Strategic and tactical planning to improve suppression efforts against large forest fires in the Catalonia region of Spain

Strategic and tactical planning to improve suppression efforts against large forest fires in the Catalonia region of Spain

Publication date: 15 January 2019

Source: Forest Ecology and Management, Volume 432

Author(s): José Ramón Gonzalez-Olabarria, Keith M. Reynolds, Asier Larrañaga, Jordi Garcia-Gonzalo, Eduard Busquets, Miriam Pique


The study explores use of the Ecosystem Management Decision Support (EMDS) System to standardize the process of allocating Management Areas for Fire Suppression Support (MASSs) in Catalonia, Spain. MASSs are defined as those areas in the landscape that change fire behavior, reducing the magnitude of the wildfire, and improve significantly fire suppression effectiveness/capacity. Considerations for allocating MASSs include high likelihood of large fires in the vicinity, potential for spread, proximity of the location to valuable resources at risk, proximity to adequate water supply, accessibility by mechanized means, and fuel management opportunities. The combination of accessibility, water supply and fuel management opportunities, when allocating MAASs, provide the minimum requirements to allow fire suppression actions, while improving effectiveness and safety levels. For these purposes, we combine the newest data available, outputs from fire simulators and expert knowledge to define a problem that could be solved using EMDS within a participatory planning framework. To support the fire suppression mission of the firefighting service in Catalonia, this study uses a combination of strategic and tactical solutions, in which the strategic solution identifies high priority locations within the landscape for fire suppression activities, and tactical solutions identify high priority management activities within specific locations.


via ScienceDirect Publication: Forest Ecology and Management

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