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Forest Fires

Forest fires are a destructive phenomenon affecting many countries globally, including Cyprus. Every year, during the summer period, forests are prone to forest fires and almost on a daily basis forest fires are among the popular topics on the local media.

The key elements that affect the fire danger in Cyprus are: the Mediterranean climate of the island with a prolonged hot and dry summer period and strong local winds, the vegetation characteristics such as the ground cover density and fuel moisture and the topography; characterized by a rugged terrain and steep slopes. Several other factors further increase the problem of forest fires, such as the accumulation of dry biomass due to the decrease of rural population, increased human activities in forest areas and the lack of preventive measures in private forest land.

Forest fires are a major and complex problem, that is extremely difficult to treat effectively. According to recent studies, the problem of forest fires is expected to deteriorate further in the future, as a result of global warming. Climate change is likely to cause more droughts, a rise of temperature and elongation of stronger wind periods, especially in Southeastern Europe. This phenomenon is very likely to prolong the fire season and further increase fire ignition probability and propagation speed and is expected to result in more frequent fires, with severe environmental and economic sequences.

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Climate Changes & the threat of Forest Fires

The raising of the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere during the last century has concerned the scientists all over the world. Scientists are confident that global warming is caused by the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere, as a result of human activity mainly, while only partially is related to natural disturbances.

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