FirEUrisk: PIK joins EU project to analyze and manage wildfires

06/03/2021 - The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), along with 38 partner institutions from 19 countries, will develop a science-based strategy to manage, monitor and analyze major forest fires in Europe. Funded by the European Union, the FirEUrisk project brings together researchers, practitioners, policymakers and citizens to study the vulnerability and resilience of communities and countries to wildfires in Northern, Central and Mediterranean Europe. The overarching goal of the project is to adapt fire management strategies to expected climate and socio-economic changes.
FirEUrisk: PIK joins EU project to analyze and manage wildfires
Photo: Karsten Winegeart/Unsplash

The PIK Working Group “Ecosystem in Transitions”, spearheaded by fire ecologist Kirsten Thonicke, will contribute to FireEUrisk by building upon and enhancing the existing fire simulation model SPITFIRE. Along with Technische Universität Dresden and the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (SBiK-F), PIK will utilize machine learning methods to better monitor wildfires in Europe.

The PIK researchers will also use land use scenarios that include the EU strategies of the Green Deal, especially for afforestation. With the help of these scenarios, Thonicke and her team are then going to estimate how the risk of forest fires will change under climate change in general, but especially in these afforestation areas, and correct adaptation strategies accordingly.

FirEUrisk is coordinated by Domingos Xavier Viegas from the University of Coimbra, Portugal. The initiative, according to Viegas, “is a very ambitious project corresponding to a very demanding and competitive call that requested a research and innovation project dealing with all aspects of forest fires management in an integrated way. It addresses the problem of reducing the risk of extreme wildfires especially for the population by learning lessons from the past, but having in mind what the future changes in the climate and socio-economic activities may bring to the entire Europe.”


PIK press office
Phone: +49 331 288 25 07


Twitter: PIK_Climate