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Heatwave causes unprecedented and deadly wildfires across Europe

Internal displacement news update: Multi-source estimates from the world’s authoritative source of data and analysis on internal displacement

•    The UK, Greece, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia affected
•    Thousands of homes destroyed
•    Wildfires recorded as far north as the Arctic Circle

Extreme weather across Europe, including record temperatures, unusually low rainfall and high winds, has triggered deadly wildfires, displacing hundreds of people from their homes. 

In Sweden, more than 80 forest fires have been recorded since June, the worst outbreak on record. Eleven were located above the Arctic Circle, which topped 30 degree centigrade. Local Swedish authorities and the Red Cross estimate that between 300 – 500 people have been evacuated so far. 

In Greece, around 3,000 houses have been destroyed and 700 people evacuated in the region of Attica, which surrounds Athens, according to preliminary estimates from the Greek Civil Protection authorities. A combination of environmental factors led to what is thought to be the deadliest wildfire Greece has ever recorded, including an unusually dry winter and spring, leaving grass and scrubland particularly flammable, as well as record wind speeds, reaching up to 120 km per hour, which rapidly advanced the flames. 

Earlier in June, extremely dry conditions caused wildfires in the moorland area near Manchester, UK, leading to the evacuation of more than one hundred people from the nearby communities. 

Follow these - and other displacement events occurring in conflict, disaster, or due to development projects - on our Internal Displacement Updates (IDU) interactive map on the homepage. The information is near real-time and the coloured bubbles bring up snapshots, including the exact location, the number of people displaced, the cause of their displacement and the source of the information.


Notes to editors:

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) is the world's authoritative source of data and analysis on internal displacement. Since our establishment in 1998, as part of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), we have been committed to offering a rigorous, transparent and independent service to the international community and to informing policy and operational decisions that can improve the lives of the millions of people living in internal displacement, or at risk of becoming displaced in the future.

IDMC is sending out regular updates on situations of internal displacement across the world. For more information, please contact:

Media and Communications Coordinator: + 41 22 552 36 45