Forest fires in Greece in 2019 may have been the least devastating compared to previous years in the last decade, but the impact of climate change on already existing problems in the countryside does not leave much room for optimism, according to the Greek chapter of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
According to the latest data of the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), 12,045 hectares of forestland was burnt by fires in 2019 – the lowest figure in the last decade.
The annual average in 2009-19 stands at 13,523.4 hectares. The WWF said the data should not be a cause for complacency or celebration given the devastating fires that have wreaked havoc around the country in recent years.
The data, it said, should be taken into serious consideration in order to plan for the protection of the country’s forests “against chronic problems that are likely to be further heightened in the coming years due to climate change.”