Fire-minded decision support systems

April 9, 20210

Forest fires over the recent years (e.g. Sala fire in 2014, ~15 000 ha burned) and the whole year 2018 (30 000 ha burned) were well above the long-term average in Sweden.In 2018, forest fires cost Swedish society more than 600 million SEK (Skogsstyrelsen 2018).

The era of fire suppression policies, when society had the capacity to control forest fires and effectively limit related economic costs, may already be over for Sweden. Future projections indicate an increase in the frequency of periods of high fire hazard, the severity of such periods, and the length of the fire season in this part of Northern Europe (Eriksson 2007). There is an increasing need for new management strategies, which incorporate emerging fire-related risks to a wide-range of Swedish forest-related industries.

In this project, we address the risks to societal and economic development in Sweden, that are associated with forest fires. Our work focus on two areas. First, we develop a framework for the inclusion of forest fire risks in forest management plans. Second, we evaluate different management options, under a range of climate change scenarios, to address increasing climate forcing upon fire activity.

The project is supported by the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development, FORMAS (project OASIS, # 2019-00813).