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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 03-08-27

Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: EUROPA, the European Commission Server at <http://europa.eu.int>


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Solidarity Fund: Commission proposes € 31.6 million for fire-related emergency measures in Portugal
  • [02] Autre matériel diffusé
  • [03] Commission Joint Research Centre assesses Portugal's worst forest fire season
  • [04] European research helps fight fires in Southern Europe Midday Express 27/08/2003 TXT: FR ENPDF:DOC:Midday Express 27/08/2003

  • [01] Solidarity Fund: Commission proposes € 31.6 million for fire-related emergency measures in Portugal

    Responding swiftly to the request made by the Portuguese authorities, the European Commission today proposed to mobilise the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) for a grant of € 31.655 million to deal with the fire-related disaster. This money will be used for reimbursing the cost of emergency measures such as rescue services, providing for temporary accommodation, energy and water and repairing basic infrastructure. The damages were caused by a large number of fires which started on 20 July and which have claimed 18 lives to date. It is estimated that 270,000 hectares of forest and 25,000 hectares of agricultural land have been destroyed. The disaster is reported to have caused the loss of goods, jobs and employment for about 45,000 persons.

    [02] Autre matériel diffusé

    [03] Commission Joint Research Centre assesses Portugal's worst forest fire season

    Some 355 976 ha of land had been burnt in Portugal by 20 August 2003, 301 180 ha of which was forest, according to figures derived from satellite observations by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). The JRC used its remote-sensing expertise to map the extent of damage. These figures show that almost 6% of the forest area in Portugal was damaged twice that of the most severe year since 1980. It is equivalent to the total annual burnt area of all 5 Mediterranean countries in recent years.

    [04] European research helps fight fires in Southern Europe

    Due to this summer's unprecedented heat wave, we have been witnessing particularly devastating fires in Southern Europe, particularly around the Mediterranean. Hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest in Portugal, France, Spain and Italy have gone up in smoke, causing loss of life, destruction of homes, and millions of Euros in damage. European forest fire research is helping to fight such problems by providing improved fire suppression techniques, from the air and on the ground, and through daily fire danger maps, which provide valuable information to civil protection authorities to dispatch their ground forces and heavy equipment. Fire monitoring equipment and remote smoke and fire detection devices used to supplement human lookout towers are also being used in the fight against forest fires. These techniques and deliverables result from a series of EU research projects.

    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/
    © ECSC - EC - EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg, 1995, 1996


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