Date Posted:26 June 2019
In a report by Copernicus’ European Forest Fire Information or EFFIS, around 1,381 wildfires have hit Europe so far in 2019 compared to the annual average of 174 in the same period over the past 10 years, which resulted in a near five-fold increase in affected areas.
The same report reveals that in 2019 alone, around 207,440 hectares were burnt in wildfires. This data is especially alarming because in the past decade, every June 25 - from 2008 to 2018, an average of 44,491 hectares had burnt.
EFFIS also states that areas impacted by a heatwave have higher risk of being hit with wildfires as it results in a large amount of dry foliage etc. However it is not a heatwave alone that is responsible; wildfires often occur when a heatwave is coupled with factors including high wind speed, low humidity and ignition sources - either natural (lightning) or human activity (cigarettes, arson).
Read full report here: EU hit by 1,381 wildfires so far in 2019 — risk higher in areas with heatwave