Helicopters, Planes and ... Sheep? Europe Rethinks Its Approach to Forest Fires

It has been a bad summer for wildfires in Europe, and all signs point to more bad summers to come. Many countries are trying out new approaches to lower the fire danger, but not all of them are high-tech. Catalonia, for example, is turning to livestock.
A cloud of smokes rises from a brush fire in Catalonia.

A cloud of smokes rises from a brush fire in Catalonia.

Foto: Ramon Costa / SOPA / LightRocket / Getty Images
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Residents watching as a fire spreads near Tarragona in northeastern Spain.

Residents watching as a fire spreads near Tarragona in northeastern Spain.

Foto: Joan Mateu Parra / AP
Planes are a key tool in fighting forest fires, and the EU is planning on buying more.

Planes are a key tool in fighting forest fires, and the EU is planning on buying more.

Foto: Albert Llop / NurPhoto / imago images
Ukraine was hit by several severe forest fires in 2020, like this one near Luhansk.

Ukraine was hit by several severe forest fires in 2020, like this one near Luhansk.

Foto: Oleksii Kovaliov / Barcroft Media / Getty Images
Brush fires like this one have become increasingly common in Catalonia.

Brush fires like this one have become increasingly common in Catalonia.

Foto: Albert Llop / imago images/NurPhoto
A herd of sheep in a forest near Vallgorguina, Spain.

A herd of sheep in a forest near Vallgorguina, Spain.

Foto: Miquel Benitez / Getty Images
Brandenburg, the German state surrounding Berlin, has also suffered from depopulation.

Brandenburg, the German state surrounding Berlin, has also suffered from depopulation.

Foto: imago stock&people / imago/allefarben-foto

This piece is part of the Global Societies series. The project runs for three years and is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.