Portugal was the 2nd European country most affected by fires in 2022

With 153 fires burning an area of ​​949 square kilometers

Photos: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação (file)

Portugal was the second European country most affected by forest fires in 2022, with 153 fires burning an area of ​​949 square kilometers (km2), according to a report released today by the European Environment Agency.

Spain, with a burned area of ​​2.754 km2, 208 fires of 30 hectares or more, was the country with the worst record and France was third with 74 forest fires that destroyed an area of ​​465 km2.

The study released today estimates that the Iberian Peninsula will register a "sharp increase" in the number of days with a high risk of fire, in a scenario of climate change with a high number of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

In Portugal and Spain, the number of people living close to wild terrain who are exposed to extreme high fire danger levels for at least 10 days a year would increase by 15 million (24%) under the 3 year global warming scenario. °C by the end of the century.

The agency also notes that the 2022 forest fire season was the second worst since 2000, with more than 5 km2 (twice the area of ​​Luxembourg) burned during the summer months (June, July and August) and a record area of affected Natura2000 nature protection sites.

Losses caused by fires reached, last year, at least two billion euros in Europe and CO2 emissions in the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom, between 1 June and 31 August 2022, are estimated at 6,4 .2007 megatons – the highest figure since XNUMX.

Extreme events related to weather and climate caused economic losses estimated at €560 billion in the EU between 1980 and 2021, of which only €170 billion (30%) was covered by insurance.

In the same period, nearly 195.000 fatalities were caused by floods, storms, heat and cold waves, forest fires and landslides in the EU.