Spain is the European country most affected by this year’s fires. From the beginning of the year, 245,000 hectares of forests and meadows were burnt there. It is over 657,000 hectares in the entire European Union, according to data from the EU’s Copernicus Earth Monitoring System.
245,000 hectares consumed by fire this year in Spain is around 37 percent of the area covered by fire across the EU. The area affected by fires this year in the EU is three times higher than the average for the last 15 years, informed the Spanish public broadcaster RTVE, which updates the data on an ongoing basis.
As already indicated at the end of July, 2022 in Spain is the worst in terms of fires of this century. In less than seven months, the fire consumed a larger area than in the entire 2012, previously considered a record year.
The second most affected country is Romania (around 24% of all EU fires), followed by Portugal (10%), and France, Italy and Greece (around 8% each). There were no major fires in Estonia, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Malta.
At the beginning of August, the data of the Joint Research Center operating at the European Commission showed that this year the second largest area in the EU was burned down since such measurements have been carried out, i.e. since 2006.
“95 percent of the causes are people’s neglect”
According to Theo Oberhuber from the Spanish organization Ecologistas en Accion, in countries with a large number of fires, attention should be paid to prevention, introducing safety measures. “Climate change does not cause fires per se, so we focus on analyzing the causes,” Oberhuber told 20minutos.es.
– Forest fires are related to the way these resources are managed and to the increase in urbanization in the mountains – he added.
The expert said that “95 percent of the fires are caused by human neglect, so there is a need for preventive plans agreed between different public administrations, for example to reduce human activity in forests more, depending on the season.” – Spain is still extremely threatened by fires practically throughout its territory – he stressed.
PAP, rtve.es, EFFIS, tvnmeteo.pl
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / NATXO FRANCES, EFFIS / Copernicus