In the last few weeks you couldn’t turn on your TV or browse the internet without coming across news about forest fires in Greece. This made me curios, so I thought I will examine this subject a little bit in this article, to try and understand more about these events.
According to the European Commissions EFFIS (Forest Fires In Eastern Europe) reports, forest fires are a complex phenomena caused by a combination of land management, human activities and climate and weather conditions. Climate change affects forest fires both directly through the weather conditions that affect fire ignition and propagation, and indirectly through its effects on vegetation and fuels.
The fire weather danger is expected to increase in Europe due to climate change, and will be increasingly characterized by extreme fires destroying vast areas with long-term impacts.
In Greece forest fires are a recurring phenomenon that causes damage to the environment and even costs lives almost every year. In many cases, the ignition source for fires is associated with traditional agricultural burning practices, although the fire causes for the majority of fire incidents remained unknown.
On the graph below you can see the trends in terms of numbers of fires in Greece, and you can see that the numbers are increasing since 2014, but there is no need to afraid the numbers are still lower than what they used to be.
However, forest fires are becoming more frequent in places where they were almost nonexistent before, like in Eastern Europe.
As you can see this is a growing issue that needs more attention.
source: European Commissions EFFIS (Forest Fires In Eastern Europe) reports 2017