By Paul Homewood

h/t Stuart Hamish

More perspective on the Turkish wildfires:

According to the latest European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), the area burnt is now up to 177,000 ha, but the fires now seem to have stabilised. This clearly is way above the recent average.

Back in 2007, a study by the Forestry Faculty of one of Turkey’s universities showed that forest fire acreage in Turkey was much greater in the past, although the number of fires had risen.

The worst year was 1945, when a similar area burnt as this summer so far.

The study also explains why the area burned is, but number of fires up:

Put simply, a lot of work has gone into fire suppression since the 1960s. Just as is the case in California, this has led to a massive build up of fuel, just waiting for a spark. According to EFFIS, the fire area so far this year is about eight times the average, whereas the number of fires is only triple, meaning that the fires are bigger on average.

As for the “spark”, we must remember that fires don’t start on their own. According to the Turkish study, human caused fires account for 93% of all fires:

There have been suggestions that the Turkish government have been badly caught out this year, in particular not having enough planes to deal with the fires.

What is clear is that, if the policy remains to suppress every fire that comes along, Turkey must get much better at forest management. That means clearing undergrowth, creating fire breaks and so on. If they don’t, nature will take its course.


August 13, 2021