Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Summer fires claim 200,000 hectares of Europe's forests

Terra Daily, via Agence France-Presse: Europe has lost 200,000 hectares of forest to fires this summer, a higher rate of attrition than last year, and national governments must act as global warming takes its toll, the EU warned Monday. "During the next few days the fire danger will remain very high in many Mediterranean areas," the European Commission warned.

So far this summer, Spain and Italy have been most affected because of the extreme fire weather conditions in the second half of July. France and, to a lesser extent, Greece and Portugal have also suffered significant damage, figures by the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) show.

The figures pour cold water on hopes that the forest fire problem was decreasing…. Global warming risks exacerbating the problem, the commission said. The fire season, which runs from June to September, has been getting longer with infernos as early as March. Some experts predict the problem is set to get significantly worse in southern Europe….

A July 2009 fire near Mojácar, Spain, shot by Jolly Janner, Wikimedia Commons,

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