Skip to main content

Forest fires

EU action to monitor and prevent forest fires, and to restore burned areas.


Wildfires are becoming more and more frequent in Europe, with damaging consequences for nature and biodiversity, people and the economy. Climate change also increases the risk of prolonged and severe wildfires. Taking action to prevent wildfires is one of the most efficient ways to tackle this growing threat.

In 2021

22 out of 27
EU countries experienced forest fires
Over 5500 km²
of EU land was burnt in total
Over 1000 km²
of EU land was burnt in protected areas

Policies to protect the EU's forests against fire

The EU Forest Strategy for 2030 sets the basis for increased fire prevention and climate resilience of forests. Also, the guidelines on land-based wildfire prevention call for managing vegetation and avoiding the accumulation of fuels on the ground to facilitate firefighting.

The EU is working on measures to mitigate the unavoidable impact of wildfires and published the EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change in March 2021. The strategy underlines that adaptation needs to become faster, smarter and more systemic.

The proposal for a Nature Restoration Law is a key tool for adaptation and mitigation efforts as nature lessens the impact of natural disasters such as floods, droughts and heat waves. Restored forests are less vulnerable to forest fires and droughts thanks to a more diverse distribution of tree species and agroforestry measures that make better use of soil moisture and reduce evaporation.

Tools to prevent and respond to wildfires

The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) supports the services in charge of the protection of forests against fires in the EU and neighbour countries. It provides updated and reliable information on wildfires in Europe.

The Expert Group on Forest Fires helps the Commission to review forest fire trends in Europe and to determine adequate and effective responses.

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism  coordinates pan-European assistance in times of crises. Between 2007 and 2019, 30% of all requests for assistance through the mechanism were in response to wildfires. The Mechanism was upgraded with rescEU in 2019, establishing a new European reserve which includes firefighting planes and helicopters.

The Emergency Response Coordination Centre monitors forest fire risks and emergencies across Europe, supported by national and European monitoring services such as the European Forest Fire Information System.


Providing EU countries or regions with speedy, effective and flexible support to deal with the damage caused by a disaster.
EU funding for the environment and climate action, including for forest monitoring, information systems, and preventing forest fires.