Forest fires constitute a serious and increasing threat throughout Europe, and in particular in Greece, Spain, France, Italy and Portugal. Despite a decreasing trend in the number of fires and areas burned, observed in some countries since the 1980s, larger and more damaging fires (i.e. ‘megafires’) are challenging the suppression capacities of many wildfire protection programmes across Europe. This trend is the result of unbalanced policies that can be effective in fire suppression in normal weather conditions but are insufficient to prevent extreme events such as megafires.
The analysis of the knowledge, methodologies and technologies produced in the last two decades opens up new perspectives for enhanced forest fire risk management in the face of climate and environmental changes, social and cultural trends and growth dynamics.Based on the findings of the EU-funded research and innovation projects and the conclusions of a multi-stakeholder workshops and consultations, key recommendations have emerged with a view to adapt policies and management to face the new challenges imposed by megafires.