Summer 2021 has been characterised by numerous wildfires across Malta and Europe with Malta’s Civil Protection Department responding to an average of 50 fires weekly.
According to information obtained by TVM, the Civil Protection Department has answered a total of 513 calls related to the countryside and rubbish dumps from 1st of June to 10th of August.
A number of shocking fires have spread across Malta and Gozo this summer, including one caused by a fireworks display at Ramla Bay in June.
Despite the seemingly high numbers, CPD official Kevin Pace noted how the number of fires that have been reported remains at an average rate with 543 grass fires over the past six months.
Pace explained that while some of these grass fires are indeed accidental, others take place due to the negligence of people.
If rubbish is left in the countryside, there is an increased probability of a fire starting. Dry grass and hot air make a great combination for a fire, he said.
BBQs also serve as a large source for these fires. They are in fact not allowed in wooded areas, and should never be ignited under trees or in the countryside. The CPD urges people to take their rubbish home with them and dispose of it accordingly.
Environment experts have warned that recent heatwaves are a result of climate change with Malta’s Ambassador for Climate Action Simone Borg warning that the island risks becoming a desert within two generations.
In Sicily, temperatures reached a record 48.8 degrees celsius – the hottest day ever recorded in Europe’s history.
What do you think about Malta’s wildfires?