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The project aims to show that it is possible to use existing meteorological radars to detect forest fires at an early stage, thereby improving the usefulness of EFFIS. The project will also test the use of new communication and navigation systems that can improve the management and coordination of agents involved in fire-fighting, reducing their response time and the forest area burned. The project actions will be implemented in the region of Galicia in north-west Spain, and in Arouca, Portugal.

The specific objectives of the project are:

-         To demonstrate the use of weather radars to detect forest fires at an early stage. For this, it will develop and test new early detection algorithms; and

-         To use TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) digital radio for communicating with and coordinating fire-fighting teams. This will avoid the problem of poor network coverage in rural areas that can hinder the use of mobile phone systems.

LIFETEC will contribute to the implementation of the EU Regulation on the protection of forests against fire. The system being trialled by this LIFE project has significant scope to be replicated elsewhere.

Expected results:

-         Weather radars to detect 20% of detected fires before other technologies;

-         Response times to be 20% quicker;

-         Reduction in the average wooded area burned per fire to no more than 1 ha;

-         Increase the proportion of fires of up to 1ha by 2%;

-         Less than 2% of fires to exceed 25 ha. In 2015, 2.55% of fires in Galicia were larger than 25 ha;

-         A 10% reduction in the use of fire-fighting aircraft;

-         A 15% reduction in the average area burned per fire and average carbon dioxide emission per fire (compared with fires in 2006-2015– average of 33.38ha); and

-         25% less serious accidents compared to total number of intervention hours; and

-         25% less time spent fighting forest fires.