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Title: D7.1-1.1-36 List and classification of the existing EU and national forest legislation and national policy instruments with reference to wildland, suppression and prescribed fires /
Language: English
Description: A compilation and classification was made of existing regulations and policy instruments with reference to wildland, suppression and prescribed fires, both in North African countries and for Europe. Since wildland fire issues are mainly dealt within national forest policies, this analysis has mainly focused on the national scale, although the existence of different multilevel governance structures make it necessary to address the issue on a regional level in decentralized countries. Thus, three types of regulatory texts are identified as relevant for the Integrated Wildland Fire Management: (i) Basic Forest Legislation, (ii) Basic Wildland Fire Legislation, and (iii) Specific Legislation on the Use of Fire. Concerning policy instruments, two planning documents have been considered: National/Regional Forest Programmes and specific plans concerning defence and protection against wildfires. Its typology depends on (i) the different rhythms and evolving stages of the forest policies, and (ii) the responsibility allocation within each national governance structure (situation of decentralization). The compilation and classification of these documents was based on the information obtained from a questionnaire sent to the national experts of the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) established by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the Commission, and on other relevant databases with information about wildfires and national forest policies. The review of existing wildland fire legal and policy instruments in 21 EU countries and three North African countries has identified the following key issues: (1) The existence of a range of definitions related to wildland fire management, with different meanings in different European settings as well as differing legal terminology for these terms. (2) The importance of the structure of national governance. The degree of decentralization will determine where the responsibilities are allocated and how they are developed. Therefore, the structure of national governance will be one of the main factors guiding future assessment of national forest policies. (3) The influence of the European Union in national forest policies through EU regulations dealing with specific aspects of the forest sector or forest-related issues, as a complement to national activities, where necessary. (4) There is a great diversity among the regulatory texts and policy instruments related to wildland, suppression and prescribed fires in European and North African countries, due to the different rhythms and evolving stages of the forest policies and the different wildfire risk in each national/regional context. (5) Few of the analysed countries have a specific wildland fire law or regulation. Most of them deal with wildfires within their Forest Laws, through a specific chapter dedicated to wildfires (Southern countries) or in a general chapter on forest protection (Northern countries). (6) There are some countries that do not yet have a specific policy for wildland fires, but progress on forest policy is noted in all the countries included in the report. (7) The compilation of policy instruments shows that 12 of 17 countries considered in the document have a specific wildland fire plan or strategy; these are often linked to national forest policy. (8) Regulation of the use of fire in Europe, although extensive, has focused almost exclusively on the regulation of activities that involve the use of fire in wildland areas or close to these areas (i.e. fire for recreation, alimentation purposes or traditional rural practices). However, fire use for forest management, wildfire prevention and for wildfire suppression receives little attention in legislation. When addressed, it is usually authorized but not regulated, possibly due to the recent development of these perspectives in the continent.
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Title: Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) /
Language: English
Description: The Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) provides a global portal for wildland fire documentation, information and monitoring and is publicly accessible through the Internet. The regularly updated national to global wildland fire products of the GFMC are generated by a worldwide network of cooperating institutions. The online and offline products include: (1) Early warning of fire danger and near-real time monitoring of fire events, (2) Interpretation, synthesis and archive of global fire information, (3) Support of local, national and international entities to develop long-term strategies or policies for wildland fire management, (4) Serve as advisory body to the UN system through the coordination of the UN-ISDR Wildland Fire Advisory Group and the ISDR Global Wildland Fire Network, (5) Emergency hotline and liaison capabilities for providing assistance for rapid assessment and decision support in response to wildland fire emergencies.
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Title: Integrated Fire Management Expert Group / IFMEG
Language: English
Description: IFMEG provides professional services and expertise in fire management and ecology, natural resource management, spatial planning, participatory land use planning and facilitation of stakeholder processes as well as state of the art Geographical Information System/Remote Sensing applications. The services are aimed at individual land managers and concessionaires, government agencies and international development/support programs, worldwide.
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Title: Burned Areas in Russia /
Language: English
Description: These data were produced at the Sukachev Institute of Forestry in Krasnoyarsk, using AVHRR satellite data from the receiving station in Krasnoyarsk as well as from the NOAA Satellite Active Archive. Fire activity was detected during the fire season by an algorithm based on determining the probability of a fire from the AVHRR thermal channels, and was enhanced by end-of-season mapping of fire scars. The period covered is from 1996 to 2002.
