Fires

In these regions, where the summer climate is dry and parched, fires are frequent and natural; fires may be caused by spontaneous combustion or by a flash of lightning of a summer storm.
Because of the many fires, the vegetation contains many fire-resistant plants, such as cork oaks, or plants whose germination is even promoted by fires (pyrophitic plants, such as, for instance, plants of the genus Tuberaria) or plants that quickly recover after fires, such as holm-oaks. Animals have also adjusted to live in different habitats and can quickly repopulate recently burnt areas.
Nevertheless, fires are becoming more and more frequent because of man’s presence. Fires caused by man can be arsons (purposefully set fires) or caused by carelessness (a lit cigarette thrown away, a bonfire not completely extinguished, etc.). Fires destroy entire woodlands and are dangerous to men and animals.
In Italy, there are thousands of fires every year: a total of 8,595 fires took place in 2000, which covered a total surface of 114,648 hectares, 58,234 of which were woodlands; over the last ten years, 700,000 hectares of woodland have been damaged by fires (with a peak of 115,000 hectares in 1993).

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