Fires, Ue map, highest risk for Italy and Mediterranean

Real time monitoring by Effis site

07 August, 11:54

Volunteers help try to get control of a forest fire near Castelo Branco, central Portugal Volunteers help try to get control of a forest fire near Castelo Branco, central Portugal

(ANSAmed) - BRUXELLES - Italy and the Mediterranean is at high risk of fire during this summer of 2012, according to the European Forest Fire Information (Effis). This centralized system is specialized on forest and bush fires, and estimates the risk based on the weather. On the website http://effis.jrc.ec.europa.eu is possible to follow the map of the risk of fires in Europe. From June to September this map is sent daily to the Ue civil protection and forestry service.

Unfortunately, 2011 yearly bulletin counted some fires that destroyed 93.744 hectares of the so called "Natura 2000", the green areas protected by the EU. Overall, in Europe the amount of territory which ended up in smoke is 455.871 hectares,as much as the surface of the Liguria region in Italy.

According to estimates based on satellite data, the country that was hit harder by fires was Portugal with 64.845 hectares in smoke, of which 16.527 were European protected areas.

Spain comes second with 64.603 hectares, mainly of the "Natura 2000" network, with 26.900 hectares set on fire.

Italy is third: 37.563 hectares on fire, of which 11.915 of the "Natura" network.Greece comes shortly after: 36.871 hectars, of which 8.298 of "Natura".

Outside the Mediterranean, Effis reported 52.985 hectares on fire in Algeria and 53.307 in Albania.

Effis system is a joint effort by Joint Reaearch Centre (JRC)and Environment Directorate of the European Commission. It supports all the services in charge of protection of forests against fire in Europe and neighboring countries, and it is also linked to the experts'network on fires of 22 Ue countries.

In addition to the network besed on the web, Effis keeps a database and produces annual reports.

(ANSAmed).

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