RISICO system in Lebanon: a useful tool against wild fire
Since summer 2011, CIMA Research Foundation - on behalf of the Italian Civil Protection Department - in partnership with the Association for Forests, Development and Conservation (AFDC â€“ Lebanoon), the Lebanese Agricultural Research lnstitute (LARI ) and the national park Shouf Cedar Reserve have implemented RISICO system at the Lebanese Civil Defense headquarters. Such activity fell within the project "Strengthening the National framework to mitigate rural-forest fire riskâ€ť (AID 9287), funded by Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Italian Cooperation.
RISICO system aims at the prediction and prevention of forest fires, providing potential fire risk bulletins on a daily basis; it has so far demonstrated a high degree of reliability, identifying high-risk situations during the risk season. The system introduces a new concept of managing fire risk, shifting the paradigm of response/reaction to one of prediction and prevention.
In order to put in practice RISICOâ€™s predictions, protocols and procedures were previously tested and adopted in pilot areas of the country.
Recently, at CIMA Research Foundation we had some great feedback on RISICO-Lebanon, as reported by Nizar Hani, Scientific Coordinator at Al Shouf Cedar Biosphere Reserve (one of the test areas). Such results confirm the effectiveness of a reaction system based on a predictive approach, really strengthening the National Framework to Mitigate Rural-Forest Fire Risk and thus, giving at CIMA Research Foundation team, more reasons to keep researching and developing tools aimed at strengthening civil protection systems.
Dear Paolo and everyone
Really the RISICO is a very helpful tool just in this email I will report how is the RISICO is helping the Reserve to prevent the forest fires:
1) On the 2nd of June a fire started in the village of Botmeh (pinus brutia forest), 7 civil defence trucks, 2 small truck for the Reserve and one for AFDC participated in addition to the Helicopter. The fire stopped after 5-6 hours with a loss of 2-3 hectares of pine forests, RISICO marked MH on Botmeh in that day, the reason of that fire was land cleaning, a farmer started a fire to clean / clear his forest (attached);
2) Since the 2nd of June we started to announce the risk of fire on our facebook page on regular basis for the reserve visitors and the local communities: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3727451236906&;;set=o.21885773612&type=1&theater
3) On Tuesday 12 of June we sent sms (attached) to all forest fire partners (municipalities, civil defence local centers, interior police, volunteers, key persons in the villages, etc) the text of the sms â€ś Please attention of forest fires in the next two days, medium risk from the Chouf Side and High risk from the Bekaa Sideâ€ť (attached);
4) On June 15th and 16th, the risk was E (extreme) and really it was hot, no humidity, with hot wind so then we announced that on our facebook page and asked everyone to share that to be spread to everyone in the surrounding area of the RESERVE, also we send an announcement to the villages to be announced on the microphones â€“ Haut-Parleur and installed on the public board at the villages the text of the announcement is after a short introduction about the accuracy of the RISICO â€ś the RISCO system for forest fires in Lebanon / Reserve indicates an extreme risk of forest fires in this week, so it is not allowed to have any kind of fires for any reasonâ€ť;
Before the RISICO we were sending such announcements to the villages once per season, including general prevention activities and not accurate mainly according to the time, in my opinion the RISICO is a very useful tool should work more on its sustainability and visibility, the reports should be send to all municipalities and stakeholders everywhere in Lebanon, also in the high season should be announced on TVs at least one channel after the Meteo news at least the map of Lebanon showing the high risk regions.
Sorry for this long email and donâ€™t hesitate to contact me for further details.