Written question – Fires in the EU – E-006662/2017

An interim report by the Portuguese Institute for Nature and Forest Conservation (ICNF) shows that the country suffered a total of 12 377 fires (2 652 forest fires and 9 725 smaller blazes) between 1 January and 31 August 2017. The fires destroyed 213 986 ha of forest, which is the largest area in the last 10 years and double the annual average for that period.

The Portuguese Association of Safety and Emergency Services Professionals (Asprocivil) has concluded that ‘approximately 53.4% of the total area destroyed by fire in the European Union is in Portugal’.

It is all too clear that we need a European forest policy suited to the needs of each European region, especially the south, which is hardest hit by fires because of worsening climate change.

What is the Commission’s assessment of this tragedy?

What support measures will it be implementing in the worst affected countries?