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Title: Land use change interactions with fire in Mediterranean Landscapes (LUCIFER) / LUCIFER
Language: English
Description: The project aimed to assess the interactions between fire and landscape structures in fire-prone areas in Mediterranean countries. Fire effects on the ecosystems and their influence on species changes were evaluated. Based on past landscapes and fire incidence, models of landscape change and its significance for species dynamics were developed to evaluate fire risk and other threats to the ecosystem. The project ran from 1996 to 2000.
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Title: PiroPinus version 2.0 /
Language: English
Description: PiroPinus is a prescribed burning guide for maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) stands in the form of a spreadsheet, conceived for operational use in the planning and evaluation of hazard reduction burns in natural fuels, i.e. slash from pruning or thinning is not present. It can also be used as a research tool for fire modelling purposes. Potential users are urged to try the guide in other medium- to long-needled pines (P. pinea, P. canariensis, P. radiata, P. nigra, P. halepensis), especially when the understorey is composed of Mediterranean-type species. PiroPinus is a all-in-one user-friendly tool that integrates models based on observed, real-world, fire behaviour and effects. Unlike other available tools, PiroPinus has the ability to: 1. Reflect local stand and fuel conditions in the output; 2. Assess the likelihood of sustained fire spread and quantify marginal burning conditions. Fire modelling systems using properly developed custom fuel models can be used to obtain accurate estimates of fire behaviour. However, such systems perform poorly at the high-end of the moisture content range and are not able to produce site-specific estimates. PiroPinus is composed of several interrelated or stand-alone worksheets for distinct objectives: (1) FUEL. Data entry of basic fuel and stand descriptors to assess fuel load and fire behaviour and effects; (2) RX WIN. Prescription window (general burning conditions); (3) RX DEV. Prescription development, the definition of burning conditions to avoid undesired fire impacts on trees and the forest floor; (4) MOIST. Fuel moisture content, to estimate the moisture contents of surface fine dead fuels and decomposing litter; (5) FIRE. Ignition and fire behaviour, to assess the likelihood of fire spread and quantify fire characteristics; (6) IGN PLAN. Assessment and optimization of area treatment rate; (7) TREES. Fire impact on trees, to assess canopy damage and mortality; (8) FUEL DYN. Fuel dynamics, to estimate fuel consumption and post-burn accumulation; (9) POST-FIRE. Post-burn assessment of fire behaviour and effects; (10) WEATH. Wind speed estimation and Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System (for regional planning).
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Title: Integrated Fire Management Expert Group / IFMEG
Language: English
Description: IFMEG provides professional services and expertise in fire management and ecology, natural resource management, spatial planning, participatory land use planning and facilitation of stakeholder processes as well as state of the art Geographical Information System/Remote Sensing applications. The services are aimed at individual land managers and concessionaires, government agencies and international development/support programs, worldwide.
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Title: Burned Areas in Russia /
Language: English
Description: These data were produced at the Sukachev Institute of Forestry in Krasnoyarsk, using AVHRR satellite data from the receiving station in Krasnoyarsk as well as from the NOAA Satellite Active Archive. Fire activity was detected during the fire season by an algorithm based on determining the probability of a fire from the AVHRR thermal channels, and was enhanced by end-of-season mapping of fire scars. The period covered is from 1996 to 2002.
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Title: Integrated Fire Management Expert Group / IFMEG2
Language: English
Description: IFMEG provides professional services and expertise in fire management and ecology, natural resource management, spatial planning, participatory land use planning and facilitation of stakeholder processes as well as state of the art Geographical Information System/Remote Sensing applications. The services are aimed at individual land managers and concessionaires, government agencies and international development/support programs, worldwide.
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Title: Silva Mediterranea /
Language: EnglishFrenchSpanish
Description: Silva mediterranea is a statutory body of FAO that covers the Mediterranean region. The work of the FAO Forestry statutory bodies is a combination of problem identification and policy and technical advice, to FAO, its members and others as appropriate. Membership in Silva Mediterranea is open to all members of the FAO African, European, and Near East Forestry Commissions, whose territories are situated wholly or in part in the Mediterranean basin proper or whose forest, agricultural, or grazing economies are intimately associated with those of the Mediterranean region. As of 2007 there were several working groups on: Forest fires; Cork oak; Land use and sustainable forest management; Future of Silva Mediterranea; Mediterranean conifers.
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Title: 4.1-2b-39 Publication on the fire proneness of different land use classes in selected European study areas /
Language: English
Description: This study investigated the fire proneness of different land use classes with specific reference to a case study for the whole of Portugal, and then investigated the relationships between ignitions and land cover for three selected European study areas: (1) Sardinia, Italy; (2) Coimbra District, Portugal; (3) Cantons of Ticino, Graubuenden and Uri, Switzerland.
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Title: Handbook to Plan and Use Prescribed Burning in Europe /
Language: English
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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