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Spain forest fires hit five-year record
©Simon Claessen

Spain forest fires hit five-year record

22/08/17Environment

Forest fires in Spain have burnt more than 75,000 hectares of woodland this year, according the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment and Food (Mapama).

Since 2012, the number of fires has risen by 1.77% in Spain.

The data, which comes from the Spanish centre for forest fires, has been and provided by Spanish municipalities. Since 1 January there have been 9,632 fire incidents, including 5,816 arson attempts.

According to the European Commission, the majority of fires are caused by carelessness and arson, whereas natural causes account for just 3% of fires.

In 19% of cases, the causes remain unknown.

In 2017 there have been 15 large fires – those that have affected areas of 500 hectares or more – compared to ten in 2016, thirteen in 2015, and six in 2014.

The fires in 2017 have destroyed 75,026 hectares, which equates to 0.28% of Spain’s total Spanish land mass.

Of these areas, the northeast – particularly Basque countries, Galicia, Cantabria and Asturias – has been particularly affected.

Forest fires have also affected large areas of Portugal, France, Italy and Greece, but no member state has been affected more than Spain.

Pan European Networks Ltd