“The real assessment of the extent of the negative, by definition, environmental effects of the forest fires affecting our country, can be – and will be – only after their definitive suppression”. This is pointed out by the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change with its announcement.

The Ministry of Environment and Energy underlines: “This assessment cannot be done only from satellite images -which are the only ones available at this stage- which, due to low clarity, but also the presence of smoke (since several fire incidents are still ongoing), inevitably contain a significant margin of error. A typical example is the large fire in Evros, which is ongoing, where in the first estimates, large islets and clumps of living forest vegetation within the outer perimeter of the total burnt area have been included as burned.

In any case, the extent of burnt areas, this year, will be significant, but scientific evaluation is required not only of its quantitative, but also of its qualitative characteristics, in order to draw safe conclusions about the policies that were implemented and their future differentiation”.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as far as the phenomenon is concerned, internationally, it is clear that there is an increase in forest fires, especially in the Mediterranean. For example, in Portugal the average of burned areas, from 864,219 hectares in the period 2007-2016, amounted to 1,391,475 acres in the period 2017-2022.

Correspondingly, in Spain from 767,890 hectares, the average of burned areas reached 1,261,445 hectares, in France the burned hectares from 96,849 were formed, on average, to 147,660, in Italy from 771,409 to 822,720 and so on.

The meteorological conditions that prevail in each country, given climate change, influence – to a significant extent – the magnitude of the effects, with an extreme example of Portugalwhich had an average (2007-2016) burned area of ​​864,219 hectares in 2017 alone reached 5,406,300 acres. Also, Spain in 2022 exceeded 3,000,000 acres, while Italy in 2021 exceeded 1,500,000 acres.

For the Ministry of Environment and Energy, “what matters now is the complete suppression of forest fires. At the same time, however, it is working both on planning and on the immediate reaction, utilizing all available institutional tools, regarding the implementation of measures and the protection and restoration projects of the affected areas”.