Just over a month after raging wildfires turned the sky red over the Greek island of Evia, crews are scrambling to bolster flood barriers, Reuters reports. Normally, vegetation would absorb the autumn rains, but what is left of that vegetation is now mostly a thick layer of ash on the forest floor. About 300,000 acres burned across Greece this summer during the country’s worst heatwave in three decades. Heatwaves, the extreme wildfire conditions they induce, and extreme precipitation are all worsened by climate change caused by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels. “This is dangerous. If rains start now and go on for 15 or 20 days then all the rivers will overflow,” said worker Giorgos Diakomopoulos.
“We have to make [flood protections ready] in time for the winter. We did not have to mourn any victims during the wildfires, and it is very important that we don’t have that problem with the floods,” Limni mayor George Tsapourniotis told Reuters. (Greek flood risk: Reuters; Climate Signals background: Wildfires, Extreme precipitation increase, Extreme heat and heatwaves)