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IP/09/1191

Brussels, 24 July 2009

European Forest Fire Information System: current situation in Europe

The forest fire situation in Europe is constantly monitored by the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), a system established by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the Directorate General for Environment (DG ENV) of the European Commission .

EFFIS ( http://effis.jrc.ec.europa.eu ) provides updated and reliable information on wildland fires in Europe supporting forest fire-fighting services in EU countries, the European Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) based in Brussels and other organizations in the field.

The current fire situation is reported by EFFIS as being of very high to extreme fire danger in large areas of Southern Europe and will remain critical over the next few days.

Major fires (with size from around 1000 to several thousands hectares) are currently affecting Spain (most affected areas Aragon, Almeria, Tarragona, Cuenca), France (Marseille, Southern Corsica), Italy (mostly Sardinia) and Greece (Thebes, Evia). Some of the major fires are being kept under control, but many are still active. Casualties have been reported in Spain and Italy.

Fires are being monitored and their evolution mapped by EFFIS. Maps and key data on individual fire size, location and fire danger level can be consulted at ( http://effis.jrc.ec.europa.eu/current-situation )

In addition the JRC recently implemented a new EFFIS application that provides detailed information on the situation of serious fires across Europe to the MIC, using local information on the areas in question such as populations at risk, nearby villages or towns, road networks and hospitals. The application allows the comparison of status of several simultaneous fires in Europe and supports MIC decision-making when dispatching reserve fire-fighting aircraft.

Below is a picture showing the distribution of most recent forest fires monitored and mapped by EFFIS.




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