Guide: Prevention of Large Wildfires using the Fire Types Concept

By Pau Costa Foundation on

Authors: Pau Costa, Marc Castellnou, Asier Larrañaga, Marta Miralles, Daniel Kraus

This handbook, entitled Prevention of Large Wildfires using the Fire Types Concept, is an attempt to introduce the methodology of the Fire Types Concept as a prevention and pre-suppression tool. The scope of this handbook includes the integration of fire use into forest planning and the prevention of large wildfires.
The purpose of the handbook is to provide the knowledge for the integration of fire into forest planning and wildfire prevention so that it can be used as a tool to complement and support forest policies. The handbook seeks to provide a European perspective on fire prevention
considering the different fire regimes and vegetation structures as well as the heterogeneous socioeconomic conditions in Europe.
The structure of the handbook consists of the main text that describes the context of its field of application and a series of appendices where more technical information can be found. The first part of the document gives an overview on the current state of European forests and the evolution of large wildfires related to the socioeconomic processes in the second half of the 20th century. The causes of the increase in the occurrence of large wildfires are explained, with a focus given on land use changes and policies to increase suppression
In the second and third parts, strategies are recommended to minimise the effects of large wildfires, to reduce their intensity and to improve the safety of firefighting personnel. The second part explains the Fire Type Concept, spread patterns and the detailed determination of a Fire Type. The third part describes these concepts and their applicability when it comes to landscape planning to establish strategic management points.
The appendices that complete the handbook go into greater depth on: (1) the use of fire as a landscape management tool, based on fire ecology and historical fire use, (2) fire prevention strategies considering the fire generations and (3) recommended strategies and tactics for each fire spread type.
References to literature used in the handbook are numbered, whereas letters are used for terminology explained in the glossary to improve readability of the handbook.

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