The 2020 report on forest fires by the European Commission, which is based on national reports, shows that Romania was the most affected country, followed by Portugal, Spain and Italy.
The 21st annual report on forest fires in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, presented by the European Commission's Joint Research Center (JRC) also estimates that the 2021 fire season will be worse, as at the date of publication of the report, “almost 500,000 hectares, 61 percent of which were in forests that will take years to recover, were destroyed by the flames”.
This year, “about 25 percent of the burnt areas in Europe were located in Natura 2000 sites, the reservoirs of biodiversity in the EU”, and at the end of June, the time that usually marks the beginning of the fire season, already about 130,000 hectares has been burned.
The report found that fires no longer only affect southern states, but are now a growing threat to central and northern Europe as well.
Another note in the report highlighted that the effects of climate change are increasingly evident, with, according to the document, a growing trend, clearly observable, of increased fire risks, longer fire periods and more intense “mega fires” that spread rapidly and for which traditional firefighting methods can do little to tackle.