Forest fires are exacerbated by extreme weather conditions, which are increasing both in frequency and in magnitude due to climate change. Globally, massive fires have swept through forests and other landscapes in an alarming rate, resulting in the loss of human lives, destruction of homes and biodiversity, and emitting millions of tons of CO2 and other pollutants in addition to various destructive impacts. Therefore, the need of effective management of forest fire emergencies has become very crucial.
To respond to this global challenge, the project SAFERS ‘Structured Approaches for Forest fire Emergencies in Resilient Societies’ is in a mission to support societies becoming more resilient across the key phases of the forests fires emergency management cycle. SAFERS is an Innovation Action project funded by the EU under H2020 programme (topic: SC5-16-2019 - Development of commercial activities and services through the use of GEOSS and Copernicus data) for a period of 3 years (2020-2023) and with a budget of 3.25 million euros. It is coordinated by LINKS foundation and brings together 14 partners coming from 7 European countries: Italy, Greece, Finland, Germany, United Kingdom, France and Spain.
SAFERS will realise a comprehensive Emergency Management System (EMS) which will act along the key phases of the emergency management cycle: a big data information system integrating Earth Observation data and services offered by the EU Copernicus programme and GEOSS, crowdsourced data from social media and from other applications used by citizens as well as emergency staff and real- time data provided by accurate sensors to detect smoke or fires. Advanced algorithm based on Artificial Intelligence will be used to generate risk maps and early warnings in the preparedness phase, it will also be used to estimate the forest fire extension and its propagation in function of the forecasted weather and soil conditions in the response phase, compute the impacts of an extinguished fire in terms of economic losses and monitor the soil recovery in the post-event phase. The project will gather all these data and services in one open platform designed for forest fire management and demonstrated in 4 pilots in Italy, France, Spain and Greece to validate SAFERS services.
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 869353.