The increasing intensity of wildfires, together with the increased concern about fire safety and costs, requires better strategies and tactics for firefighting.
Understanding ecosystem's vulnerability and potential to adapt to such changes can help developing proactive and post-fire regeneration strategies.
Data on fire effects, post-fire vegetation and fuel dynamics is still incomplete in some European ecosystems.
Danger rating index is an important real time indicator for the fire fighters. It sums up constant (fuels, topography) and variable (weather) factors that affect the initiation, spread and difficulty of control, and subsequent fire damage of wildfires on an area in a single number that can be easily visualised and used for early alerting.
Management actions and deployment of resources to deter fires are based on where and how fires occur. Understanding what makes an area to be particularly prone to burn or not is not only important for conserving its values and resources but also for preventing that future management actions, particularly in areas were fires accumulate, do not result in increased vulnerability to wildfires.
Forest fire is a natural hazard that becomes semi-natural as far as most fire incidences are caused by human activities, in Europe and elsewhere. Forest fires are complex phenomena involving land use and related policies such as the EU CAP, urban planning in the vicinity of forests, climate and weather conditions, and human activities, cultural traditions. Therefore, the problem has multiple interacting drivers and aspects, beyond just considering ignitions and firefighting issues.
Wildland–urban and rural–urban interfaces are the spatial manifestation of the coupling of fire and people, and the most proximate scale of exposure and The abandonment of rural lands and the expansion of urban areas led to the creation of important interfaces between built infrastructures and vegetation with high fuel load that, when burning, create very significant threats to people and make firefighting and other civil protection operations much more difficult to coordinate.
Understanding how the changes in social and economic characteristics of the population can create conditions of increased fire across the various regions and countries, is a prerequisite to reduce the level of exposure of local communities through better landscape planning.
The of agencies and communities to deal with forest fires requires an adequate of fire and its timely communication, reliable early-warning systems, as well as the of personnel for efficient operations.
Damages and losses produced by wildfires depend on fire regimes and ecosystems’ vulnerability to fire. Fire severity is one of the main factors affecting damages and losses.
Safety is the first concern of all involved in forest fires. The optimisation of operations, such as firefighters’ equipment and the use of forest roads for evacuation and for safe firefighting, are all part of the fire safety issue.
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