The European Commission recently published a report entitled: Forest Firest, Sparking firesmart policies in the EU.

Forest fires constitute a serious and increasing threat throughout Europe, and in particular in Greece, Spain, France, Italy and Portugal. Despite a decreasing trend in the number of fires and areas burned, observed in some countries since the 1980s, larger and more damaging fires (i.e. ‘megafires’) are challenging the suppression capacities of many wildfire protection programmes across Europe.

The report critically reviews the results of EU research on forest fires with a view to exploring policy adaptation to face the new challenges imposed by megafires. The review demonstrates that EU-funded research has stimulated advances in fire knowledge, operational management and decision-support mechanisms while enhancing cooperation between the key actors. The review also highlights specific areas for improvement.

The EU has been funding research in the field of forest fires over the last two decades through its Framework Programmes and other funding instruments. DRIVER+ is one of the projects that was addressing the effects of forest fires through its Trial 2 scenario: A large forest fire occurs in a cross-border Mediterranean environment. The trial took place in Aix- en- Provence from 24-25 October 2019. More information on the Trial can be found here. Wildfires is also one of the thematic areas the CMINE- Crisis Management Innovation Network Europe is addressing. To learn more about this thematic area and to apply for the Call for Experts Wildfires click here.

The full report can be accessed here.