Fire-Smart Territories: a proof of concept based on Mosaico approach

Fernando Pulido, Javier Corbacho,Manuel Bertomeu, Álvaro Gómez,Nuno Guiomar,Enrique Juárez, Beatriz Lucas,Gerardo Moreno, Javier Navalpotro, Gonzalo Palomo


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Context Here we develop a practical framework ( Mosaico ) and report a real-world example of early implementation of a Fire-Smart Territory (FST) in Sierra de Gata-Las Hurdes region of central Spain. Objectives We aimed to assess the impact of landscape changes induced by Local Land Managers (LLM; indirect prevention) on simulated fire spread under different governance scenarios developed in 2016–2021. Methods Following a participatory process in the region, we received 250 proposals for intervention (49.6% from agriculturalists, 22.8% from forest producers-mainly resin tappers-, and 27.6% from shepherds). From the 94 (37.6%) proposals implemented by the end of the study, we quantified changes in fuel models over the whole territory (Scenario 1, S1). Then, we simulated fires in 20 ignition points to estimate area burned in S1 and three other governance scenarios. Results To date, the sole intervention of LLMs results in a low to moderate impact (current mean 10.5; median 1.8), which can be explained by the high frequency of small-scale interventions (agriculture) and the comparatively modest impact on fuel reduction of large-scale interventions (livestock grazing). A combination of LLM and public actions is needed to reach a more substantial reduction of burned area (S2-S3, mean % impact 14.1–18.9; median 6.9–10.8). Relaxing legal/administrative constraints to allow large private intervention would result in the greatest attainable impact on burned area (S4, mean 25.0; median 17.8). Adaptive management of Mosaico approach must be focussed on improving LLM capacity to modify larger portions of the territory and prioritizing critical areas such as fire propagation nodes.
Fire-smart solutions,Fire-resilient territory,Indirect prevention,Landscape mosaic,Megafires,Resilient landscape
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