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Fire is a natural process and as such, humans have been living with fire for a long time. However, recent wildfires in the traditionally fire prone areas of Southern Europe have shown that fire behaviour has changed beyond what is currently understood. This shows the need for a better approach to prevention and adaptation. In Northwest Europe, traditionally seen as less fire prone, people on the ground are seeing the increased dangers of fire to their communities; yet awareness of their institutions and populations is low.
Hence, there is a strong need for thinking beyond the current paradigms of dealing with fire only when it occurs. The challenges are amongst others to predict the future behaviour of fire in a changed climate, and to assess its consequence for fire management. And to develop ways with which Europe can learn to adapt to fire. Since local knowledge about living with fire has been around at least as long as the age of our oldest stories, countries worldwide have different strengths, and other scientific disciplines have already developed similar concepts, we can prevent re-inventing the wheel while implementing Integrated Fire Management.
The goal of this symposium therefore is to create new international links across scientific fields and disciplines, in order to get a better view on what Integrated Fire Management across Europe should look like. While this symposium is the scientific start of the Pyrolife ITN training network, researchers and interested parties from other institutes are warmly invited to join this meeting, so allow for more connections to be made.