The FirEUrisk report

Our second newsletter to summarise a bustling year – and to take a look ahead!

This past year has allowed us to keep developing our comprehensive strategy for wildfire risk management. We’ve seen our colleagues in person and exchanged information between partners in our two latest plenary meetings in Dresden and Lleida, and also disseminated our work far and wide by carrying out several webinars and training events. Let’s recap the most relevant updates from these months and look into our upcoming activities!

Devastating summers behind and ahead of us

The past and upcoming wildfire seasons prove the importance of our project

Last year we suffered the worst summer season of wildfires so far. 508.260 hectares were burned across Europe, which contrasts with the yearly average of 215.548 hectares between 2006 and 2021, according to the European Forest Fire Information System. The fires also resulted in the highest emissions in the past 15 years.

From the project we launched a statement in which our Steering Committee expressed concerns about the alarming situation on the continent – unprecedented in some regions – and what learnings 2022 could provide for this year. This knowhow is needed sooner than later, as the fire season has already started in some regions in Spain, Portugal and France.

During the last plenary meeting in Lleida, our communication partner Scienseed emphasised the importance of reacting quickly to the situation and transmitting information rapidly so that the communications team can reach out to the press and spread information and comments about the situation via the project channels. If you have any ideas for communicating with the media, social media or via the project blog, please do not hesitate to contact Scienseed via email at

New events coming up this spring and summer

Organisation of the first FirEUrisk Demonstration Event in the Spanish Pilot Site and participation in conferences in Greece and Croatia

The work completed in the Barcelona Pilot Site will be presented in the first FirEUrisk Pilot Site Demonstration Event on June the 7th. In this event, hosted by the Diputació de Barcelona, researchers from the project present the developed wildfire prevention resources to the professional community. The event can be participated both in person as well as online. Register for the event by May the 31st here.

We will be co-organising the “Workshop on wildfire management innovation and policies” which will take place at the RISE-SD 2023 event in Rhodes, Greece between the 29th and 31st of May. We invite you all to participate and attend the workshop, which will happen on May the 30th at noon. You can find more information and registration options here.

In addition, our partners Ljiljana Šerić and Marin Bugarić from the University of Split, and Ioannis Gitas from the University of Thessaloniki will be organising The Wildfires Track, a round table where new innovations in wildfire management will be presented. The session will take place at the SpliTech 2023 event, which will take place in Split and Bol, Croatia between the 20th and 23th of June. Read more about it here.

First completed reporting period and two plenary meetings to discuss the progress of FirEUrisk

Looking back in order to move forward

Last October we finished our project’s first reporting period. During the first 18 months we made significant progress, and we were happy to receive positive feedback from our Project Officer and reviewer regarding the pace and ambition of our work in the review meeting organised in Brussels in February. The next important step is to integrate the different aspects of the project, a key issue also discussed in our latest Plenary Meeting. Take a look at the review meeting minutes on Sharepoint.

During the last 12 months we’ve come together twice in person as a project. Our 4th and 5th Plenary Meetings took place in the cities of Dresden, Germany in October 2022 and Lleida, Spain in March 2023, respectively. The meetings gathered our project partners to exchange information on their progress and discuss future activities. The collaboration between the 38 participating institutions has been excellent and we’re looking forward to the two remaining years of our project to work together to reach our goals.

Read more about the plenary meetings in Dresden here and Lleida here.

Learning from our experts

2023 began with two training events, one on the new FirEUrisk fuel classification system and other on Wildland-Urban Areas

In the first event, Elena Aragoneses from the University of Alcalá, Spain, presented the project’s new fuel classification system, an important milestone of the project towards the design of integrated fire risk management strategies. She gave a broad explanation of the development of the system and its use, along with the related European fuel map that gives a picture of the complex scenario of the continent. A research paper on the system has been published recently and is available here.

For the second event, Professor Avi Bar-Massada from the University of Haifa, Israel, gave a training on the Wildland Urban Areas and how to identify and locate these areas with different mapping approaches. He provided the participants with the knowledge to choose the best strategies to create WUI maps for their regions of interest.

