Forest Fires - Sparking Firesmart Policies in the EU. de Castro Rego, F. M. C.; Moreno Rodŕıguez, J. M.; Vallejo Calzada, V. R.; and Xanthopoulos, G. Publications Office of the European Union.
Forest Fires - Sparking Firesmart Policies in the EU [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
[Executive summary] Forest fires constitute a serious and increasing threat throughout Europe, and in particular in Greece, Spain, France, Italy and Portugal. Despite a decreasing trend in the number of fires and areas burned, observed in some countries since the 1980s, larger and more damaging fires (i.e. 'megafires') are challenging the suppression capacities of many wildfire protection programmes across Europe. This trend is the result of unbalanced policies that can be effective in fire suppression in normal weather conditions but are insufficient to prevent extreme events such as megafires. [\n] Megafires ignite and propagate in very severe weather conditions, which often makes them extraordinary due to their size, intensity and deep and long-lasting social, economic and environmental impact. [\n] The EU has been funding research in the field of forest fires over the last two decades through its Framework Programmes and other funding instruments. About 60 research projects, from large-scale integrated projects to more traditional projects or Marie Skłodowska- Curie individual fellowships, received a total EU contribution of more than EUR 100 million. This document critically reviews the results of EU research on forest fires with a view to exploring policy adaptation to face the new challenges imposed by megafires. The review demonstrates that EU-funded research has stimulated advances in fire knowledge, operational management and decision-support mechanisms while enhancing cooperation between the key actors. The review highlights specific areas for improvement. [::] There is a tendency to favour fire suppression, with its straightforward short-term results, over the long-term investment effort required for prevention (including climate-change adaptation), which could improve the effectiveness of wildfire protection programmes. [::] The concept of integrated fire management provides a very useful framework that includes the consideration of the various socioeconomic and environmental aspects associated with fire management. [::] EU Member States face similar forest fire riskmanagement issues but use different standards of training, competencies and operations. Harmonised information systems for emergency response, wildfire prevention, risk monitoring and data collection would ensure better cooperation, coordination of resources and knowledge transfer between agencies and stakeholders. [::] Local specificities (e.g. fire weather, socioeconomic activities, land-use and vegetation dynamics, cultural perception and awareness of the risk) are critical to understanding and managing wildfires and should be integrated into fire-related policies at local, national and EU levels. [\n] The analysis of the knowledge, methodologies and technologies produced in the last two decades opens up new perspectives for forest fire risk management in the face of climate and environmental changes, social and cultural trends and growth dynamics. Based on the findings of the review and the conclusions of a multi-stakeholder workshop, key recommendations have emerged and are proposed for a more extensive dialogue between the key actors to improve forest fire risk management in Europe.
@book{decastroregoForestFiresSparking2018,
  title = {Forest Fires - {{Sparking}} Firesmart Policies in the {{EU}}},
  author = {de Castro Rego, Francisco Manuel Cardoso and Moreno Rodŕıguez, Jose Manuel and Vallejo Calzada, Victoriano R. and Xanthopoulos, Gavriil},
  editor = {Faivre, Nicolas},
  date = {2018},
  publisher = {{Publications Office of the European Union}},
  location = {{Luxembourg}},
  doi = {10.2777/181450},
  url = {http://mfkp.org/INRMM/article/14677373},
  abstract = {[Executive summary] Forest fires constitute a serious and increasing threat throughout Europe, and in particular in Greece, Spain, France, Italy and Portugal. Despite a decreasing trend in the number of fires and areas burned, observed in some countries since the 1980s, larger and more damaging fires (i.e. 'megafires') are challenging the suppression capacities of many wildfire protection programmes across Europe. This trend is the result of unbalanced policies that can be effective in fire suppression in normal weather conditions but are insufficient to prevent extreme events such as megafires.

[\textbackslash n] Megafires ignite and propagate in very severe weather conditions, which often makes them extraordinary due to their size, intensity and deep and long-lasting social, economic and environmental impact.

[\textbackslash n] The EU has been funding research in the field of forest fires over the last two decades through its Framework Programmes and other funding instruments. About 60 research projects, from large-scale integrated projects to more traditional projects or Marie Skłodowska- Curie individual fellowships, received a total EU contribution of more than EUR 100 million. This document critically reviews the results of EU research on forest fires with a view to exploring policy adaptation to face the new challenges imposed by megafires. The review demonstrates that EU-funded research has stimulated advances in fire knowledge, operational management and decision-support mechanisms while enhancing cooperation between the key actors. The review highlights specific areas for improvement.

[::] There is a tendency to favour fire suppression, with its straightforward short-term results, over the long-term investment effort required for prevention (including climate-change adaptation), which could improve the effectiveness of wildfire protection programmes.

[::] The concept of integrated fire management provides a very useful framework that includes the consideration of the various socioeconomic and environmental aspects associated with fire management.

[::] EU Member States face similar forest fire riskmanagement issues but use different standards of training, competencies and operations. Harmonised information systems for emergency response, wildfire prevention, risk monitoring and data collection would ensure better cooperation, coordination of resources and knowledge transfer between agencies and stakeholders.

[::] Local specificities (e.g. fire weather, socioeconomic activities, land-use and vegetation dynamics, cultural perception and awareness of the risk) are critical to understanding and managing wildfires and should be integrated into fire-related policies at local, national and EU levels.

[\textbackslash n] The analysis of the knowledge, methodologies and technologies produced in the last two decades opens up new perspectives for forest fire risk management in the face of climate and environmental changes, social and cultural trends and growth dynamics. Based on the findings of the review and the conclusions of a multi-stakeholder workshop, key recommendations have emerged and are proposed for a more extensive dialogue between the key actors to improve forest fire risk management in Europe.},
  isbn = {978-92-79-77493-5},
  keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-14677373,~to-add-doi-URL,adaptation,climate-change,extreme-weather,fire-management,forest-fires,forest-resources,integration-techniques,multi-stakeholder-decision-making,prevention,review,wildfires},
  options = {useprefix=true},
  pagetotal = {52}
}
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