Not only the global forest fires are a current topic, but also our participation in projects related to the risk management of forest ecosystems. We are looking forward to future projects with partners in Norway and another project for climate-related insurance solutions with regard to forests in the Trentino region, which will be launched at the beginning of 2020, in cooperation with the University of Trentino and funded by Climate-KIC. Genillard & Co’s forestry expertise is based on a holistic risk analysis and tailor-made insurance solutions, originally developed for the agricultural business. Hence, we are able to provide a broad range of services to clients with a focus on forest management. We look forward to your inquiry.
At any time of the year, forests are on fire somewhere on earth. People and animals have to flee, property is destroyed and bound CO² is released into the atmosphere. Forest fires have always been around, whether natural or man-made. However, the intensity, extent and duration of forest fires, as well as the amount of damage caused, have reached an historic peak.
The catastrophic impact of forest fires on people and property is shown by the example of Campfire 2018 in California. The fires, driven by strong winds, raged through thousands of acres of forest and nature in northern and southern California after wiping out a city in the Sierra Nevada and evacuating tens of thousands of residents west of Los Angeles. With more than 7,100 buildings destroyed, 44 casualties and a total loss of €14.87bn (Munich Re), Campfire was the most devastating fire in California’s history.
Since June 2019, fires have also been blazing in unimaginable proportions. In Alaska, since the beginning of June, more than 400 fireplaces have appeared in forests and in the tundra; some of them are as large as 100,000 football pitches. The largest fire source currently recorded by the satellites even covers an area of 300,000 football pitches. Elsewhere in the Arctic Circle, the fire season is also intense. In Siberia, 3 million hectares of forest have burned since the beginning of June. The smog from these fires has been clouding Siberian cities such as Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk for weeks. The plumes of smoke now cover an area of over 450 million hectares. The head of the Russian weather service sees climate change as the cause of forest fires throughout Siberia and in the Far East: “The cause lies above. It’s the climate change that has already occurred.” (AP News). ECMWF researchers reported that at the current fire intensity, about 79 million tonnes of CO2 are emitted into the atmosphere.
Extremely high CO2 and CO emissions can currently also be observed above the South American continent (see picture). The man-made fires are devastating for humans and nature and have now become an international political issue.