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Title: Handbook to Plan and Use Prescribed Burning in Europe
Subject: [Fire Paradox Vocabulary, FP Themes, Prescribed burning] [Fire Paradox Vocabulary, FP Domains and Specialities, Dissemination, Decision support for policies] [Fire Paradox Vocabulary, FP Domains and Specialities, Development, Policies and practices assessment] [Inspire Themes, Land use] [ISO Topic Categories, environment] [FIRE PARADOX Deliverables, Fire Paradox Modules, Module 13 - Integration for solving the Fire Paradox, WP13.1 - Prescribed burning integration] [FAO/GFMC Wildland Fire Management Terminology, prescribed burning] [Fire Paradox Nominated Terms, nominatedCategory, nominatedTerm, guidelines] [Fire Paradox Nominated Terms, nominatedCategory, nominatedTerm, Pinus pinaster] [Fire Paradox Nominated Terms, nominatedCategory, nominatedTerm, Pinus sylvestris] [Fire Paradox Nominated Terms, nominatedCategory, nominatedTerm, Pinus nigra] [Fire Paradox Nominated Terms, nominatedCategory, nominatedTerm, Pinus canariensis] [Fire Paradox Nominated Terms, nominatedCategory, nominatedTerm, Eucalyptus] [Fire Paradox Nominated Terms, nominatedCategory, nominatedTerm, Ulex europaeus] [Fire Paradox Nominated Terms, nominatedCategory, nominatedTerm, Calluna] [Fire Paradox Nominated Terms, nominatedCategory, nominatedTerm, Cytisus] [Fire Paradox Nominated Terms, nominatedCategory, nominatedTerm, Cistus] [Fire Paradox Nominated Terms, nominatedCategory, nominatedTerm, Ulex]
Description: Prescribed burning is the planned application of fire to achieve forest and wildland management goals. The practice of prescribed burning demands skills and experience and is always under public scrutiny. The wise use of fire should maximize the benefits of burning while avoiding or minimizing its negative impacts. Consequently, prescribed burning is framed by land management goals and site-specific treatment objectives and is conditioned by both environmental and social restrictions. The decision-making and planning process can thus benefit from decision-support tools that are expected to expand and strengthen the technical proficiency of the practitioners. The inception and adoption of prescribed burning by managers and management organizations is relatively new in Europe and dates back to the early 1980s. The use of prescribed burning is geographically restricted and its potential to manage wildlands is still largely unfulfilled, especially in forested areas. The political and socio-economic environment is decisive, but there is a need for more basic knowledge and operational guidelines to assist prescribed burning programs. The FIRE PARADOX project directed most of its effort to technological development, training and dissemination. As one of the outcomes, this handbook compiles, organizes and synthesizes the information — both qualitative and quantitative — relevant to burning prescriptions in European ecosystems, i.e. the conditions desired for the burn and that will fulfil the pre-defined treatment objectives. The conceptual framework to plan, carry out and evaluate a burn operation in Figure 1 is implicit in the handbook. Knowledge that was dispersed or needed to be formalized is aggregated and digested. The handbook has been developed by: (1) Examining the available technical information, i.e. burning guides and best practices (e.g. Vega et al. 2001, Fernandes et al. 2002, Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department 2008); (2) Collecting prescriptions from the agencies and individuals involved in prescribed burning management or research in Europe; (3) Collecting information from the FIRE PARADOX prescribed burning demonstration sites; (4) Using models of fire behaviour and effects to generate burn prescriptions to achieve more generic or more specific treatment goals. The handbook gathers prescriptions from all around Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Sweden). The environments range from subtropical (Canary islands) to boreal (Sweden). The information is organized and presented in a hierarchy that considers vegetation type, country or region, and management objective. Most data respects to the application of fire to decrease fuel hazard or to manage habitats for pastoral or nature conservation purposes in diverse types of shrubland and pine woodland. Included in the handbook are ranges for the desired weather and moisture conditions and fire behaviour and effects, as well as ignition patterns and the return interval for the treatments. Two types of prescriptions are presented, respectively: (1) to achieve a broad goal, e.g. renew pastures; or (2) to attain a specific treatment objective, usually defined in quantitative terms, e.g. reduce fuel load by 70%. The technological solutions to plan prescribed fire operations vary across Europe. General burning windows consisting of ranges in weather conditions or in fire danger rating indexes (like in Sweden, Germany and Portugal) are commonplace. In Catalonia, Spain, six standard prescriptions are individualized based on fuel availability and wind speed. USDA Forest Service fire simulation tools are used in Spain and Portugal to prepare site-specific prescriptions, which include sets of values (minimum, preferred, maximum) for weather conditions, fuel moisture contents, fire behaviour characteristics and selected fire effects. In Portugal, the PiroPinus tool (Fernandes 2003) was developed to assist in planning and evaluating the results of prescribed underburning in maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) stands. Prescribed burning practitioners are the main target of the ‘Handbook to Plan and Use Prescribed Burning in Europe’ and can benchmark their practice against the recommendations, familiarize with and try prescriptions developed elsewhere for the same objective and provide input towards improvement and refinement. In the course of exchanges between regions and countries, this handbook is expected to constitute a rapid reference guide for the ‘outsiders’. Educational organizations and environmental consultants will also benefit. The handbook will naturally find application in prescribed burning training and outreach, and can provide a framework to plan research on fire ecology topics. We expect that this handbook will contribute both to disseminate and to improve the wise use of fire across Europe.
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Language: English
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Creator: Centro de Investigação e de Tecnologias Agro-Ambientais e Tecnológicas (CITAB)
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Rights restrictions: no restriction
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Audience: consultants educators fire professionals land managers land owners local authorities public regional policy-makers
Download: Handbook to Plan and Use Prescribed Burning in Europe