Excerpt from Press Release of the European Commission on 31 October 2022
European Forest Fire report: Three of the worst fire seasons on record took place in the last six years
The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) published the latest edition of its Annual Report on Forest Fires in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa in 2021. It concludes that last year's fire season was the second worst in the EU territory in terms of burnt area (since records began in 2006), after 2017 when over 10,000 km² had burnt. More than 5,500 km² of land burnt in 2021 – more than twice the size of Luxembourg – with over 1,000 km² burnt within protected Natura 2000 areas, the EU's reservoir of biodiversity.
The report does not yet cover this year's fires, which have been even more destructive than the ones in 2021. The annual reports allow having past fire seasons as a reference when analysing preliminary data on the impact of wildfires in the current year. With this perspective, 2022 is looking even worse, confirming the worrying destructive trend of recent years. In fact, an area covering 8,600 km² already burnt this year.
About the Report
The JRC forest fire reports provide harmonised information and assessment of forest fires’ effects in the pan-European region. They give detailed information on the actions taken in the countries as regards wildfire prevention, preparedness and firefighting, while addressing adaptation measures to mitigate wildfire effects. Forest fires reports are published regularly in October of the year following the fire season finally assessed, preceded by an advance report in March. The final forest fire reports include information gathered at national level, shared during the year with the JRC for data comparison and comprehensive final overview of the fire season in Europe, Middle East and North Africa. The 2021 edition is the result of a successful collaboration between the European Commission services and fire management agencies in 34 countries.
You can find a download link and more information on the report here.