IV Flamework – International Meeting of Controlled Fire - Prescribed fire use in military areas

By Pau Costa Foundation

11 May 2022

The English term “Unexploded ordnance (UXO) areas”, is used for contaminated areas with explosives and unexploded ordnance. Usually these areas exist in battlefields of wars that devastate large regions, or in spaces under military use, specifically areas approved for the military training mission, which are contaminated with explosives, ammunition and weapons. In Portugal and around the world these zones are defined as sensitive areas and with special management care.

In UXO zones the existence of rural fires is common, caused by the lack of management of forest fuels and the impracticality to carry out suppression operations, due to the risk of the explosion or deflagration risk of ammunitions. Ignitions occur often in military training areas, due to the fact that real or training ammunition are used.

For these reasons, the use of prescribed fire emerged as a management tool for these areas, where the need for management is combined with the existence of this particular tool (prescribed fire). Technical fire as a management solution in UXO zones has evolved differently in different parts of the world.

This seminar aims to bring together several international specialists and managers of “UXO” spaces, to discuss the prescribed fire application, active and passive safety measures, which are the main fire management goals, ignition techniques, among other issues that may arise.