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Fire Paradox base in Sardinia, August- September 2009

The problem of fire in Europe is recurrent. Each year, at least one European region is affected by this scourge whose social, economic and ecological tragedy.

Following the major forest fires that devastated parts of Portugal, Spain and France in 2003, and facing the fact that the policy of eradication of fire applied in a systematic manner, most often led to the effect of the expected birth of a European dimension: FIRE PARADOX.

Fire Paradox is a European project from the 6th European Framework Research and Development. Launched in March 2006, it includes, for a period of 48 months, 35 partners from 16 countries and aims to create a new management policy of fire adapted to European conditions, including addressing the problem of fires in natural areas by 'reasonable job of fire.

Some key points

The cost of a forest fire is never truly encrypted. The destruction of buildings, power lines or telephone, to road and rail infrastructure, signs, fences, crops, is never detailed. Indirect costs, mobilization of emergency, detention of persons, industries, are very difficult to evaluate.

740 000 hectares of forest were destroyed by fire in 2003, the toll cost the lives of 40 people.

If 2004 was less dramatic, in 2005 reveals a "critical situation". In mid-July, 19 people were killed, 70 000 fires were recorded and an area of 140 000 hectares has already been destroyed by the flames.

Since the beginning of 2007, 337,600 hectares of forest have burned across Europe, an area larger than the Rhône department. The European Commission is launching a cry of alarm

In Greece in 2007 alone, nearly 200,000 hectares of vegetation have been destroyed by the flames, threatening residents, tourists and business traffic.

The need to change practices

The means of struggle, even with the European collaborations may soon be inadequate if the fires are increasing. Indeed, if in 2007, other regions of southern Greece had been affected, the number of men and Canadairs was not enough to stop these fires.

Fire Paradox The project was launched to find (or rediscover) other means of struggle, but also prevention.

The objective of the project FIRE PARADOX is to create the scientific and technical basis for the definition of new policies and practices conform to the concept of integrated management of fire, ie allowing a balance between natural resource management and management of unwanted fires. He sees the fire in 4 angles corresponding to a sequence from its use in preventing its use in the fight against fires.

Combatting fire with fire

If the fire is a bad master, he is a good servant (Finnish proverb). The paradox is, we can prevent and fight against the fire with fire.

Tactical fire

When a forest fire starts, it is possible to counter by launching a "fire contrary" that the fuel will dry up first, and lead to the extinction of the two lamps. Of course these practices are carried out by professionals who know the situation (topography, weather, vegetation ...)

Fire Paradox in its research division, these models to better control the parameters.

To know more about tactical fires

Prescribed burning

It's a method of clearing by fire. We must not simplify the technique to a fire! Only authorized professionals can implement this technique. The aim is to advance a small fire in the woods. Will be burned the tall grass, foliage ... It is practiced in winter, and will minimize the magnitude of summer fires by reducing the fuel available.

To know more about prescribed burning

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