European Forest Fire Information System: current situation in Europe
Monday 13 August 2012 update
The 2012 fire season has been characterized by a high number of fires in the early season. Over 100,000 hectares had already been consumed by fire at the end of March. July brought critical fire episodes in Spain and Portugal, which led to a number of human casualties. Fire danger has been very high in southern Europe during the last weeks, in particular in Portugal, Spain, southern France, central and southern Italy (where a large number of fires are still active), the Balkan region, Greece and Turkey.
The current fire danger forecast provided by the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) confirms a slight improvement in the situation at the beginning of this week as forecast end of last week. However, fire danger conditions remain very high in the western part of the Mediterranean region, in Portugal, Spain and France, and will return to a situation of critical fire danger in the overall Mediterranean region by the end of this week.
The forest fire situation in Europe is constantly monitored by EFFIS, a system developed and run by the European Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in collaboration with the Directorate General for Environment (DG ENV) and the Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (DG ECHO).
EFFIS provides updated and reliable information on wild land fires in Europe supporting forest fire prevention and fire-fighting services in the European countries, the European Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre (ECHO MIC), based in Brussels, and other organisations in the field.
EFFIS provides fire danger forecast up to six days in advance, enhancing the preparedness of the countries at risk of fire. Furthermore, fires are monitored and mapped by EFFIS, providing near-real time estimates of fire damages across Europe. Maps and key data on fire danger and individual fire effects can be consulted here.
Up to now, approximately 580,000 hectares have been burnt this year in the area monitored by EFFIS, which includes Europe, Middle East and North African countries.