FIRE-RES presents its innovations at the 8th International Wildland Fire Conference

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FIRE-RES was present at the 8th International Wildland Fire Conference in Porto from 16 to 19 May to share experiences with the international community involved in landscape fire management. An entire session was dedicated to FIRE-RES and how our project can contribute to making European territories more resilient to fire. A second session on stakeholder engagement was also organised in cooperation with Firelogue and ResAlliance projects.

With a large number of partners involved, the session aimed to present some of the different innovative solutions developed by FIRE-RES, as well as the approach we use to involve stakeholders in the development and implementation of our innovations.

what fire-res solutions will be available soon?

The FIRE-RES partners have made great progress in recent months in developing innovative solutions that will help different types of stakeholders to make their territory more resilient to fire.

Solutions to assess and prevent the impact of fire on urban settlements: the University of Corsica Pasquale Paoli demonstrated the importance of questioning the surrounding vegetation, such as hedges, and building materials and designs, such as openings, as well as the interest in using modelling systems to better mitigate the impact of fire on buildings. The Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia CTFC also presented how vulnerability assessment of urban settlements can further contribute to reducing fire impacts in urban areas, in particular by combining fire risk analysis with urban planning requirements.

Innovations in the assessment of wildfire air pollutants through wearable & environmental devices: the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research provided participants with insights into possible improvements to reduce the impact of wildfire air pollutants on firefighters. For example, personal exposure can be measured by using more wearable and portable devices, as well as biological samples. In addition, INESC TEC is working on the design and testing of innovative wearable devices for both physiology and ambiance monitoring of each firefighter during fire suppression, with real-time data transmission to a web dashboard of Tecnosylva enhancing the decision support system. Other type of sensors, such as tank devices, are also being analyzed to understand how they can help firefighters during fires and prescribed burns.

Decision support for Extreme Wildfire Events: Tecnosylva is developing advanced technological solutions, equipment and decision support systems. Through different models and data flows, this Integrative System Platform will help stakeholders dealing with Extreme Wildfire Events in Europe to make better informed decisions.

Fostering innovation through an Open Innovation Campaign: led by the European Forest Institute, the Open Innovation Campaign will consist of a competition for solutions that have the potential to address openly identified innovation needs. Successful proposals will receive financial support of up to €16,000 to develop and test their innovations, as well as mentoring and training. Selected innovators will work with the FIRE-RES Living Labs experiencing the challenge addressed by these innovations. The Open Innovation Campaign should be launched next September and will be open to proposals from outside the FIRE-RES project. Do you want to be notified when the Open Innovation Campaign is launched? Click here!

how does fire-res involve stakeholders in shaping or using these innovations?

Stakeholder involvement is key to ensuring that the solutions developed by FIRE-RES best meet the needs on the ground. From firefighters to teachers and researchers, there are many parties involved in designing or using the project’s innovations. Some of the initiatives undertaken by FIRE-RES were presented during the session.

Involving key stakeholders in the identification of necessary actions and innovations: ForestWISE has created a Community of Wildfire Innovation, bringing together operational actors directly involved on the ground and strategic actors with related interests at regional and national levels. Through various meetings, the Community of Wildfire Innovation is identifying the challenges and needs for integrated fire management and is contributing to the development of a roadmap for the various Living Labs in the coming years.

Engaging with the public:  a Fire Education Platform is being developed by the Centre for Applied Ecology Professor Baeta Neves (CEABN). It aims to provide knowledge to a wide range of people, from researchers, teachers and fire professionals to the general public. The aim is to centralise learning resources such as best practices, WikiHow, webinars and case studies so that anyone can learn, teach and apply the principles of integrated fire management.

The session was an excellent opportunity for the partners to present the innovations of FIRE-RES to a wide audience of stakeholders involved in issues related to Integrated Fire Management & Fire Risk Governance. Participants and speakers concluded that public-private partnerships are needed to materialize and finance the transition towards fire resilient territories.

If you are interested in learning more about any of these innovations, or if you want to make sure you do not miss our upcoming events, sign up for the FIRE-RES newsletter! 

Author: Blandine Camus (Euromontana)