Wildfires may result in long-lasting impacts to social, environmental, and economic systems. In a context of changing climate, human activity, and extreme events becoming more frequent, it is crucial to identify spatially the risks posed by wildland fires, to foster better fire management policy tools, and develop mitigation strategies accordingly. However, given the complexity of the problem, scope and methods for wildfire risk assessment (WRA) vary widely among countries leading to different regional/national approaches not always comparable. These uneven approaches understandably focus on the corresponding regions of interest and are affected by the specificities of each country. To integrate currently incompatible approaches, harmonised procedures for wildfire risk assessment are needed at the pan-European scale, enhancing planning and coordination of prevention, preparedness, and cross-border firefighting actions to mitigate the damaging effects of wildfires. The development of a pan-European approach follows from a series of EU regulations requiring the European Commission to have a wide overview of the wildfire risk in Europe, to support the actions of its Member States and to ensure compliance in the implementation of EU regulations related to wildfires. The conceptualization of a European WRA as the combined impact of wildfire hazard on people, ecosystems, and goods exposed in vulnerable areas, explicitly accounts for the multiplicity of risk dimensions and sources of uncertainty.

Monday, 1. August 2022