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Greece: Annual rate of land burnt soars

A disheartening picture emerges when confronted by the statistics for the course of this year’s fire season, according to the analysis of the data of the European Forest Fire Information System by

Tellingly, the cumulative area burnt from the beginning of 2023 until Thursday increased by 195% compared to the annual average. With 128,148 hectares of burnt land by Thursday, Greece has suffered the greatest destruction among 20 Mediterranean countries.

Spain is second with 82,464 hectares, ahead of Italy with 59,533. France (+66%) and Morocco (+30%) also recorded an increase in burnt areas, while the other countries recorded a decrease.

Meanwhile, the cumulative number of large forest fires (>30 hectares) in Greece, since the beginning of the year, showed a decrease of -52% compared to the average number of large forest fires (2002-2022). This means that this year’s large fires have been much more destructive.

Indeed, the average burnt area per major forest fire in Greece, from the beginning of the year until Thursday, showed an increase of +517% compared to the corresponding average for the period 2002-2022.

With an average of 47,462 hectares per forest fire until Thursday, Greece ranks first among the 20 Mediterranean countries. Moreover, having recorded 27 major forest fires (>30 hectares) by Thursday, Greece ranks seventh among 20 Mediterranean countries. Spain ranks first with 340 forest fires during 2023.