August 31, 2023

Empowering local and regional entities in Portugal to prioritize fuel management strategies

There is a growing responsibility for local and regional entities to design and implement fuel management strategies in Portugal. Despite the existence of a national fuel break strategy, the actual decision of where and when to carry out treatments often rests with municipalities or inter-municipal associations at the regional level. The need to improve decision making led to two regional entities hosting workshops to promote knowledge transfer between academia and local key stakeholders / decision influencers, focusing on the fundamentals of fire behavior and fire simulation, with the last days of the workshop being dedicated exclusively to fuel treatment prioritization using ForSys.

By understanding the full process of wildfire simulation and landscape prioritization, the stakeholders were able to explore the tradeoffs between objectives (for example, treating to protect communities versus large fire prevention or both). Arguably, proficiency in utilizing ForSys and interpreting its outcomes will empower stakeholders to influence the decision-making process and optimize the allocation of fuel treatments at local and regional scales.

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