Thematic Working Group C: Vegetation fires crisis mitigation
- Analyze drivers and underlying causes of increasing wildfire severity and vulnerability of European landscapes and societies
- Exchange views across sectors, responsibilities and borders
- Analyze gaps in the tools for landscape fire disaster-risk reduction
- Define and prioritize future R&D efforts
Main areas of focus
Fires affecting natural landscapes (natural forests, bush/shrub land, range lands, peat lands), cultural landscapes (industrial plantation forests, open land ecosystems such as anthropogenic grasslands / pasture lands, other agricultural lands), protected areas and urban-industrial landscapes.
The required expertise to reduce wildfire-hazard and wildfire disaster-risk needs to be derived from many scientific disciplines, sectoral institutional knowledge and the known or unknown needs and requirements of affected civil society and meet rather diverse challenges:
- Fire prevention (reduced human-caused ignitions)
- Wildfire-hazard reduction (fuel reduction)
- Fire-use in ecosystem management (use of prescribed fire for conservation / biodiversity management and wildfire-hazard reduction) and for wildfire suppression (suppression firing)
- Public policies to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience of the environment and society, notably human health and security risks (e.g. through smoke pollution, high-risk residential areas, critical infrastructure, communications etc.)
- Inclusion and empowerment of civil society in wildfire prevention, safe fire-use and self-defense against wildfires
- Innovative development of methods and technologies for suppression of wildfires
- Specialized training and equipment of F&R services
- Cooperation and interoperability between landscape fire management, structural and HAZMAT fire management for wildfires at the interface between vegetated lands, rural residential and peri-urban areas
- Fire management on dangerous / high-threat terrain (vegetation contaminated by unexploded ordnance [UXO], chemical / waste deposits or radioactivity)
- Management of multiple simultaneous wildfire events and extreme wildfire crises
- Cross-boundary / international cooperation in fire management through guidelines, rules and protocols aimed at enhancing coordination, interoperability, safety, effectiveness and efficiency of managing multinational cooperation in wildfire emergencies
1st TWG-C Workshop, 27 February – 1 March 2018, Berlin
The Thematic Working Group C ‘Vegetation Fire Crisis Mitigation’ held the first workshop in Berlin. The workshop was hosted by the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (Bundesanstalt Technisches Hilfswerk – THW) and organized by the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) with support from the Catalan Fire Service (CFS), the Pau Costa Foundation (PCF), the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), and the Center for Security Studies (KEMEA) as well as the FIRE-IN coordinating body – SAFE Cluster).
Twelve associated experts from 11 countries across Europe (Portugal, France, Croatia, Spain, Greece, Italy, Hungary, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany) joined the workshop. The experts contributed a broad range of fire management expertise, including geographical and climate diversity, and represented practitioners but also the thematic overlap of academia and civil protection.
The group of experts discussed different fire management perspectives on challenges from across Europe, including fires in open landscape, fires burning in terrain contaminated by unexploded ordnance and radioactivity, explosive fires in peri-urban areas, as well as arson. They also identified the gaps in fire and rescue service’s capabilities using two hypothetical scenarios: (1) landscape fire crisis mitigation (response) and (2) landscape vulnerability mitigation (policy, prevention and preparedness). The feedback from the participants was very positive with regards to both the highly hands-on workshop as well as the content and format.