Our partners from the Institute of International Sociology of Gorizia in Italy coordinated the extremely popular webinars, both attracting hundreds of participants. If you missed the training events, you can access the recordings and the training materials on the FirEUrisk website here.

Spreading knowledge through papers and webinars

Discover dissemination activities and publications from the past year

In addition to the training events, we’ve shared our scientific advances with different audiences in research papers as well as various webinars. In this article, published in Environmental Sciences Proceedings, we describe our holistic approach to improve wildfire risk management in Europe. Another paper focusing on vegetation mapping, published in the journal Remote Sensing, can be accessed here. All scientific publications from the project should be uploaded on Sharepoint – don’t forget to include your papers!

We’ve also actively been collaborating with Firelogue and various Green Deal projects working on wildfire risk management, to enhance the spreading of information regarding the topic and exchange valuable knowhow between projects. From the dissemination point of view, FirEUrisk is part of the EUFireProjectsUnited initiative, bringing together communication experts from the participating projects. So far joint communication materials, from a presentation video to a common newsletter and social media campaigns, have been produced. We’ve also participated in the organisation of a dissemination workshop in January, in which the projects presented their work and answered questions proposed by the participants of the event.

And, to top the list with our own activities, we’ve carried out four webinars that addressed wildfire risk, from land management strategies to the Spanish and Greek experience on wildfire risk management. You can find these and all past webinars on our website under the Events page. We can’t wait to continue bringing top experts from across Europe and beyond to speak about their work on managing wildfire risk!

FirEUrisk in the public eye

A great year in terms of press appearances

FirEUrisk has appeared in several Spanish media, but also in French, Portuguese and German digital portals. These media hits are mostly in relation to the wildfires experienced across Europe, which our researchers have been asked to comment across the continent.

Our scientific coordinator, Emilio Chuvieco, offered an interview for the Spanish newspaper El País on the occasion of the premature wildfires in Spain; and a radio interview in a Spanish radio show that you can listen to here (from minute 17:20 onwards).

You can access the articles on our website under the Pressbook section. If you are in touch with journalists in your home country or abroad, don’t forget to provide them with the FirEUrisk press kit, with ready-to-use video material and a factsheet of the project!

If our project gets covered in the media in your country or you are interviewed, let us know so that we can report all these hits as part of FirEUrisk’s communication milestones!

Recognitions for FirEUrisk researchers

Two important awards were given to our coordinators

We are thrilled that our project coordinator, Professor Domingos Xavier Viegas, and scientific coordinator, Professor Emilio Chuvieco, have been recently honoured with significant awards for their remarkable contributions to environmental research throughout their careers.

Last November, Professor Viegas was handed the Ember Award at the IX International Conference on Forest Fire Research, making him the first European to receive the prize.

Professor Chuvieco was awarded the Spanish King James I Award in the Environmental Protection category for his “application of geography to the analysis of the complex problems that relate to the environment and human development”.

At FirEUrisk we congratulate both professors and feel privileged to count with the expertise of these recognised researchers. Read more about the awards on a blog article published on the project website here.

Get the project messages across with these materials

Useful resources for dissemination

Are you planning on presenting or talking about FirEUrisk to external stakeholders? Take a look at the project’s available communication resources, tailored to help you reach different audiences and share information about FirEUrisk understandably and in a visually appealing way.

Motion graphic animation – a 2 minute video explaining the project to a wide audience

Infographic – a simplified view of the project’s approach

Brochure – for anyone to understand the project at a glance

Catch up with our latest blogs

Don’t worry if you missed any of them

Have you read the project blog? We publish articles regarding the different pillars of FirEUrisk and information regarding topics related to the project. During the past years we have written the following texts, among others:

If you’d like for your work in FirEUrisk to be featured or have another idea for a blog article related to the project, please drop us a line and we’ll get in touch to discuss it!