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Extreme weather conditions (long dry spells, strong wind) and fuel-rich rural landscapes represent ideal conditions for wildfires to spin out of control.

Fire management organizations are increasingly confronting with extreme wildfire events, characterized by fire-line intensities well exceeding the possibilities of fire suppression by ground means. It is when a forest fire gets too big for a country to extinguish on its own, that the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) can be activated to provide a coordinated, rapid and effective international response, through a direct link with national civil protection authorities. Between 2007 and 2018, some 30% of all requests for assistance through the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism were in response to forest fires.

Fuel management can contain the risk of fires developing into large and uncontrollable events, by controlling some factors that affects the dimensions of the forest fire (fuel load and type, fuel spatial pattern and continuity).

PREVAIL (PREVention Action Increases Large fire response preparedness) aims at demonstrating that the close link between fuel management, preparedness and response to fire is more than a mantra. PREVAIL key concept is that fire prevention can make large fire suppression more effective and less costly. Building on state-of-the-art technology to simulate the effect of fuel treatments on fire development and by setting up a web-facility for experience sharing of fire “smart” land management solutions, PREVAIL project pools resources and competences to improve effectiveness in fire management, in terms of cost optimization and large fire risk reduction.