EDJNet’s investigation on European wildfires looks at Romania (Part III)

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The European Data Journalism Network is carrying out an investigation on wildfires across Europe. In this framework, PressOne has been working on a series of articles about Romania. The full article by Laura Popa was published on the EDJN and PressOne.

Forest fire in Apuseni Mountains, Romania (photo: © Igor Sirbu/Shutterstock)

The latest article by Laura Popa discusses the surprising prevalence of forest fires in Romania, despite its temperate continental climate, traditionally considered less prone to such incidents. The piece emphasizes that human activities, such as uncontrolled burning of pasture and crop residue near forests, contribute significantly to the problem, with up to 99 percent of forest fires in the country being caused by human factors. In 2022, Romania experienced a significant increase in forest fires, with contradictory data from various institutions highlighting the challenges in accurate data collection on wildfires in the country.

The article also points out the specific challenges faced by certain regions, including the Domogled-Valea Cernei National Park, where environmental activists and foresters raise concerns about the impact on biodiversity and the slow recovery of ecosystems after fires. Additionally, it highlights the potential consequences of climate change on increasing the frequency and intensity of wildfires in Romania, with experts warning about the release of carbon dioxide and other pollutants contributing to global warming.

The report touches on the measures taken by other countries, such as the US, Australia, and Spain, to prevent and manage forest fires, including controlled burns and advanced surveillance systems. In contrast, it notes challenges in Romania’s preparedness, citing discrepancies in reported data, lack of infrastructure like fire roads, and insufficient preventive measures. The article concludes by highlighting ongoing projects in Romania, such as FirEUrisk, aimed at improving risk assessment and mitigation strategies.

The article is part of the Wildfires in Europe investigation. You can discover more here.

Author: Beatrice Bellavia (Euromontana).