Eyewitnesses report apocalyptic scenes.
Acts of desperation
But not everyone is fleeing — many local residents want to support the firefighters. At times, that can include desperate acts — such as with this man, who’s trying to beat out flames with a tree branch. Such autonomous actions are causing a major problem for the authorities, as through them, many people are placing themselves in grave danger.
Turkey: Threatened residential areas
Besides Greece and Italy, Turkey is also struggling with devastating fires. Walls of fire are spreading from the forests to residential areas. On this photo, Turkish firefighters are trying to stop a blaze near Cokertme that threatens to spread into buildings. More than 150,000 hectares — including entire villages — have already fallen victim to the flames in Turkey.
United States: Dixie Fire
More than 5,700 fires are currently raging in the West Coast state of California — and the typical wildfire season there has not even started yet. The Dixie Fire is now the second-largest in the state's history, and completely destroyed the town of Greenville. In this photo, a fire crew member keeps an eye out for spot fires to slow the wildfire near the town of Westwood.
In California, whirlwinds of ash and embers, such as this one that meandered through the Santa Barbara hills, are complicating matters. West Coast fires have even been creating their own weather. With the situation more devastating than in previous years, governors of affected states have turned to Washington for help — they are urgently seeking more emergency staff and firefighting aircraft.