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Review article

Forest Fires in the Republic of Croatia (1992-2007)

Petar Jurjević ; Hrvatske šume Direkcija Zagreb
Darko Vuletić ; Hrvatske šume Direkcija Zagreb
Joso Gračan ; Zagreb
Gabrijela Seletković ; Hrvatske šume Direkcija Zagreb

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Forest fires are generally uncontrollable occurrences that spread rapidly through forests. Depending on the age of a forest, tree and vegetation species, and the type of fire and its severity, forest fires may inflict large scale damage. These fires are predominantly induced by humans and less so by natural causes. Fires of natural origin are usually caused by lightning and in some countries by volcanic eruptions. All other fires are the result of human activity. The threat o fires differs profoundly from area to area. The most endangered regions are the Mediterranean basin, the area of North American pine forests and African savannahs. There has recently been a dramatic increase in the number of forest fires. In Europe alone there are between 30,000 and 40,000 fires annually, with burnt areas exceeding 500,000 ha. In North America, damage is far greater. Almost all fires in Europe can be attributed to the human factor. In 2007, countries along the southern edge of Europe (France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Mon te negro, Macedonia and Albania), and Greece in particular, suffered the se verest attacks owing to their climate and global changes, as well as so cio-economic conditions. According to the data from the Forest Management Plan of the area, forest in the Republic of Croatia cover a total of 2,688,687 ha (2006), of witch state forests managed by the company Hrvatske šume Ltd. Account for 2,018,987 ha (75 %), forests owned by the Republic of Croatia but used by other legal persons account for 87,930 ha (3 %), while 581,770 ha (22 %) relate to privately owned forests. From 1992 to 2006, the average number of forests firs per annum was 300 and range from 109 (1995) to 706 (2000) (Tab. 1), the average annual burnt area of state -owned forests was 8,141 ha, varying from 535 ha (1995) to 39 875 ha (2000 (Tab. 4), and average burnt area of private forests (private forests owners) was 7,305 ha annually, of other forests 7,057 ha, and of forests and other soil 6,509 ha. The average annual amount of damaged growing stock and non-wood forest functions (non-wood products) was 707,427,000 kuna, and varied from 402,290,000 kuna to 2,626,332,000 kuna. The amount of damage to non-wood forest functions was estimated using the Forest Management Regulation and the Rules of Compensation for Forest and Forestland Transfer and Limited Rights (Official Gazette 111/06 and 131/06). investments; organization; protection; regeneration


Croatia, forest fires

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