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Taking into account the functions of the forest areas, 193,000 ha perform protective function while the rest (836,650 ha)

are productive forests. The forest species composition is as follows: 160,000 ha of beech (Fagus sylvatica), 142,000 ha

of pine (Pinus spp.) and the rest is broadleaves 310,000 ha (34%).

The main task of the Forest Administration Headquarters is to provide timely elaboration and realization of the fire

fighting plan and put this plan into effect and organization of fire extinguishing wherever it occurs during the season of

forest fires.

2. Present Status of the Forest Fire Situation

2.1 Regulatory Framework for Forest Fire Management

The obligations and relevant institutional responsibilities for protection of forest against fires are regulated by some

legislative acts. According to this legal framework, all forest & pasture managing organizations and the owners of the

private forests and pastures areas are obliged to take the necessary measures for protecting those forest areas under their

jurisdiction. There are two laws and a set of special regulations/guidelines:

• Law on Forests and Forest Service Police Nr. 7623 dated 13 October 1992

• Law on “Protection against fire and Rescue”, Nr. 8766, dated 5 April 2001

• Regulation/Guideline Nr. 25 dated 8 February 1993 “On forest protection against fires & pest and diseases and

financial means”

• Act of Council of Ministers / Nr. 288 date 27 June 2002 on “Determination and taking measures against fire

and rescue for the objects of special importance” (which includes watersheds, national parks etc);

• Guideline Nr. 1 dated 30 July 2002 on “Determining and taking measures against fire and rescue in the objects

of economic and state importance” in virtue of implementing the Act. Nr.288 date 27.06.2002.

This legal basis underlines the institutional compulsory responsibilities to be taken for forest protection against fires as

well as taking of preventive and repressive measures associated with relevant annual funds. These laws prohibit

lightning of fire in the woods and prescribe formation of fire prevention barriers and biological/silvicultural measures,

erection of observation posts, its strengthened seasonal network and the organization of patrol service.

2.2 Forest Fire Statistics and Dynamics

Forest Fires Statistics are collected by the Forest districts and evaluated by the General Forest Directorate. Most of the

forest fires in Albania occur at the end of spring and in summer (Figure 1). The main causes of fires are human negligence,

and to a lesser extent due to arson or caused by lightning. Fire data for the period 1981-2001 are given in Figure 1 and

indicate that fires are mostly occurred during three months (July, August and September). The worst years were 1997 and





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