Forest fires occur regularly all over Europe and it is very likely that the damage they cause will increase in the future. The JRC monitors European forests to continually assess the risk of fires, provide early alerts and provide information on active fires. It also evaluates the effects that changes in land use, land cover, climate change, or other socioeconomic factors have had on forest fires during past decades and will have in the future, in particular on vegetation and landscape.
The JRC works closely with national and European authorities to monitor forest fires and to minimise their negative effects on the environment. It has developed and manages the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), which covers the full cycle of forest fire events. Through its website, EFFIS provides fire danger predictions up to six days in advance of their occurrence, as well as daily updated information on active fires and fire damages in Europe. Additional modules in EFFIS analyse post-fire effects such as soil erosion and gas emissions, and use satellite imagery to monitor the recovery of vegetation in the burnt areas.
Using the EFFIS database, the JRC maps large fire events and analyses their history (frequency, density, incidence, seasonality) and trends over the past 20-30 years.