Managing forest fires

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Each year we hear terrible news about forest fires from world fire prone areas, a trend that has continued past years with the especially tragic news from Australia, Greece and California, USA. Unfortunately, more are expected to come.

Science-based information for profound media reporting is needed to prevent misinformation of the public. Currently, EFI experts and members of the EFI network provide global news channels with their knowledge on wildfires, firefighting, effects of climate change, land management and forest resilience.

Why is the West Coast burning? United States confronted by recurring wildfires. Watch our Senior Expert Alexander Held explaining how the fire season became so destructive on the Debate, France 24.

See various news mentions here.

It is clear that the urgency lies with combating the fires and providing help to local communities, but once the crisis is past, policy makers need to put forward science-informed policies to address the root causes of forest fires.

This short video by EFI looks at the key factors of increased forest fire risk in the Mediterranean region and advocates for a new vision based on shifting the focus from reactive fire suppression to long-term proactive fire prevention and forest management at the landscape scale.



Further material:


The bioeconomy as an opportunity to solve the structural problem of forest fires in southern Europe

Reflections on the Bioeconomy #1

This detailed information note provides four key messages that explain the social, economic, and ecological drivers of southern Europe’s dangerous increasing risk of forest fires, and demonstrates how the bioeconomy could be an opportunity to strengthen local areas and mitigate the fire threat.

Living with wildfires: what science can tell us EFI Discussion Paper No. 15

The Discussion Paper is divided into four sections. The first one presents some statistical figures on wildfire and underlines the trends. The second section deals with two basic questions which should form the background of any rational strategy: why and how do woodlands burn? What is the resulting impact? Practices and strategies for acting on fire risk, including the economic and policy dimensions, are presented in the third section. In the fourth part, the emphasis is put on the challenges linked to increased and new wildfire risks related to climate change, and ways to cope with them.

An interview with EFI senior expert Alexander Held in Euronews (2017) focusses on the prevention of fires by better land management.


Resilient landscapes to face catastrophic forest fires addressed a new holistic paradigm for managing forest fire risk based on the creation of resilient landscapes that more effectively integrate the social and economic conditions of the landscape in fire prevention approaches. In this vein, the conference analysed experiences and cases from five continents, identifying lessons learned and knowledge gaps, and discussing the way forward. Event took place on 14-15 October 2019 in Madrid, Spain.

First Results (Straight from the seminar)

Watch Marc Castellnou's talk in EFI's ThinkForest event on Role of bioeconomy in controlling forest fires

Why and how forest fires are becoming a European problem? Reflections from Marc Castellnou and Pau Costa Foundation.


For more information, please contact:

  • Alexander Held, Senior Expert,, tel. +49 1769 6970 078
  • Inazio Martinez de Arano, Head of Mediterranean Facility, inazio.martinez @, tel + +34 664 50 39 48 (Mediterranean issues)