7 May 2024

Future wildfire risks in northern Europe

The North European Pilot Site Demonstration Event of the FirEUrisk project was held online and partly in person from Stockholm on May 7th, 2024. It focused on future risk in northern Europe, a region with a long history of fires followed by more than a century of lower fire activity. However, changes in climate, land use, and demographics have again exposed the wildfire hazard, as well as its importance for the ecology of the boreal forests.

The event was attended by 72 attendees from 14 countries and 14 continents. From Sweden, the event was attended by civil protection authorities, representatives from forestry and agriculture, fire and rescue services, researchers, and meteorologists.

The research, which produced knowledge summaries, tools for future projections, and map services (collectively referred to as “products“), was presented with a focus on anticipated challenges and potential mitigation actions.

The products were evaluated both through predefined online Mentimeter questions during the event as well as through in-depth evaluations a few weeks after the event with four selected individual end-users. Most products were well received and useful in different aspects of North European risk management. End-users considered it essential for tool-based products to have a clear focus on user-friendliness. Additionally, products aimed at enhancing knowledge and awareness should be published in brief notes using non-scientific language to increase accessibility and uptake.

“Another important aspect from the evaluation was that end-users asked for a strong connection to current landscape management and forestry practices”, says Johan Sjöström from RISE, which moderated the event. This will be the focus of the project’s dissemination towards North Europe during the remaining of the project.

Overview of the presentations during the event:

Integrated wildfire risk Emilio Chuvieco, University of Alcalá
Review of past European fire seasons Miguel Almeida, University of Coimbra – ADAI
Modern fire regime in Sweden Johan Sjöström, RISE
Structure damages from wildfires in North Europe Frida Vermina Plathner, RISE
Fires in humid temperate regions Tadas Nikonovas, Swansea University
Grassland fire danger Johan Sjöström, RISE
The Wildland Urban Interface in Kalmar County Avi Bar-Massada, University of Haifa
Expected future Forest Fire Danger in Sweden – Its relevance for fire occurrence Jessica Hetzer, Senckenberg Research Institute
A shiny app for forest fire danger projections Jessica Hetzer, Senckenberg Research Institute
Future fire regimes under climate and land-use change

Kirsten Thonicke / Alex Neidermeier

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research / Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Emissions from Wildfires – Example from Sweden

Tobias Oswald, University of Aveiro


Intermittent behaviour of mega fires Carlos Ribeiro, University of Coimbra – ADAI


You can watch the recording of the demonstration event below: