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Universidade de Coimbra (2020)

TRANSITION FROM WILDFIRE TO MEGA-FIRE. EXPLANATORY VULNERABILITIES FOR THE CASE OF CONTINENTAL PORTUGAL

Neves, Carlos Filipe De Jesus

Titre : TRANSITION FROM WILDFIRE TO MEGA-FIRE. EXPLANATORY VULNERABILITIES FOR THE CASE OF CONTINENTAL PORTUGAL

TRANSIÇÃO DE INCÊNDIOS FLORESTAIS PARA MEGA-INCÊNDIOS. VULNERABILIDADES EXPLICATIVAS PARA O CASO DE PORTUGAL CONTINENTAL

Auteur : Neves, Carlos Filipe De Jesus

Université de soutenance : Universidade de Coimbra

Grade : Mestrado em Dinâmicas Sociais, Riscos Naturais e Tecnológicos 2020

Résumé
Mega-fires (MF) are a problem that is increasing in frequency and extension in the national territory. Due to their magnitude, these events are so complex and destructive that it is essential to treat them differently from other fires. The high impacts they have are unprecedented in the costs of extinction, damage to properties, and natural resources, as well as the loss of lives.Despite investments in new technologies and human resources and materials for prevention and combat, they are powerless in the face of fires of this magnitude, a fact demonstrated by the analysis of post-event reports and commissions. Most of these reports point to initial deficit responses to fires that evolve into MF. On the other hand, some reports or studies justify the increase in the number of MF with climate change, mainly due to prolonged droughts and rising temperatures and the abandonment of forest and rural spaces. The lack of maintenance of these spaces provides forests with a high biomass index and extensive fuel accumulation areas. At the operational level, complaints show above all the abandonment of rural or agricultural spaces in areas with an urban-forest interface, with accumulated fuels hindering fire-extinguishing manoeuvres.In Portugal, the answer is guaranteed by institutions and organizations in the public and private sectors. To ensure institutional coordination, regulation, articulation, and optimization of their operational performance, the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC) annually publishes an operational directive that assigns a legal provision to the Special Rural Fire Fighting Device (DECIDE). This working group is supported mainly by firefighters with voluntary bonds who, despite receiving compensation, only participate in the device according to their availability. However, as is supported by the survey carried out for this work, the organizations’ command boards to which they belong show a concern motivated by the reduction in the number of candidates for firefighters and a shortage of personnel for the formation of firefighting teams. Concerning the governance model imposed for forest fires by DECIR, the survey carried out shows that most commanders demonstrate disagreement with this model.This work explores the MF phenomenon through an operational prism and what is the initial response. It attempts to concentrate and analyse the triggering factors and the conditioning factors that may have been in MF scenario with high socioeconomic and environmental impact.To carry out this work, in addition to the author’s professional experience, several academic documents, scientific articles, legislation, and reports of fires occurred in Portugal were read and analysed, where the burnt areas were over 10,000 hectares

Mots clés  : Mega-incêndios ; Grandes incêndios florestais ; Meteorologia ; Mega-fires ; Large forest fires ; Meteorology

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Page publiée le 22 mars 2021