More than 4,500 hectares of forested area have burned in the first quarter of 2019, more than double that of the same period last year (2,231 ha), which puts this year as the second with more trees burned in the last decade after 2012, in which 9,310 hectares were burned.
In addition, 2019 is ranked third in number of forest fires (4,044), after 2012, in which 7,706 fires were produced, and 2009, when there were 5,517 claims.
The fact that it has been a very sunny winter, with 32% more hours of sun than usual, an average of maximum temperatures of 14.4 degrees Celsius and a rainfall deficit of 51 percent, gives It becomes the second driest winter in the 21st century and the fifth since 1965, according to data from the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet).
The more than four thousand claims recorded in the January-March period are also 25 percent above the average of the last decade (3,036 fires), which points to a rebound of these disasters in 2019.
The best year of the decade in terms of number of fires in the first quarter of the year is 2013, with 952 accidents, and 2016, with 964 fires, according to the provisional data provided by the autonomous communities to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
So far this year, 30,164 hectares of forest area have been burned, a figure that is close to 30,468 destroyed in 2009 and that is almost half of the worst year of the last decade, 2012, when 58,769 hectares of forest burned in three months.
In addition, the area burned in 2019 is almost twice as much as last year on the same dates, when 17,996 hectares were burned in 3,036 fires.
Of the more than 30,000 hectares destroyed, 23,651 corresponded to scrub and open forest and the rest, 4,512, to forested surface.
Regarding the large forest fires (GIF), those of more than 500 hectares, until the end of March there have been two, as in the same period last year and in the years 2010, 2011 and 2014, and five times less than in 2012, when a dozen large fires were registered.
In the last decade there were five years in which in the first quarter there was no major fire: 2009, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2018, while in 2017 one was registered.
In terms of burned area of scrub and open forest, the worst year remains 2012, with 41,465 hectares, while 2019 is the second worst year of the decade, with 23,651 hectares (almost 10,000 hectares more than in 2018, when they burned 13,239) , very close to the 23,019 that were burned in 2009.
The number of conatos (less than 1 hectare affected) was 2,257 and 1,787 claims affected more than one hectare, which affected 0.108 percent of the total area of Spanish territory.
In total, in the first three months of the year of the last decade, 228,116 hectares have burned down in 37,434 fires.
By geographical zones, in the first quarter of this year, the largest number of fires occurred in the northwest area (Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country and in the provinces of León and Zamora in Castilla y León), with 61, 42 percent of the total.
In the so-called interior communities (provinces of non-coastal communities except León and Zamora), 29.35 percent of fires occurred.
In the Mediterranean area (autonomous coastal communities with the Mediterranean Sea, including its interior provinces), 8.93% of the fires were registered until March 31, and 0.3% of the fires occurred in the Canary archipelago. .
In terms of forest area, 89.33 percent of the destroyed hectares correspond to the northwest area, 8.96 percent to the interior communities, 1.35 percent to the Mediterranean and 0.35 percent to the Canary Islands.
The percentages of cleared wooded area are similar with 87.50 in the northwest, 9.80 in the interior, 1.53% in the Mediterranean and 1.17 percent in the Canary Islands.