Portugal– Almost three times as much forest has burned so far this year in Portugal than in the equivalent period last year, at 14,971 hectares, according to figures released on Monday by the Institute of Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF).
The institute’s provisional report shows that from 1 January to 15 June, there were 6,113 reported fires, 3,578 more than the same period of 2014. Of those incidents, 1,511 were full-blown forest fires and 4,602 were small bonfires and other flare-ups.
The 14,971 hectares burned from January through mid-June compares with 5,525 hectares in the same period in 2014.
Compared with the decade to 2014, this year has seen 16% more incidents than the annual average, with 37% more area burned than the average. Only in 2005, 2009 and 2012 were the areas burned greater than so far this year.
March, April and May were the months with the most fires and the most area burned.
The districts with the most incidents this year were all in northern Portugal: Porto, at 1,207, Braga, at 785, and Vila Real, at 710.