IUFRO Spotlights


IUFRO Spotlight #78 - More robust strategy needed to combat forest fires in Alps

An increasing risk of forest fires in the European Alps has led to a white paper entitled "Forest Fires in the Alps". It proposes a framework for integrated fire management.

To develop the white paper a panel from all member states of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP) – Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Slovenia, Switzerland and Liechtenstein – was established. These scientists, members of action forces, authorities and other forest fire experts pulled together the fire experiences and knowledge of the various countries.

"Wildfires are an emerging issue in the European Alps that can lead to high damages in protection forests, increasing the risk of natural hazards and resulting in threats to people and high costs – up to millions of euros for fire suppression and restoration measures," said Dr. Harald Vacik, one of the white paper's authors. He is a professor in the Department of Forest and Soil Science at the University of Natural Resources and Life Science in Vienna, Austria, and also the Coordinator of IUFRO Working Party 4.03.03 – Information management and information technologies.

Mountain forests make up one-third of all natural forest cover worldwide, which is why the recommended actions outlined in this white paper will not only be of value to the region of the European Alps but should assist other regions that have to face mountain fires.

Further reading:

spotlight78-forest-fires-in-alps.pdf690 Ki