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Brussels, October 5, 2000
Media briefing announcement
Researching forest fires
Press day on forest fires, HyŤres, France, 24 October 2000
EU forest fire research: how to predict and fight fires better
Keywords: EU research, forest fires, fire fighting, simulations, risk assessment, risk reduction
During summer this year, Europe and the United States have been victims of devastating forest fires. Thousands of hectares of forests and hundreds of human dwellings have been destroyed, an uncounted number of animals and dozens of human beings were killed. Bearing in mind that forest fires affect more than one country in Europe, the European Commission is actively supporting research work of several teams from different Member States. The aim of this research is to contribute to better preventing and combating forest fires and reducing their impact. On 24 October 2000, results and achievements of forest fire research will be presented to the media in the presence of Commissioner Busquin by some of Europe's best research teams from these countries that are particularly concerned by forest fires. The event will include live demonstrations of the latest simulation techniques and suppression strategies.
Every day, somewhere in Europe there is a fire in a forest . Every year, some 45 000 forest fires break out in Europe, destroying half a million hectares of land; the cost of these destructions sum up to several billion Euros. Forest fires are increasing in frequency, and are usually manmade, although there are some indications of their possible link to changing climatic conditions. Forest fires are complicated. The aim of the research is to promote the development of improved methodologies and tools for forest fire risk assessment, management, reduction, suppression and disaster preparedness. The understanding of forest fires, how they develop, how they propagate, and how they may impact on our environment, is vital information for decision-makers and fire fighters in their pursuit of managing and combating fires effectively. "There are no miracle solutions to natural disasters. However, it is possible to make significant progress in the mitigation of the effects. It is particularly important to bring scientists and civil protection authorities closer together. The research funded by the EU provides a solid scientific and technical basis for defining regulations, for developping disaster prediction procedures, and for managing crises caused by disasters, " explains Commissioner Busquin. The preliminary programme of the forest fire simulation press day is attached. Registering for the briefing For security reasons as well as space limitations, if you would like to attend this briefing, you must register in advance. To register, and for practical information regarding the briefing, please contact the person mentioned below.
For registration and further information, please contact:
Ms Piia Huusela, Press Officer, Research DG
Tel: + 32 2 299 21 38, Fax: + 32 2 295 82 20
For project-related information, please contact:
Ms Karen Fabbri, Scientific officer, Research DG
Fax: + 32 2 296 30 24
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Press Briefing on Forest Fire Research
24 October 2000, HyŤres, CEREN (FR)
Draft agenda 9.00 Arrival and Introduction 09.30 Press Briefing 11.00 Visit to the stands 11.30 Commissioner's Address 11.45 Coffee Break 12.00 Departure for "Pompiers du Var" 12.30 Buffet Lunch and demonstrations 15.00 Departure for Marignane (plane/bus) 16.00 Arrival at CEREN: demonstrations 18.30 End of media day
PRESS RELEASES | 05.10.2000