Understanding wildfire risk as a component of the territory, in the Mediterranean the fire has been in our landscapes from centuries: by natural ignitions (lightings after storms), as a tool in rural areas (burning for cleaning the vegetation) and, more recently due to the land use changes, as a hazard (high intensity fires burning all forests in large surfaces). This last “bad face” of fires is being exacerbated by climate change, increasing the availability of landscapes to burn.
One of the main worries in parallel with the forest conservation is the potential impact of those extreme fires on citizens and houses and, therefore, how to improve the civil protection during the emergency. How to live with wildfire risk under a climate change context in a sustainable manner? Within the pilot sites, an integrative approach will be developed, aimed at optimise the synergies between prevention, preparedness, response and recovery actions, tackling together not only the physical but also the social vulnerability reduction. This will offer a frame where the activities of the territory are embedded into the Risk Management Cycle from a cost-efficient and resilient community perspective.
On that sense, community involvement is a crucial issue considering the exposed population as a proactive actor of the Disaster Risk Reduction strategies. This pilot site will serve to adapt successful participatory approaches developed in other countries (e.g. Firewise USA® or Safer Together approach in Australia) to the regional conditions. This integrated and bottom-up approach will serve to deliver operational recommendations for risk reduction considering all the legal, financial, social and cultural components, and to enhance the risk governance in the territory in a sustainable manner.