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4.19% spike in rural and urban fires in 2017-2018 – Fire Service

February 1, 2019 at 12:02pm

There was a 4.19% spike in recorded rural and urban fires in 2017-2018, figures released by the Fire Service on Friday show.

According to the figures, more than 90% of the fires were caused by people.

Rural fires

In an announcement the fire service said that there was an 11.38% increase in rural fires in 2018. Compared to other months, April was the month with the largest increase in fires (75.96%) due to the Lambratzia (Burning of Judas) ritual.

From May 1 to November 30, 2017 , the service recorded 2285 rural fires, while the number of  rural fires for the same period in 2018 was 2567, an increase of 12.34%.

According to the fire service, the increase can be largely blamed on the drought.

Wildfires in forests burned 15.10 km2 of land in 2018, an increase of 5.03 km2 compared to 2017 (10.07 km2).

People were responsible for the overwhelming majority of rural fires (more than 92%) and 90% of urban fires.

Economic cost

The economic cost of fires in 2018 was €7,440.397 million, a slight decrease from the €7,507.860 million of 2017.

The fire service responded to 11956 calls for help (fires, rescues, prank calls) in 2018.

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Forestry Department: Wildfires in 2018 up 80% compared to 2000-2017 average