Science & Technology

Fighting Wildfires Behind the Scenes – Horizon Magazine Blog

According to’, between 2000 and 2017, 611 firefighters and civilians died.EU Sparks Smart Policy‘ report. Over the last seven years, 8.5 million hectares have been burned, the economy has cost more than € 54 billion and the environment has been irreparably damaged. Since then, wildfires have been causing havoc throughout Europe and in countries around the world. What we are seeing now is a new kind of wildfire. It is large, unpredictable and intense, often underpinned by climatic conditions, especially due to climate change.

As wildfire behavior changes, so does the policy situation of the European Union (EU). NS European Green Deal And that EU forest strategy Below that, in 2021, 2030 EU Biodiversity Strategy And new EU Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation A new priority for better wildfire protection, prevention and recovery.

In response to new priorities, researchers are pushing the boundaries to save lives, livelihoods and the environment. For example, a science-based strategy in wildfire management FirEUrisk A project that changes the traditional way of thinking in the field. FirEUrisk is the predecessor of four large demonstrator projects funded under the H2020 European Green Deal. DRYADS, FIRE-RES, FIREOOGUE and SILVANUS aim to accelerate the process of adaptation to extreme wildfires.

“The fires in Portugal in 2017 and Greece in 2018, and again in Greece in 2021, and in Turkey and Algeria, which lost many lives, reminded us again that another more science-oriented approach is needed. “The problem,” explained Domingos Xavierbiegas, project coordinator and professor at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. “This need is further driven by socio-economic conditions, land use, geopolitical conditions, and especially climate change. There is no excuse to keep wildfire problems as if nothing had changed. . “

The key to their success is close cooperation between researchers, stakeholders and citizens. “Our goal is to benefit from all the science and knowledge that is distributed to so many people and institutions, or that is accumulated in so many research institutes, and put it into the services of the community. And to free the forest area from the big fires and make it a better place, to visit and live safely, “said Viegas.

Scientists focus on large, high-impact fires with wild landscapes adjacent to urban areas, and holistically integrate fire management with a common policy framework that links prevention, response, and recovery. Consider it a fired approach. Special emphasis is placed on risk assessment, risk reduction and risk adaptation. “To improve fire protection, risk assessments are developed that incorporate several factors that are often not considered,” Viegas said.

This includes the socio-economic, economic and ecological consequences of fire, such as the value of assets and natural capital such as air, water, soil and nature services. Risk mitigation incorporates knowledge of fire outbreaks and developments to better protect communities and minimize the impact of fires on the environment. Risk adaptation integrates knowledge and models of climate, land use, and socio-economic change to promote more resilient landscapes and communities, enabling them to adapt to changing fire risks over the coming decades.

“We intend to extend the solutions developed by science and good practices to the pan-European level,” Viegas added.

Help from above

Researchers from S2IGI The project is also breaking new ground in wildfire management by developing a software decision support system (DSS) that uses satellite data to predict and manage fires. Raffaele Bua, Project Coordinator and Software Architect at Nurjana Technologies, said: DSS is set to change this.

Software as a service or DSS provided as SaaS NEWMOS It is a framework that supports the three phases of wildfire (strategic, tactical, and post-event). In the strategic phase of forest prevention and mitigation, the system provides users with simulation models and risk probability maps to help prepare for wildfire events. The tactical stage is when a wildfire actually occurs. The system supports users with weather maps and flame behavior models. “In the post-event phase of recovery, the system provides statistics and information about the burned area, along with tools and maps for estimating economic damage,” Bua emphasized.

With a delay of 5 minutes, users will be provided with early hotspot detection information and weather data, as well as the ability to perform wildfire simulations showing how a fire will occur in the next few hours.

The system, originally set up to manage wildfires on the island of Sardinia in Italy, can be used in other countries as well. “We used another satellite, the sunflower, to test the technology in a region of Australia to simulate and detect wildfire behavior,” Bua confirmed. The system has also reached new heights by accurately and automatically monitoring and detecting the danger of wildfires from space.

When it comes to its performance and accuracy, the results are more than promising. The online model achieved 99.904% detection performance with a 0.018% false positive probability. “We are confident that using machine learning models will improve performance,” added Bua. The system will be able to calculate the optimal route for emergency vehicles, track emergency vehicles via GPS sensors, and create future daily fire probability maps.

On the ground

NS Valkyrie The project also pushes the boundaries of research to ensure that first responders can reach people involved in disasters such as wildfires. To do this, researchers standardize and harmonize techniques and procedures for first aid in disaster management at the European level. This includes procedures for inter-sectoral and cross-border cooperation.

The team designs and develops a modular, interoperable, scalable and secure platform to assist in the deployment of emergency services in the event of a wildfire or other disaster. Juan Roman Martinez Allants, Project Coordinator and Project Manager at Indra Digital Labs, said: “A harmonious combination of solutions and interconnects within the project form a platform that provides first aid responders with advanced communications, information sharing, and tactical command and control services.”

When a wildfire begins, you have no time to lose. Coordination between different stakeholders is important to minimize personal and property damage. What role does the platform play? “Based on one of the project use cases between Spain and Portugal, the 112 Emergency Coordinator Center (CCU) in Badajoz, Spain, received multiple calls regarding fires in the area near the Spanish-Portuguese border. “We do,” Martinez explained. “The platform supports a systematic and homogeneous collection of relevant information to improve all stages of intervention. In other words, it is the truth for the team of first responders to make informed decisions. Generates real-time information on Become.

The platform is not immediately available outside the EU, but its expansion is imminent. “This is very interesting and allows for highly desirable intercontinental interoperability when it comes to health emergencies,” Martínez outlined. In the future, VALKYRIES solutions may be used in other areas such as transportation, defense and telecommunications.

Disasters such as wildfires are inevitable, but our response is inevitable. Researchers are working across national borders to prepare and respond to these increasingly serious fire events as much as possible, ultimately saving lives and minimizing losses from them. ..

The research in this article was funded by the EU. If you like this article, consider sharing it on social media.

Fighting Wildfires Behind the Scenes – Horizon Magazine Blog

https://horizon.scienceblog.com/1853/battling-wildfires-from-behind-the-scenes/ Fighting Wildfires Behind the Scenes – Horizon Magazine Blog

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