Summer wildfires set new record in Europe

Wildfires in Europe have exceeded all historical trends so far this year with almost 660,000 hectares of land burned already, way above the previous high of 421,000 hectares in 2017 and an average of 189,000 hectares over the past 15 years, shows latest data from the EC.

According to its European Forest Fire Information Service (EFFIS), there were 2,297 wildfires recorded in Europe by 13 August. This is running above a 15-year average of 571 fires at this stage of the year and setting a new high from the previous figure of 1,349.

The worst full year on record is 2017, according to EFFIS, with a total of 988,000 hectares burnt in Europe after a surge in October.

But Jesús San-Miguel, EFFIS coordinator, told AFP that 2022 could set a new record. “The situation in terms of drought and extremely high temperatures has affected all Europe this year and the overall situation in the region is worrying, while we are still in the middle of the fire season,” he said.

Spain has seen the largest area affected by wildfires at 246,000 hectares by 13 August, followed by Romania, Portugal and then France.

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