Innovative and sustainable use of stream water to suppress fires in protected areas: overview of the streams-2-suppress-fires project
YazarZaimes, George N.
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Establishing protected areas to maintain biodiversity is a priority worldwide. Protected areas can have minimal management practices that can lead to the intensive accumulation of fire fuel. Fires are major threats for all protected areas that cause irreversible damages to them or impacts that last for decades or even centuries. The impending climate change impacts will increase the potential of large fires even in regions with minimal fires in the past. The emphasis of this project is in the Black Sea region with six pilot areas in six different countries. The first action involves the establishment of a Neighborhood Network regarding fire suppression around the region. The network includes institutions that are responsible for mitigating forest fires and managing protected areas from the Black Sea region. Another important action taken is to understand the fire behavior and locating the areas with the greatest fire risk. When considering fire suppression it is essential to know the available water resources (stream water). Since fires occur during the summer, the runoff and stream flow during this period needs to be accurately predicted. Based on the fire behavior and water resources data, the number, dimensions of the reservoirs required to suppress forest fires will be estimated for the pilot areas. Finally, specialized software will provide the optimal locations of the reservoirs and the best routes for the fire vehicles to reach the reservoirs. Overall the use of innovative mechanisms will lead to the more cost-effective management that will allow the sustainable development and protection of natural protected areas.