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COORDINATION: Hermínio Botelho (UTAD).

CEABN TEAM: Francisco Castro Rego, Francisco Moreira e Ana Delgado, Israel Silva e Marina Pité.

OTHER INSTITUTIONS: Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Institut national de la Recherche Agronomique, Xunta de Galicia, Consejeria Agricultura, Ganaderia y Montes, Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária, Universidad de Lleida, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Universita degli della Basilicata - Facolta di Agraria, Agricultural University of Athens, Espaces Méditerranéens.

The global objective of this European project was to improve the prescribed burning decision making process, creating the operational basis that will support an extensive use of the technique in the future. The project aimed to collect and organise the available information on the ecological and operational issues of prescribed fire and to fulfil two types of knowledge gaps:

  • replacement of qualitative by quantitative knowledge in the planning and evaluation of a burn.
  • assessment of prescribed fire environmental effects at the management scale (on soil, biodiversity and landscape structure).

Efficient and safe use of prescribed fire requires assistance to the manager. That was why the corollary of the project was the development of aiding tools:

  • a field guide for prescribed burning concerning the information that an experienced manager must appraise and estimate to define a burning prescription and carry the burn to accomplish a predetermined objective.
  • a training and decision support system, that is to say a group of integrated software tools concerning the global process of planning, performing and evaluating prescribed fire.

Finally, as a natural outcome of the previous goals, the project intended to improve the process of knowledge transfer and contribute to prescribed burning diffusion and training by means of:

  • a progressive system validation.
  • a progressive deliverance of functional releases to the users.
  • the creation of a web site.