Field Trip Organization


The ICOPFIRES fieldtrip will be a Prescribed Fire executed by the GRAF Team (Catalonia Fire Department, Bombers de la Generalitat de Catalunya) at the Collserola Natural Park.

The plot selected is Can Baró at the Coll del Portell (Sant Pere Màrtir), just 10 away from the Barcelona urban area, with great views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea.


During the fieldtrip

The fieldtrip will be divided into several workshops, each one led by technicians of the GRAF Team, Collserola Natural Park, University of Barcelona and Pau Costa Foundation.

The participants will be divided in small groups to attend the different workshops. During the sessions, a short talk about the topics will be given by the organizing staff, but most of the time will be dedicated to open debates among the participants.


The plot is located 40 minutes away from the city center. The attendees will take the bus opposite the conference venue, in Plaça Universitat (map), at 9:00 AM.

Overall the duration of the fieldtrip will be between 9:00 and 15:00 approx.: including departure and return to Barcelona city center.

A lunch bag will be provided to the attendees during the fieldtrip.

Workshops topics

  • Prescribed fire objectives and organization
    • What are the objectives of this prescribed fire?
    • Prescribed fires in Catalonia Fire Department, positions, organization, figures, etc.
    • Legislation
    • Prescribed fire as a forest management tool to prevent wildfires.
    • Prescribed fire as a training tool.
  • Fire regimes and fire ecology of Collserola Natural Park
    • The singularity of Collserola, a natural park at the backyard of Barcelona.
    • The natural fire regimes in Collserola Natural Park
    • Man-made fire regimes
  • Post-prescribed fire effects
    • Effects on soil physical properties
    • Effects on soil hydrology
    • Effects on soil chemical properties
    • Effects on fauna and vegetation
  • Human dimension and societal acceptance
    • The human vision of fire and prescribed fires in Catalonia and Spain.

Practical Recommendations

We recommend wearing boots and comfortable gear: expect short-distance walks through the forest and over burnt areas.

More information about the weather forecast will be provided right before the conference week, however it is recommended wearing a hat and windproof gear. The plot is in an exposed area to sun and sea breeze.

Attendees will NOT BE ABLE to access the burning area during the prescribed fire, therefore PPE is NOT required.

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Prescribed Fire Program from the Catalan Fire Service



A prescribed burn is a controlled fire treatment applied to plant species. Under a set of given topographical, meteorological and fuel conditions a prescribed burn can have results comparable to forestry treatments, that helps to prevent forest fires and enables the regeneration of certain plant species or pastures.

After a period of large forest fires in the Catalan region, during the 80s and 90s, the cos de Bombers de la Generalitat de Catalunya adapted its internal structure, getting more resources and personnel to be better prepared to face new types of large wildfire emergencies. The management of such emergencies had a larger risk and required understanding large wildfires as complex emergencies. This new approach implied focusing on wildfire prevention tasks, through forestry management and improving the knowledge on wildfire behaviour.

Besides the new knowledge gained, the technical capacity of the staff working on operations was also improved. The larger experience allowed the crews to developing combined manual, water and fire operations. In conjunction, a legal framework for use of tactical fire was also developed.

The use of fire as a suppression operation has been developed trained through the Prescribed Burning Plan from Bombers. This plan has been a fundamental support for training Bombers staff and also other suppression services across Europe. Moreover, prescribed burning as a prevention technique and the associated wildfire research has been a way to participate in forestry management and regional landscape planning. Overall, contributing to develop forest structures more resistant to the spread of high-intensity wildfires.

Complete information about prescribed fires in Catalonia:

Geographic information of prescribed fire from the Catalan Fire Service in 1998-2015 period

Catalan Fire Service prescribed fires webpage:



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Collserola Natural Park


The magnificent Serra de Collserola massif rises up over Barcelona Metropolitan Area, almost touching the city, a much-loved and immensely valuable natural area and great privilege for the huge population that lives around these mountains to enjoy. Collserola is a well-preserved, 8.000-hectare natural area in which forest predominates but which also includes a variety of other plant formations that provide a habitat for valuable biological diversity.


Collserola is also a place for discovery and learning, a place for meeting and for leisure. All this means that the final goal of the Park Consortium’s management policy is to promote environmentally-friendly and sustainable use of the reserve whilst also conserving the natural heritage it contains.


Since 1987, Collserola has been managed under a special protection plan, and the environmental objectives and concerns behind this plan were recently reinforced when the area was given the status of a Natural Park.



More information:

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