Forest fires are a major environmental hazard throughout Southern Europe, causing loss of forest, soil erosion, damage to wildlife habitats, and degradation of watersheds. Whilst efforts to reforest have greatly increased in recent years, due to the combined effect of the EU2080 regulations and political pressures to look after the environment, in Spain alone, where in 1994 over 200.000has were reforested, about 250.000has were damaged by fire, leading to a net loss of woodland.
Most of the existing fire fighting methods try to locate the erupting fire on its early stages of development and to fight it before it grows out of control. This approach has showed to be successful sometimes, but still the forest burnt surface is increasing every year. New preventive fire fighting management strategies are needed to optimize the use of the existing resources.
The Forest fire management and fire prevention system (FOMFIS) aims to provide a preventive tool for use by public and private organisations responsible for the management of forests for planning strategies to prevent fires and for distributing fire fighting resources. FOMFIS aims to integrate a number of existing technologies in a unique and original way by concentrating on the practical aspects of forest management. The technologies to be applied are: fire prevention planning probabilistic techniques, expert and knowledge based systems, remote sensing, geographic inforrnation systems, forest fire behaviour models and fire risk analysis techniques. Each of these technologies has significant potential which can be used to create an operationally useful system.
The consortium consists of organisations from four European Mediterranean countries with ample experience in the technical and methodological aspects of fire fighting management and software integration. The development will be tested by the responsibles for fire prevention and forest management from three different areas of Southem Europe (Galicia, Aquitania and Greece). Iberinsa, a leading Spanish engineering and environmental consultancy will coordinate the technology development activities of the other members of the consortium in line with the actual needs of the three potential users of the FOMFIS system. Each of the project members provides a key technological competence: Sesfor, fire risk and fire prevention planning; Ibersat, forest mapping from remote sensing; Epsilon, environmental infommation systems; Software AG, expert systems; and SEMA Group, management systems.
The principle output of the project will be the compilation of all the gathered infommation in the project related fields and a prototype infommation system (FOMFIS), which will contain the generic modules needed for planning and coordinating fire prevention activities. The integration of users into the development process will not only ensure that the system is practical and problem-oriented, but will also allow real applications of the technologies to be tested and developed. Secondary outputs from the project will therefore include such products as combustibility and risk maps design, customized for areas in each of the three users' regions as well as fire prevention plans. It is the objective of the project to be complementary to all existing EU financed related projects. In all the project related fields where successful developments already exists, the consortium will make use of them, avoiding an unnecessary effort duplication with previous projects. This has allowed the introduction of such an ambitious project with a reduced budget. The benefits of the project will come from reducing the risk of fire appearance, from optimizing the resources for fire-fighting and from getting better forest management planning.
KEYWORDS (max 10):
PREVENTION, FOREST MANAGEMENT, RISK & COMBUSTIBILITY MODELS, RESOURCE PLANNING, KNOWLEDGE BASED SYSTEM, INTEGRATION
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
15890 Santiago De Compostela
15839 Brion - Coruna
20060 Cassina De Pecchi Milano
15703 Santiago De Compostela