Living with wildfires: what science can tell us?

Discussion paper: Living with wildfires: what science can tell us?

Science can help in designing better strategies and policies allowing living with fire risk

Advances in forest fires research should be available to policy and decision makers, and beyond to the whole society; this is the reason of the discussion paper.

The document is not a state of the art report covering, in an exhaustive manner, all issues related to wildfires. It focuses rather on a limited number of selected key topics on which scientists have some messages to deliver, and which should be considered in future policy making processes.

This discussion paper is divided in four sections. The first one presents some statistical figures on wildfire and underlines the trends. The second section deals with two basic questions which should form the background of any rational strategy: why and how do woodlands burn? What is the resulting impact? Practices and strategies for acting on fire risk, including the economic and policy dimensions, are presented in the third section. In the four and last part, the emphasis is put on the challenges linked to increased and new wildfire risks related to climate change, and ways to cope with them.

A panel of eminent European scientists, covering a broad range of expertise and scientific disciplines, has authored the contributions and provided up to date scientific information.

Yves Birot, EFIMED, Coordinator of the discussion paper on wildfires

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