Uncovering innovations in wildfire risk planning and prevention across the Mediterranean

EFIMED trainee Mihaela Jankavić shares the behind the scenes of the preparation of a collection of case studies on innovations in forest fire risk planning and prevention in the Mediterranean.

Discover more about wildfire risk planning and prevention innovations in the Mediterranean in this new publication. Photo: Pixabay.

Wildfires are a major threat to the environment and to people. They are unpredictable and difficult to control, but with measures, prevention and quick response, the consequences of this natural disaster can be reduced. As a trainee at the European Forestry Institute, I was involved in developing and writing a new publication Wildfire risk planning and prevention – Innovations in the Mediterranean and beyond. Over the internship for three months, we expanded the Local Wildfire Prevention – Innovative cases in the Mediterranean factsheets previously collected by EFIMED.

We gathered best practice cases of fire prevention in the Mediterranean from 2021 and covering the areas of Spain, Lebanon, Portugal and Greece. In order to show as closely as possible the problems in the Mediterranean, we explored how these countries have done to reduce major disasters through innovations, detailing technical implementation, administration and finance implementation.

For example, one factsheet describes how citizens decided to prevent fires and organised a group of volunteers to visit 610 houses on the island of Kythira, Greece. With the help from forms and experts, they warned about the danger and risk of the house in case of fire. Residents were also given instructions on how to reduce the risk of fire. For this and the other cases included in the publication, we included useful information on how they are financed, how they are integrated in local fire prevention plans, and which experts and organisations are involved in their implementation.

Another very interesting aspect for me was how artificial intelligence can predict ignition and support the response. This case shows how modern technology and artificial intelligence can help detect a forest fire and repair the damage in time. The method described has 80% accuracy in prediction, and by developing software, it can enable the use of artificial intelligence around the world and make a big difference in preventing forest fires.

Read the Wildfire risk planning and prevention – Innovations in the Mediterranean and beyond, where we presented all the successfully implemented cases that have the potential to be used in other countries and places!

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Mihaela Jankavić
Mihaela Jankavić is a student at the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology in Zagreb. She worked at the European Forest Institute Mediterranean Facility in Barcelona as a trainee for three months.