Advanced Course on Forest Fires
On April 13-18, EFIMED, COST Action FP0701, PHOENIX Project Center and SAFRI (South-Western Anatolia Forest Resarch Institute) organised a course on Forest fires: impacts and post-fire management.
The course took place in
Antalya, Turkey, where 25 participants from all around the
Mediterranean basin learnt from outstanding scientists about the most recent
knowledge on wildfires behaviour and impacts, as well and strategies for prevention and vegetation recovery after the fire.
The participants were either young researchers on fire ecology, modelling and related silviculture, or practitioners from forest services. In addition to the nice atmosphere created, students and lecturers could interchange interesting experiences, contrasting procedures and points of view of the problematic issues.
During the group discussion, the participants presented the state of the art on post-forest fire management in their countries and shared their own technical/scientific activities related to fire. This raised a fruitful debate among the participants and lecturers. On the last day of lectures, a practical exercise was carried out in which the participants, based on the knowledge gained during this week, should provide technical recommendations to the rehabilitation of a burned area.Antalya suffered the biggest forest fire in the history of Turkey (20,000 ha) in August 2008. During the field trip participants visited the office for the regeneration programme and forest officers introduced the planned and ongoing works. It raised some comments from the participants.
There are still many open questions and no standard "receipt" was presented for "what
to do with our forest in regard to fires: before and after". Experts remarked the need to demystify wildfires and manage forests assuming that fire is a natural process in them. Maintenance silvicultural treatments might be crucial for developing a forest structure more resistant to fires. Potential for natural regeneration should be given priority for the improvement of natural adaption, more relevant taking into account foreseen effects of climate change.
There is still lot of work to do in research on structural causes of fires, fire behaviour, improvement and simplification of models and on links with climate change effects; as well as in creating a scientific-based awareness to population and decision makers for long-term policies.
Further information, pictures and presentations available on the website >>
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