This booklet prepared by the European Commission with the support of fire management experts in the countries, provides a summary of the current and future trends of wildfires in Europe and tools to monitor them at European and country level. The report includes an overview of existing land-based wildfire prevention and good practices, and showcases good practices that can save lives. These guidelines are well aligned with the goals of the European Green Deal and the Biodiversity Strategy. We are convinced that together we can get better prepared to address the increasing threat of wildfires in Europe and can create a more effective response to an ever more frequent common problem, with important benefits for our citizens and the natural environment we depend on. An expert group is a consultative body initiated by the European Commission to provide it with advice on specific topics. The Expert Group on Forest Fires (hereafter: the EGFF) was set up in 1998 and includes experts from the group’s member countries’ environmental or forestry administrations. Representing over 40 countries from the EU and its eastern and southern neighborhood, the EGFF is a key forum for the Commission to monitor the current trends toward increasingly frequent and catastrophic wildfires, and to help determine adequate and effective European responses in cooperation with the EU Member States. Managed jointly by the Commission’s Environment and Joint Research Centre Directorate Generals, the EGFF meets twice a year – ahead of and after the “main” wildfire season. The current work of the group focuses on the development of common criteria for wildfire risk assessments and recommendations for fire risk reduction by landscape and forest management. In addition to these key activities, the EGFF also contributes to the further development of the European Forest Fire Information System EFFIS, to the drafting of the Commission’s annual ‘Wildfires in Europe, Middle East and North Africa’ report as well as to information exchanges on fire-resistant forests and sustainable forest management. Moreover, it exchanges on good wildfire prevention practices and lessons learned throughout the entire fire cycle. This booklet is an example of how exchanges of information and good practices at European and international level can facilitate a better understanding of land-based wildfire prevention and facilitate effective responses.
Available in English, French, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish
PDF file, 40 pages