Forest fire damage in 2009 already higher than in 2008
Estimates from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) show that 200,000 hectares of land in the EU have already burnt in 2009, compared to a total of 180,000 in 2008. EFFIS continuously monitors the forest fire risk, which at present is still high, and has just released the 'Forest Fires in Europe 2008' report providing a comprehensive overview of the forest fire danger conditions and impact of forest fires in Europe for 2008.
EFFIS, run by the JRC Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES), uses satellite images to produce daily updated maps of areas burnt by forest fires of at least 40 hectares in size. The area of mapped fires corresponds on average to 75% of the total burnt area which includes fires smaller than 40 hectares. The burnt area mapped so far in 2009 in the EU is 150,076 hectares, which corresponds to an estimated total burnt area of about 200,000 hectares.