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According to the fourth edition of the Frontiers Report, from the United Nations Environment Programme V (UNEP), between 2002 and 2016. around 423 million hectares burned in the world every yearThis is approximately the same area as half of the United States, the entire European Union or eight times the size of Spain.

The challenge facing governments and institutions around the world is enormous. The devastation of thousands of hectares by the fires that occur year after year not only has consequences for the uselessness of the land, but also has a strong impact in many other aspects:

  • People's health: emissions caused by combustion generate respiratory or cardiovascular problems.
  • Waste management: the waste material is highly flammable and contaminated.
  • Soil erosion: fires cause problems even in watercourses.
  • Disappearance of ecosystems. the landscape environment is unbalanced, both in terms of flora and fauna.
  • Economic costs: the reconstruction of the affected areas has a great impact on the economy of the region or country.

Moreover, fires not only emit greenhouse gases, but also destroy ecosystems that serve as carbon sinks. These sinks contribute to the absorption of up to 50% of the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.

On the other hand, the generalization of large fires and their spread to all areas of the planet have made fires a global public problem.The fire, which transcends the local, regional or national level, and generally affects a large number of countries, often with effects far beyond the borders where the fire originates.

There are structural reasons for the occurrence of forest fires: climate change, poor management of the rural environment, human negligence and intentionality, poor urban planning or lack of respect for the natural regime of forest fires themselves are just some of them.

Minimizing or eliminating fire hazards is not only a scientific problem, or a technical problem, but it has become a public problem that has become a public issue. calls for comprehensive public action.

In this sense, all governments are now called upon to propose, design and implement public policies to mitigate or prevent forest fires. These policies must be capable of acting in all the phases of fire management, in an integral manner: from the prevention, budgeting - aimed at improving interventions and safety - up to repair.

New technologies are being put at the service of public administrations to enable them to manage fires more efficiently. Technologies such as the artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), Big Data and information and communication technologies are key to meeting the challenge.

There are many scientific and technical advances in fire surveillance, detection and suppression that can be exploited by public authorities: smoke sensors, remote monitoring system, thermal surveillance cameras, gas detection systems, fire extinguishing robots, laser fire extinguishing systems, etc.etc.

Among others, the use of unmanned aerial and ground vehicles to monitor the condition of forest land for care and prevention tasks, as well as for firefighting, is one of the solutions that governments must implement more and more. Solutions that offer multiple advantages, especially in areas that are difficult for humans to access.

National, regional and local administrations must equip themselves with the best resources and instruments to deal with the public problem of forest fires.

Novadays supports the Public Administrations in their analysis of alternative actions to face this global challenge, from the investigation of the problem to the public procurement of innovative solutions and technology to act in major fires.

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