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 European Union funded project under the Horizon 2020 programme 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 going to create an open and integrated platform featuring a forest fire Decision Support System. The platform will use information from different sources: earth observations from Copernicus and GEOSS, fire sensors in forests, topographic data, weather forecasts and even crowdsourced data from social media and other apps that can be used by citizens and first responders to provide situational in-field information.

Such Big Data will be processed using Artificial Intelligence algorithms to generate useful information: risk maps to better plan preparedness actions, early detection of active fires, fire propagation predictions, burned area and fire front delineation, impact assessment estimations, and habitat recovery maps. Moreover, the SAFERS Decision Support System will suggest best practices according to the emergency phase (prevention and preparedness, detection and response, restoration and adaptation) and to the current situation using a semantic knowledge base. 

SAFERS project officially started in October 2020 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.

 

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