Scientists adapt research to new fire hazards

in News · 09-02-2020 16:00:00 · 0 Comments

Climate change has led scientists to adjust their fire investigation strategy in response to new risks on a global scale, said the head of a European project in this area

“We have to adapt our strategies and methods of analysis,” said Spanish Elsa Pastor, coordinator of the ECHO WUIVIEW project - Wildland-Urban Virtual Interface Essays Workbench, which involves scientific institutions from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Sweden and France.

The professor at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona (Spain), was speaking in Coimbra at the beginning of their first public meeting, organized by the Association for the Development of Industrial Aerodynamics (ADAI) under WUIVIEW, funded by the ECHO programme of the European Union (EU).

The teacher stressed the need to develop “new risk analysis methodologies” in order to promote “good self-protection practices” of people.

“Recent cases of fire at the urban-forest interface in different European countries are analyzed, as well as aspects related to the fire danger presented by natural and artificial fuels that are usually found near buildings”, according to ADAI.

Elsa Pastor gave the current example of the great fires in Australia, noting that climate change has begun to have an impact in northern Europe in recent years as well, with fires causing “very serious problems” in countries such as Sweden participating in this scientific project.

"We are in a climate change scenario," which has "unprecedented" global effects, with fires and other calamities, she said.

ADAI's Miguel Almeida also emphasized that, through the ECHO programme - European Civil Protection Mechanism and Humanitarian Aid Operations, the EU wants to provide legislative and best practice response to the “fire risk migration to the Nordic countries”.

“Europe is increasingly concerned as fires are not limited to southern countries. The first big fire in Sweden was in 2014,” he said.

The scientific institutions involved in the project are committed to "a single and concerted outcome" that will help the European Union "define certain policies and standards" that will address the new fire problems, the Coimbra researcher added.

The ECHO WUIVIEW project runs for two years, ending in February 2021.


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