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Project for efficient forest fire management comes to an end

The project FIRE-ENGINE, developed by INESC TEC’s Centre for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE), has come to an end with a public presentation of results at the Biblioteca Municipal de Valongo, on 6 May. The event was attended by the INESC TEC researchers who participated in project FIRE-ENGINE, João Claro and Abílio Pereira Pacheco.

The problems addressed by this project have to do with the performance of forest fire management, an issue that has been affecting Portugal immensely. “There are different challenges to managing fires in Portugal because regions are very different”, João Claro explained in an interview with Lusa, which covered the public presentation of the project. The studies conducted as part of the project show that a more effective management of fires in Portugal depends on a policy of combining and coordinating forest fire prevention and fighting.

The project, developed with MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), as part of the MIT Portugal Program and funded by the FCT (Portuguese funding agency) and co-funded  by the Portucel Soporcel Group, brought an integrated vision to forest fire management in Portugal.

This project originated different guidelines and tools to help improve the performance of the forest fire management system, which cover forest fighting and management in a cohesive and integrated way. As part of the project, a pioneering tool was developed to minimise the risk of forest fires.

The presentation of the results included a workshop with technical presentations for a specialised audience, and a meeting with the representatives committee. The goal with the meeting was to plan knowledge transfer actions and to promote the use of the tools  developed as part of the project. João Claro hopes that these tools will be used in the future by the Civil Protection Service or the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests, as well as by the technical offices of the municipalities, in collaboration with forest owners associations.

The FIRE-ENGINE team will now organise a presentation for the general public in September/October of this year.

The INESC TEC researchers mentioned in this article are associated with the following partner institutions: UP-FEUP and INESC TEC.

Photo credits: Flickr

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