Forest fire danger

Indicator Specification
Indicator codes: CLIM 035
Created 11 Jul 2008 Published 08 Sep 2008 Last modified 28 Jun 2016
3 min read
Note: new version is available!
Average annual changes in fire danger level 1958-2006 Modelled three-monthly fire danger levels in Europe for 1961-1990 and 2071-2100 and change between these periods

Update planned for November 2012

Assessment versions

Published (reviewed and quality assured)


Justification for indicator selection

Wildfires are a serious threat to forests and ecosystems in Europe and climate is the most important driving force affecting fire potential changes over time (Flannigan et al., 2000). Although it is generally recognised that the occurrence of forest fires in Europe is due mainly to causes of an anthropogenic nature, the total burned area changes significantly from year to year largely because of weather conditions. Changes in fire regimes may have strong impacts on natural resources and ecosystem stability, with consequent direct and indirect economic losses. On other hand active forest and fire management practices can counteract the impacts of a changing climate to some extent.

Scientific references

  • References Camia, A.; Amatulli G.; San-Miguel-Ayanz, J., 2008. Past and future trends of forest fire danger in Europe. EUR Technical Report (EUR 23124). Cannell, M. G. R.; Thornley, J. H. M.; Mobbs, D. C. and Friend, A. D., 1998. UK conifer forests may be growing faster in response to increased N deposition, atmospheric CO2 and temperature. Forestry 71: 277-296. Flannigan, M. D.; Amiro, B. D.; Logan, K. A.; Stocks, B. J. and Wotton, B. M., 2005. Forest Fires and Climate Change in the 21st Century. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. Springer 11: 847-859. Flannigan, M. D.; Stocks, B. J.; Wotton, B. M., 2000. Climate Change and Forest Fires. The Science of the Total Environment 262 (3): 221-229. San Miguel-Ayanz, J.; Carlson, J. D.; Alexander, M.; Tolhurst, K.; Morgan, G.; Sneeuwjagt, R. and Dudley, M., 2003. Current Methods to Assess Fire Danger Potential. In: Wildland Fire Danger Estimation and Mapping. The Role of Remote Sensing Data (E. Chuvieco, Ed.) World Scientific Publishing. Singapore, pp. 21-61. Van Wagner, C. E., 1987. Development and structure of the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index System. Canadian Forestry Service, Ottawa, Ontario. Forestry Technical Report 35. 37 pp.

Indicator definition

  • Average annual changes in fire danger level 1958-2006
  • Modelled three-monthly fire danger levels in Europe for 1961-1990 and 2071-2100 and change between these periods


Policy context and targets

Context description

No context has been specified


No targets have been specified

Related policy documents

No related policy documents have been specified

Key policy question


Data specifications

EEA data references

  • No datasets have been specified here.

External data references

Data sources in latest figures


Methodology uncertainty

Data sets uncertainty

Rationale uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Further work

Short term work

Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.

Long term work

Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.

General metadata

Responsibility and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Hans-Martin Füssel


Joint Research Centre (JRC)
European Environment Agency (EEA)


Indicator code
CLIM 035
Version id: 1


DPSIR: Impact
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
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