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Portugal wildfire management in a new era assessing fire risks, resources and reforms

(February 2018)


[Executive summary] Portugal has one of the highest forest fire risk rankings in Europe. Fire researchers all point to the same combination of contributing factors: shifting demographics with population moving from rural to urban areas, changes in land use with more agricultural and forested areas left unattended and not being maintained, and fragmentation of land ownership patterns that discourage investment in forest management and fire planning. The trend of annual burned area for the last four decades confirms a new level in fire activity in Portugal, despite ...


  1. Almeida, J., Relvas, P., Silva, L., Catry, F., Rego, F., Santos, T. 2007. Portuguese lookout towers network optimization using automatic positioning algorithms. In: Proceedings of the 4th International Wildland Fire Conference, 13-17 May, Seville, Spain. .
  2. Beighley, M., Hyde, A. C., 2009. Systemic risk and Portugal's forest fire defense strategy - An assessment of wildfire management and response capability.
  3. Beighley, M., Quesinberry, M., 2004. USA-Portugal wildland fire technical

How wildfire risk is related to urban planning and Fire Weather Index in SE France (1990–2013)

Science of The Total Environment, Vol. 621 (April 2018), pp. 120-129,


[Highlights] [::] Land use planning in SE France led to increased housing density in 1990-2012 and maintained WUI wildfire risk constant. [::] The number of buildings increased by 30% but WUI area increased by less than 5% as housing density increased. [::] Fire frequency and burned area increase substantially as Fire Weather Index surpasses a threshold value of 90. [Abstract] Wildfires burn > 450,000 ha of forest every year in Euro-Mediterranean countries. Many fires originate in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) where housing density and weather ...

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