Skip to navigation Skip to content

€10m European funding success for wildfire management project

Wild fire
Wild fire
“It is particularly important that socio-economic factors of fire risks, and citizens’ involvement in wildfire risk assessment and reduction strategies, which have had limited attention in previous studies, will be extensively covered in this project. Influence of human activities on fire ignition and on the vulnerability and exposure, will be analysed in detail”

A new research project involving 39 partners from 19 countries and including James Hutton Institute scientists has received €10 million from the European Union. The Horizon 2020 funded project FireEUrisk, launching this month, aims to shift conventional thinking and develop a science-based strategy to manage major forest fires across Europe.

Fires are part of the natural functioning of ecosystems, though some of them pose a significant threat to ecological balance and health, generating economic losses of private and public property, forestry and agricultural resources, and can have short to long term effects on natural capital and biodiversity.

Current approaches involve high-cost suppression operations along with controversial policies that lead to inefficient risk management and severe damage. The Portuguese Association for the Development of Industrial Aerodynamics (ADAI) leads the multidisciplinary FirEUrisk consortium, aiming to create appropriate solutions and services to address the open challenges linked to current and predicted wildfire conditions in Europe.

The James Hutton Institute, as part of this consortium, leads on the development of an innovative approach for assessing the potential impacts of forest fires on natural and other forms of capital. This approach is referred to as the ‘Integrated Capitals Approach’ and the research team will collaborate with other partners to implement its application in 5 regional pilot sites across Europe, showcasing the scalability of the proposed solutions.

The Hutton research team will also lead the analysis of potential barriers and enabling factors for the uptake of alternative Land Management Strategies to reduce wildfire risk, with the analysis being applied to smaller demonstration areas. In addition, they will provide inputs to societal vulnerability assessments and public participation in fire prevention and preparedness.

The team will also contribute to the analysis of fire weather and fuel status prevention, risk-wise landscape and fuel models development, analysis of fire propagation and environmental vulnerability and resilience assessment.

Professor Maria Nijnik, a senior scientist at the James Hutton Institute and member of FirEUrisk, said: “It is particularly important that socio-economic factors of fire risks, and citizens’ involvement in wildfire risk assessment and reduction strategies, which have had limited attention in previous studies, will be extensively covered in this project. Influence of human activities on fire ignition and on the vulnerability and exposure, will be analysed in detail.”

The work carried out by FirEUrisk will allow the creation of regional planning approaches to increase the resilience of local communities and enhance nature-based solutions. The new approaches include innovative technologies, tools, training materials, guidelines, and policy recommendations to improve wildfire management and reduce their most damaging effects.

Notes to editors

The James Hutton Institute’s FirEUrisk research team includes Michaela Roberts, Zisis Gagkas, Maria Nijnikand Paola Ovando.

Pilot Sites for the project areKalmar County (Sweden), Brandenburg and Saxony (Germany), Bohemia (Czech Republic), Silesia (Poland), Central Portugal, Barcelona (Spain), and Attica (Greece).

Results will be produced over 4 years, from April 2021 toMarch 2025. FirEUrisk is funded by the European Commission’s H2020 framework program under grant agreement number 101003890. Horizon 2020 is the biggest European Union research and innovation programme. Visit the Horizon 2020 website for more information.

More information from: 

Adam Walker, Communications Officer, James Hutton Institute, Tel: 01224 395095 (direct line), 0344 928 5428 (switchboard).


Printed from /news/%E2%82%AC10m-european-funding-success-wildfire-management-project on 19/09/21 05:03:23 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.