High risk of widespread wildfires across Europe this year, EU says
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union expects dry weather to cause unusually widespread wildfires in Europe over the coming months, including in the central and northern regions that tend to be less at risk, the EU’s crisis management commissioner said on Tuesday.
After above-average European spring temperatures, forest fires have already broken out in recent days in Sweden and northern France, data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) show.
“This fire season is expected to be above the ten-dozen-year average when it comes to the number of fires and areas burned in Europe,” Janez Lenarcic, the EU’s crisis commissioner, told a news conference, referring to the period between June and September, which is usually the warmest in Europe.
“The areas that are prone to forest fires are no longer only in the southern part of Europe, but also in central Europe and even in the northern part of Europe,” Lenarcic said, citing recent fires and projections from national authorities in EU states.