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IST Concertation Meeting- IST Applications for Environment4/5 May 2000. Forest Fire Risk and Hazard Assessment: A Holistic Approach. Project Summary. FORFAIT will develop a Decision Support System (DSS) which can be used by planners, educationalists, regulators, and industry to aid

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IST Concertation Meeting-

IST Applications for Environment4/5 May 2000

Forest Fire Risk and Hazard Assessment:

A Holistic Approach


Project Summary

FORFAIT will develop a Decision Support

System (DSS) which can be used by planners,

educationalists, regulators, and industry to aid

in decision making relating to risks from forest

fires. It will be designed to be generally applicable

across Europe, but capable of being applied on a

specific basis to assess risks to humans, the

environment and to commercial enterprise.



  • To contribute to the protection of national
  • resources and improvements in health and safety
  • as applicable to forest fires.
  • To integrate established and emerging
  • technologies, including electronic data gathering,
  • in order to design and build a
  • Decision Support System for use as a tool in
  • planning, educational, regulatory and
  • business contexts.



List of Consortium Members

  • INSA (E)
  • Tecnoma (EL)
  • Planetek Italia (I)
  • VTT (FIN)
  • RM Consultants Ltd (UK)
  • Logic Programming Associates (UK)
  • SPSG The Main School of Fire (PL)
  • SEMA Group sae (E)
  • CeSIA - Centre for Computing (I)
  • Science in Agriculture

List of Users

  • Greek Ministry of Agriculture (EL)
  • CoMEC - Comunita Montana (I)
  • di Elba e Capraia
  • Kampinos National Park (PL)
  • Autonomous Community of Galicia (E)

Participant Roles

RMC Project co-ordinator, risk assessment

methodologies, support to the Polish end user.

Modelling of environmental and commercial


LPA Development of central engine to DSS

CESIA Earth observation methodologies for the

generation of fire ignition risk map support

to the Italian end user

ESA/ESRIN Peer reviews of system specification and

project results, Earth observation

data provision.


Participant Roles

Planetek Creation and maintenance of fire related

GIS-based information bases.

SEMA Provision and improvement of fire

propagation models.

TECNOMA Provision of expert knowledge on forest


INSA Link to the FUEGO project, support to the

Spanish user.

SPSG Support of the Polish user and co-ordination

of site demonstrations.


Participant Roles

VTT Earth observation methodologies for

the generation of historical database

of forest fires.

HITECH Support of the Greek user and

co-ordination of site demonstrations.

Greek Ministry of User mainly interested in the planning

Agriculture and crisis simulation modes.

CoMEC User mainly interested in the planning

and crisis simulation modes.


Modes of Operation

  • Planning Mode
  • Training Mode
  • Crisis Simulation Mode

Planning Mode

  • Takes account of EC, regional and local
  • regulations applicable to prevention and control
  • of forest fires.
  • Designed to help in planning the available resources,
  • their allocation, communication and deployment.
  • Generates risk contours, and assesses the likely
  • severity of the incident, the costs that result.

Training Mode

  • Will access the historical case studies database to
  • form the basis of an interactive investigation of the
  • issues with a commentary on the most appropriate
  • actions to be taken depending on the assumed
  • conditions for the hypothetical study.

Crisis Simulation Mode

  • The crisis simulation mode is intended to prepare users for
  • dealing with fires, but not for controlling the deployment
  • of resources during the actual fire.
  • Advises on all aspects from pre-crisis through to post crisis
  • Analyses the situation and suggests intervention strategies
  • Use its internal rule base to propose alternative mitigation
  • actions, dependent on fire scenario.

Main Functional Elements

of the FORFAIT system





Ignition Maps

Fire Propagation

& Mitigation


Decision Support System

for Risk and Hazard



Knowledge Base


User Requirements

Peer Review

Safety, Environmental and

Commercial Costs

Planning &

Operations Mode



Crisis Simulation



Outputs from the FORFAIT system

1. Advice on the most appropriate decisions amongst

the alternatives taking account of the inherent


2. Records and reports on the decisions making

process for future reference.

3. Overlays of the predicted consequences in terms

of the levels of harm and risks on a cartographical

representation of the site of interest.


Innovative Aspects of FORFAIT

  • Integrated system comprising time dependent fire
  • propagation modelling and fire ignition maps.
  • Use of earth observation data
  • Fire intervention strategies
  • Option studies and cost benefit analysis
  • Mitigation and remediation actions
  • Holistic risk assessment
  • Treatment of Uncertainty

Test Sites

  • Elba Island, Italy
  • Evia Island, Greece
  • Autonomous Community of
  • Galicia, Spain
  • Kampinos National Park

Elba Island

  • Approximately 200 square km in size.
  • Situated in the North Tyrrhenian Sea.
  • Mainly covered by medium-low hills
  • The climate is typically Mediterranean.
  • The area is mainly covered by Mediterranean vegetation,
  • known as “masquis”.
  • Elba island is subject to severe forest fires during the
  • summer season.
  • Large tourist industry, with about 8 million overnight
  • stays per year.
  • Forest fires are a big threat to the environment and could
  • impact on the tourist presence on the island.

Evia Island

  • The Island is the second largest
  • in Greece
  • Long and narrow, it stretches
  • over the Aegean Sea 100 km
  • away from Athens.
  • It is a centre of attraction for tourists seeking natural
  • beauty and scenic variety.
  • There are large fertile valleys and wooded
  • mountainsides.

Autonomous community of Galicia

  • Is located in the NW of Spain, comprising the provinces of
  • A Coruna, Ourense, Lugo and Pontevedra.
  • Covers an area of 29.434km2.
  • Rural population represents 65% of total, where Lugo and
  • Ourense provinces have up to 80% of population living in
  • small urban areas.
  • About two thirds of the Galicia territory is prone to forest
  • fires.
  • Traditional and continued use of fire as an
  • agricultural and pastorial management practice.
  • High incidence of forest fire caused by leisure activities.

Kampinos National Park

  • The park covers an area of 38544 hectares and is located
  • particularly close to Warsaw.
  • 4638 hectares are under strict protection within the park. The
  • other parts of the park are open to a variety of activities.
  • There are over 50 different types of plant of particular interest.
  • Forest covers about 70% of the park, the most important tree
  • species are Scotch pine (71%), black alder (13.6%), Oak
  • (8.63%) and European white birch (5.84%).
  • One of the most important problems of the park is protection
  • against the fire.
  • In 1998 there were 19 fires and 11.84 ha were destroyed.

"Vegetation observation sensing

technologies to evaluate

the forest fires risk map

and post crisis remediation plans"


System Functional Elements

Problem Specification

Climate, Site geography & ecology, land use and management, etc

Fire potential or location

Vulnerability of

population, environment, business

Planning controls &


Earth Observational Data

& Meteorological conditions

Fire development &


Fire fighting capabilities

& resources

Actions & Effects

Humans, Environment, Business

Fire outcome/impact

loss of life amenity cost

Variability and Sensitivity

Planning Mode -

Annual average risk of fires

Cost benefit & option studies

Training Mode -

Behaviour of generic fire under

specified conditions - causes and effects

Crisis Simulation -

Decision making for a given

site specific fire scenario