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ŠUMARSKI LIST 1-2/2011 str. 52     <-- 52 -->        PDF


SUMMARY: Forest fires across the croatian mediterranean area are assuming
alarming proportions and are almost an integral part of the summer season,
which are confirmed by numerically processed data for Dalmatia in this
paper. The analysis of ties between the geographical and social geographical
features of dalmatia with the endangerment of forest fires was conducted on
the basis of official data obtained from MUP RH for the regions of four police
departments (PU Split-Dalmatia, Dubrovnik-Neretva PU, PU Sibenik-Knin
and Zadar PU).

The natural and social characteristics of the Dalmatian region have a
great influence on the emergence and spread of fires. Demographic discharge
and the aging population of the coastal region is closely associated with economic
re-orientation of the population (transition from agriculture and livestock
to tourism) and are thus creating new areas of fire hot spots. Travel
orientation of this area includes a large frequency of people (tourists) in the
summer when the climate is very favorable for the occurrence of fire. The Dalmatian
region belongs to the climate type and subtype Cs Csa with very high
summer temperatures (. 22 °C) and a very rare and weak precipitation as a
Mediterranean forest ecosystem of coniferous and broad-leaved evergreen
makes it flamable. Dalmatian karst area (cca 80%) is mostly composed of
hard and solid limestone which makes the area very flow through and further
enhances the lack of surface water, mechanical wear surfaces, removal of soil
and shortage of vegetation. This situation contributes to the favorable conditions
for the occurrence of fires in the open.

In the period of 1998–2008, out of all the forest fires in Croatia 31.7%
(29 100 fires) was recorded in the dalmatian region. The greatest number of forest
fires was recorded in the PU Split-Dalmatia (in the year 2000, more than
1,400 fires) while the highest burned area in this period was recorded in the PU
Sibenik-Knin (68,235 ha). Within the Dalmatian region the larger part of the
Croatian forest was burnt (even 122 241 ha or 64.3% of forest area burned RH).
In the period from 1998 to 2007, the total forest area burned in the high forest
dominated by pine forest attributes to only 11.6% (19 839 ha). Most of the forest
area (85 690 ha or 50.2%) before the fire was covered with coppice forests,
brush thickets and scrubs. In the structure of the burned open spaces of the dalmatian
region , forests and forest lands are represented with 122 241 ha
(53.5%), agricultural area with 25 334 ha (11.1%), the landfill with 4 106 ha
(1.8%) and everything else seems 33.6% of burned area of open space.

From the sociographic and economic aspects data on the ownership of
burned area and the causes of these fires are very valuable. The analysis of
property ownership of the burned area showed that the majority of fires occurred
on the surfaces of undetermined ownership (73.2% in Croatia, the Dalmatian
area 53.7%). The largest number of fires (75%) were caused by
negligence, of which 23% of agricultural areas. The greatest damage from
fires are lost human lives but also damage to soil and vegetation and damage
which directly affect human life. Dalmatian region participated with 71.3% of
the total damages from fires in Croatia.

The fire prevention and rehabilitation of the open areas of Croatia has a
great importance to local government, Croatian Forestes Ltd., police, fire legislation
and institutions where it is necessary to implement short and long
term measure.

Key words:Dalmatia, geographical features, social geographical features.
openland, forest area, fires