Towards a systemic approach to fire risk management

TitleTowards a systemic approach to fire risk management
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsBacciu, V, Sirca, C, Spano, D
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Date Published12/2021
KeywordsAdaptive management and governance, climate change, fire risk, Pandemic, Paradigm shift, Systemic management, technical reports and journal articles

Fire risk management is at a crossroads. The last three fire seasons worldwide, dotted by extreme fire behavior and “megafire” events, highlighted the need for a shifting mentality towards a novel and integrated fire management framework, flexible, adaptive, and responsive to the changing environmental and societal conditions. In this context, the pandemic outbreak added other elements of concern due to its impacts on fire management. The health crisis shined also a spotlight on the government’s capacity to manage interconnected risks and anticipatory risk management and the urgent need to change the dominating paradigm in fire policy and management. Based on the review of several proposed approaches framing the impelling fire management perspectives, from the socio-ecological systems to the fire resilience concepts, here we provide a new “systemic fire management framework”. The approach integrates the multiple perspectives in fire management (multi-level, multi-actor, cross-sectoral and multi-purpose) in four pillars: (i) disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation connection; (ii) community engagement support; (iii) adaptive management towards system resilience; (iv) and adaptive governance. The approach aims to contribute to go beyond the short term and sectoral governance toward a more sustainable long term perspective, promoting a multifunctional, fire-resistant, and resilient mosaic landscape based on sustainable development processes.