Forest Fires in Southern Europe: Bulletin of the 2000 Fire Campaign. Barisich, A.; Schulte, E.; Anz, C.; Flies, R.; Meyer-Roux, J.; Schmuck, G.; San-Miguel-Ayanz, J.; and Barbosa, P. Volume SPI 01.85 .
Forest Fires in Southern Europe: Bulletin of the 2000 Fire Campaign [link]Paper  abstract   bibtex   
[Excerpt: Summary] The public awareness on the issue of natural hazards is increasing every day. The EU and inter-national organizations are realizing that there are means to reduce or minimize the damage caused by natural disasters. The first step in this direction is the characterization of areas subject to suffer damages. This involves the use of analytical tools to infer the risk of natural or human induced hazards. [] In particular, in the case of forest fires, the EU has suffered in the last years enormous losses in terms of human life and environmental damage. Forest fires are the result of strong tensions in landscape use and management. The high densities of population in suburban or tourist areas increase the risk of fires due to negligence or accident. Rural exodus and extensification of agriculture and livestock breeding increases agricultural and pastoral burning in order to contain natural re-afforestation. Economically not very profitable, the forests are often used for waste dumping and quarries. Forests are also crossed by electricity cables, railways and roads networks increasing the risk of fires. All these reasons explain the increasing trend of the number of forest fires in the last years. The growth of cities in their neighbor natural areas has also increased the number of fires in the urban-forest interface. [] Indicators of forest fire risk are normally developed at the local or national levels. Until recently no mechanisms existed to estimate the risk of forest fires at the EU scale. This was due to the lack of regional data sets for the estimation of fire risk and to the lack of regional information of forest fires that would necessarily be used for the calibration and validation of the proposed fire risk indices. Experts on forest fires know by experience that the distribution of forest fire events is not random. Ares tend to occur where they have historically taken place. However, the impact of recurrent forest fires on the EU Mediterranean regions has never been evaluated. No harmonized cartography of forest fires for the EU Mediterranean region exists. European data sets come from the aggregation of heterogeneous local and national databases, in which data are collected in different ways with very diverse methods. Although the EU data permit observing some insights of the fire phenomenon, they do not permit a harmonized assessment of forest fire damage. [] Aware of this problem, the European Commission (EC) and the Standing Forestry Committee decided in 1990 to set-up a Community forest-fire information system in order to monitor the forest fire phenomena at EU level. The European Commission reinforced this action in 1997 by setting up a research group to work specifically on the development and implementation of methods for the evaluation of forest fire risk – and for the estimation of burnt areas at the European scale. This group is since 1999 working as part of the Natural Hazards project of the Space Applications Institute of the EC DG Joint Research Centre. The work has focused both on the development of systems to provide forest fire risk forecast on the basis of existing fire risk indices, and on the development of new integrated forest fire risk indicators. Five types of forest fire risk indices, from long-term (static) risk indicators to short-term (dynamic) risk indicators have been implemented. All these indices permit the harmonized assessment of forest fire risk at the European scale. These may be used as tools for the assessment of risk situations in cases in which international cooperation in the field of civil protection is needed. In addition to evaluating the fire risk, an activity to estimate the annual damage caused by forest fires in the south of the EU was established. This activity has produced the first cartography of forest fire damages in the south of the EU. In the year moo, all the burned areas larger than 50 ha, which account for about 73 % of the total area burnt every year, were mapped using satellite imagery. Further, the analysis of which types of land cover classes were affected was performed. [...]
@book{barisichForestFiresSouthern2001,
  title = {Forest Fires in {{Southern Europe}}: Bulletin of the 2000 Fire Campaign},
  author = {Barisich, Alessandro and Schulte, Ernst and Anz, C. and Flies, Robert and Meyer-Roux, Jean and Schmuck, Guido and San-Miguel-Ayanz, Jesús and Barbosa, Paulo},
  date = {2001},
  volume = {SPI 01.85},
  url = {http://www.webcitation.org/73G4QxPpU},
  abstract = {[Excerpt: Summary]

The public awareness on the issue of natural hazards is increasing every day. The EU and inter-national organizations are realizing that there are means to reduce or minimize the damage caused by natural disasters. The first step in this direction is the characterization of areas subject to suffer damages. This involves the use of analytical tools to infer the risk of natural or human induced hazards. 

[] In particular, in the case of forest fires, the EU has suffered in the last years enormous losses in terms of human life and environmental damage. Forest fires are the result of strong tensions in landscape use and management. The high densities of population in suburban or tourist areas increase the risk of fires due to negligence or accident. Rural exodus and extensification of agriculture and livestock breeding increases agricultural and pastoral burning in order to contain natural re-afforestation. Economically not very profitable, the forests are often used for waste dumping and quarries. Forests are also crossed by electricity cables, railways and roads networks increasing the risk of fires. All these reasons explain the increasing trend of the number of forest fires in the last years. The growth of cities in their neighbor natural areas has also increased the number of fires in the urban-forest interface. 

[] Indicators of forest fire risk are normally developed at the local or national levels. Until recently no mechanisms existed to estimate the risk of forest fires at the EU scale. This was due to the lack of regional data sets for the estimation of fire risk and to the lack of regional information of forest fires that would necessarily be used for the calibration and validation of the proposed fire risk indices. Experts on forest fires know by experience that the distribution of forest fire events is not random. Ares tend to occur where they have historically taken place. However, the impact of recurrent forest fires on the EU Mediterranean regions has never been evaluated. No harmonized cartography of forest fires for the EU Mediterranean region exists. European data sets come from the aggregation of heterogeneous local and national databases, in which data are collected in different ways with very diverse methods. Although the EU data permit observing some insights of the fire phenomenon, they do not permit a harmonized assessment of forest fire damage. 

[] Aware of this problem, the European Commission (EC) and the Standing Forestry Committee decided in 1990 to set-up a Community forest-fire information system in order to monitor the forest fire phenomena at EU level. The European Commission reinforced this action in 1997 by setting up a research group to work specifically on the development and implementation of methods for the evaluation of forest fire risk -- and for the estimation of burnt areas at the European scale. This group is since 1999 working as part of the Natural Hazards project of the Space Applications Institute of the EC DG Joint Research Centre. The work has focused both on the development of systems to provide forest fire risk forecast on the basis of existing fire risk indices, and on the development of new integrated forest fire risk indicators. Five types of forest fire risk indices, from long-term (static) risk indicators to short-term (dynamic) risk indicators have been implemented. All these indices permit the harmonized assessment of forest fire risk at the European scale. These may be used as tools for the assessment of risk situations in cases in which international cooperation in the field of civil protection is needed. In addition to evaluating the fire risk, an activity to estimate the annual damage caused by forest fires in the south of the EU was established. This activity has produced the first cartography of forest fire damages in the south of the EU. In the year moo, all the burned areas larger than 50 ha, which account for about 73 \% of the total area burnt every year, were mapped using satellite imagery. Further, the analysis of which types of land cover classes were affected was performed. 

[...]},
  keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-14646727,burnt-area,effis,forest-fires,forest-resources,southern-europe,statistics},
  number = {JRC21876}
}
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