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Forest fires are changing: let’s change the fire management strategy

G. Bovio, M. Marchetti, L. Tonarelli, M. Salis, G. Vacchiano, R. Lovreglio, M. Elia, P. Fiorucci, D. Ascoli

Forest fires in Italy are changing. More frequent heatwaves and drought increase the flammability of the vegetation; the abandonment of rural land produces 30.000 ha of newly afforested areas each year; and the wildland-urban interface is expanding with the sprawl of urbanized areas. However, forest fires are rarely understood and managed in their complexity. The public opinion is often misinformed on the causes and consequences of fires in the forest. Moreover, fire management relies almost exclusively on extinction and emergency response, resulting in high costs and limited efficacy versus extreme fire seasons. We advocate to increase the role and investments in wildfire prevention, which can be carried out by fuel-oriented silviculture, such as facilitating less flammable species or prescribed burning, in order to reduce the flammability of the vegetation and mitigate fire intensity in high-leverage areas. A centralized structure is necessary to implement such a strategy and coordinate the competences and actions of all local administrations and actors involved.


Forest@ - Rivista di Selvicoltura ed Ecologia Forestale, Vol. 14, No. 4. (31 August 2017), pp. 202-205, https://doi.org/10.3832/efor2537-014 
Key: INRMM:14410419

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