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Advancing New Methods for Creating Fire-Resilient Communities in Mediterranean Areas †

Fermín Alcasena
Marcos Rodrigues
Pere Gelabert
1 and
Cristina Vega-García
Department of Agricultural and Forest Engineering, University of Lleida, Alcalde Rovira Roure 191, 25198 Lleida, Spain
Department of Geography and Land Management, University of Zaragoza, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the Third International Conference on Fire Behavior and Risk, Sardinia, Italy, 3–6 May 2022.
Environ. Sci. Proc. 2022, 17(1), 70;
Published: 15 August 2022
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The Third International Conference on Fire Behavior and Risk)


As large fires threaten human assets in Mediterranean areas, creating fire-adapted communities became a core long-term goal to cope with extreme wildfires. In addition to early detection and risk-monitoring tools, preemptive efforts are essential to reduce wildfire spread, prevent catastrophic losses, and help minimize casualties. However, despite extensive scientific development to predict potential fire impacts, the poor risk communication with landscape and urban planners is often a barrier to translating primary outcomes into operational projects. Comprehensive solutions for creating fire-adapted communities indeed require not only fuel reduction treatments but also civil protection and fire suppression considerations to facilitate a safe and effective response. In this study, we assembled modeled fire footprints and fire intensity grids with asset locations to generate a set of risk mitigation maps in a large fire-prone Mediterranean area. Previous modeling works showed strong capabilities for predicting future catastrophic fires, as well as containment probabilities, but the integration of landscape-scale management efforts, community protection plans, and strategic fire suppression opportunities is still incipient. First, we used observed ignitions and past fire perimeters to model initial attack success and containment probability. We then calibrated and implemented a fire modeling approach to replicate thousands of years or iterations assuming wildfire season extreme weather conditions. Finally, the results were merged and summarized to provide a set of maps to inform large-scale ongoing risk reduction programs. We present new ideas and geospatial data processing techniques that may facilitate the assimilation of modeled predictions within fire management plans to adapt faster to changing fire regimes. The methods developed in this study could be replicated in southern European Union countries and other wildland–urban interface areas elsewhere.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, F.A.; methodology, F.A.; validation, F.A.; formal analysis, M.R. and F.A.; investigation, F.A. and M.R.; resources, C.V.-G.; data curation, M.R. and P.G.; writing—original draft preparation, F.A.; writing—review and editing, F.A., M.R., P.G. and C.V.-G.; visualization, F.A. and P.G.; supervision, C.V.-G.; project administration, C.V.-G.; funding acquisition, C.V.-G. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research was funded by a “María Zambrano Grant for the Requalification of the Spanish University System call 2021–2023 (RD 289/2021) and part of the Next Generation EU European Recovery Plan” postdoc granted to F.A., the FirEUrisk project (EU H2020 Program, Grant agreement ID: 101003890) and the Life CLIMARK project (Reference: LIFE16 CCM/ES/000065).

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

Not applicable.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Alcasena, F.; Rodrigues, M.; Gelabert, P.; Vega-García, C. Advancing New Methods for Creating Fire-Resilient Communities in Mediterranean Areas. Environ. Sci. Proc. 2022, 17, 70.

AMA Style

Alcasena F, Rodrigues M, Gelabert P, Vega-García C. Advancing New Methods for Creating Fire-Resilient Communities in Mediterranean Areas. Environmental Sciences Proceedings. 2022; 17(1):70.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Alcasena, Fermín, Marcos Rodrigues, Pere Gelabert, and Cristina Vega-García. 2022. "Advancing New Methods for Creating Fire-Resilient Communities in Mediterranean Areas" Environmental Sciences Proceedings 17, no. 1: 70.

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