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121 | 2013
Les grands incendies de forêt en Méditerranée

Great Wildfires in the Mediterranean
Edited by Régis Darques, Georges Sidiropoulos and Cristina Montiel-Molina
Couverture Méditerranée 121
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A4, 120 p., couverture et intérieur en quadrichromie. Impression numérique
ISBN 978-2-85399-934-2

Forest fires are a recurring phenomenon around the Mediterranean. Each year, thousands of square miles of vegetation burn without catching the attention of unconcerned populations neighboring the Big Blue. When victims are registered or when flames lick the outskirts of some major urban area, the information may temporarily make the headlines before other boring local news soon come back. The “banality of evil” implies that the problem is solved by planning technicians and other forest engineers.

This issue of the Journal of Mediterranean Studies adopts a geographical approach of the “great” wildfires question, breaking with common analyses of ecosystems and climate change. The primary perspective is clearly anthropocentric. Beside the fast-paced urbanization, developing wastelands, heavy land and human pressure and despite the growing number of protection zones, wildfires serve as an adjustment variable regulating the complex relationship between anthropogenic and “natural” areas. They reveal chronic bugs/imbalances in land use planning and describe the state of relations between central places and “natural” margins, whatever close or far these might be. Independently from their spatial extent, wildfires shall be considered “great” relatively to their impact on Mediterranean societies.