FIRE-RES project kicks-off: striving for a fire-resilient Europe

The European FIRE-RES project provides a new concept for land management and an interactive combination of fire risk prevention, natural capital conservation and circular bioeconomy, bringing together society, economy, ecology and innovation.

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Forest fire in 2012 in the Empordà county, Catalonia (Spain). Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Driving a transition within the European Union towards a fire-resilient continent by developing a series of innovation actions that take into account socio-economic and ecological factors is the main objective of the new Horizon 2020 FIRE-RES project.

This initiative, which brings together 35 key players from across Europe, organised a kick-off meeting on 18-20 January in the city of Solsona (Spain), which was attended by the European Forest Institute (EFI) as one of the main partners of the consortium.

A new paradigm to fire management

During the meeting, Antoni Trasobares, Director of the Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia (Spain) and coordinator of the FIRE-RES project, said that “extreme fire events have new characteristics that are not fully understood. We need to integrate fire management and landscape management”. Mr Trasobares added that “it is necessary to change the classical sequential approach to an interactive format through innovation actions”.

Presentations and discussion focused on the FIRE-RES methodology and how it will develop an integrated fire management approach to tackle extreme wildfires. Interventions by leading experts such as David Martell, Marc Finney and Philip Seguele, as well as policy makers, provided a complex view of the current challenges related to extreme wildfires.

Team photo of the FIRE-RES project consortium during the kick-off meeting at the Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia in Solsona (Spain).

A focus on developing and deploying innovations

“The Living Labs and Innovation Actions are the core of FIRE-RES,” said Irina Profokieva from the Forest Science of Technology Centre of Catalonia. More than 34 innovations will be developed by FIRE-RES partners and tested in the 11 Living Labs. During these days, the partners have been able to present their innovation actions and how they will be implemented in the Living Labs of Catalonia, Galicia, Portugal, Nouvelle Aquitaine, Sardinia, Netherlands-Germany, Norway-Côte d’Azur, Canary Islands, Bulgaria and Greece.

In addition, on 20 January, FIRE-RES partners visited two burnt areas in Catalonia, Spain. These are the areas affected by the Odena fire in 2015 and the Santa Coloma de Queralt fire (2021).

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The FIRE-RES project has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101037419.