Less than one-sixth of the area burnt as compared to 2017, however.
Today, the JRC published the 2018 edition of its Annual Report on Forest Fires in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. According to the report, wildfires destroyed nearly 178,000 hectares (ha) of forests and land in the EU last year.
While this is less than one sixth of the area burnt in 2017, and less than the long-term average, more countries than ever before suffered from large fires.
Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the Joint Research Centre, added: "Changing weather conditions associated with climate change increase the risk for forest fires globally. We need to respond and step up our efforts to make our forests more resilient to a warmer and drier climate. Evidence provided by the Joint Research Centre allows us to focus on the most effective ways to prevent wildfires, helping us protect our forests, which is key to preserve biodiversity and citizens’ quality of life."
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