AFAN, fire analysts on the spotlight

AFAN started in January 2021 and ended in June 2022. During these 18 months, it sought to empower and consolidate the existing networks of fire analysts, wildfire practitioners specialised in Fire Analysis and Assessment across Europe. This is a discipline that gathers knowledge on wildfire behaviour and the uncertainties associated with wildfires. It also feeds it into the strategic decision-making that takes place during all phases of wildfire risk management, from risk prevention to recovery of burnt areas.  

Six organisations formed the AFAN consortium: Pau Costa Foundation (PCF) as coordinator, Catalan Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS), Dimensione Ricerca Ecologia Ambiente (D.R.E.A.M.), Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Officiers de Sapeurs-Pompiers (ENSOSP), Entente pour la Foret Mediterraneenne, and South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.  

“AFAN was a very important project for us (PCF). When we realised the funding call was about supporting networks and communities, we found that it totally aligned with the mission and vision of the Foundation. So, we immediately decided that we had to put together a consortium on a network of fire practitioners in Fire Analysis, which is a specific set of skills that some experts on wildfire management have”, says Núria Prat-Guitart, coordinator of the project.  

One of the outcomes of the project was the development of a common European framework that facilitates the implementation of harmonised methodologies in Fire Analysis and Assessment, including those needed for assessing fire remotely and giving assistance in the event of complex wildfires.  To achieve this, AFAN identified the competencies and skills that are key for Fire Analysts in Europe.  

“During the project, the team was able to support the existing networks by organising the knowledge that was already available, and putting together some materials that were already there, in the minds of some fire analysts. Furthermore, we capitalised and produced some documents that hopefully are now useful for the fire community and will continue being useful for a long time”, states the Project Coordinator.  

AFAN’s work materialised into a toolkit for wildfire managers and anyone interested. The toolkit is freely available on the project´s website. It includes a series of guidelines, reports, relevant articles translated to different languages and webinars. In particular, the guidelines are: of fire analyst competencies and skills; on the use of tools, science and best practices for fire analysis; and for remote assessment units

“Anyone interested in fire management, response, and planning can check the AFAN resources and be able to use them as a guideline, reference point, or starting point for future improvements. It’s a base of knowledge already there, so it helps impact wildfire management, hopefully, all over Europe, and perhaps in other regions too”, comments Núria. 

Altogether 65 people actively contributed to create all these resources. They are from 13 European countries and 37 institutions. These include 12 fire management, two non-profit, four training, three forestry, two civil protection, one research and two private organisations, 9 governmental institutions, and one university. 

AFAN will be presented in the Wildfire Risk Management (WFRM) Project Clustering Event organized on 22 Nov 2023 in Brussels by DG ECHO and REA (see save-the-date information

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *