ICCROM is deeply saddened by the loss of lives and extensive damage, including to heritage both natural and cultural, resulting from the catastrophic wildfires currently raging in many parts of the world.

Our Director-General and staff wish to extend their condolences to the people and governments of Greece, Turkey, Algeria, Lebanon, the United States of America, Italy, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Albania, the Republic of North Macedonia, Russian Federation, Canada, Portugal, Spain and France.

We also express our solidarity with the communities affected, as well as with those engaged in first aid and civil protection activities, and those responsible for cultural heritage.

According to the European Forest Fire Information System, the number of fires in 2021 has already exceeded the average for previous years. The recently published report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has also confirmed that global warming is the underlying cause of the prolonged droughts and record-breaking heatwaves that are causing these wildfires to spread.

A Message to our Member States currently affected by wildfires
Fire Weather Index Ranking in July 2021. Source: Global Wildfire Information System

At this unprecedented time, with extreme weather events becoming more prevalent worldwide, we will continue to support our Member States in their steadfast efforts to protect their cultural heritage. Through our programme First Aid and Resilience for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAR),we stand ready to offer assistance in securing affected cultural heritage at the appropriate time, while renewing our efforts to mitigate climate change.

For more information on specific resources related to mitigating fire risk for heritage, email us at far_programme@iccrom.org.