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Obstacles to improving wildfire risk governance in Greece

Author(s):

Palaiologos Palaiologou
Kostas Kalabokidis
Max Nielsen-Pincus
John Bailey
Gavriil Xanthopoulos

Year:

2020

Publication type:

Proceedings (P)

Primary Station(s):

Rocky Mountain Research Station

Source:

In: Hood, Sharon M.; Drury, Stacy; Steelman, Toddi; Steffens, Ron, [eds.]. Proceedings of the Fire Continuum-Preparing for the future of wildland fire; 2018 May 21-24; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-78. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 318-324.

Description

A sequence of catastrophic wildfires that occurred during the past decades in Greece point to the need to re-examine the established wildfire risk governance policies. The most important regulations for fire suppression and fuel/forest management were established four decades ago (Law 998/1979). Wildfire suppression is now led by the Greek Fire Service, while pre-suppression vegetation management is supervised by the Greek Forest Service. The limited available budget is clearly distributed in favor of fire suppression (about $410 million annually), with minor funding remaining for fuel management and ignition prevention programs (about $25 million annually). Since a substantial improvement of fire suppression effectiveness is not anticipated to occur in the near future due to economic restrictions, fire prevention that includes managing landscape fuel conditions (quantity and spatial arrangement) might be the only available option for Greece to aid fire suppression and reduce the number of potential harmful fire events in a cost-effective way. Successful application and experiences from North America and South Europe proved that investing more in prevention provides the means to cope with the upcoming challenges that emerge from climate change and, typical to Greece, the effects of land abandonment on fuel patterns.

Citation

Palaiologou, Palaiologos; Kalabokidis, Kostas; Ager, Alan A.; Nielsen-Pincus, Max; Bailey, John; Xanthopoulos, Gavriil. 2020. Obstacles to improving wildfire risk governance in Greece. In: Hood, Sharon M.; Drury, Stacy; Steelman, Toddi; Steffens, Ron, [eds.]. Proceedings of the Fire Continuum-Preparing for the future of wildland fire; 2018 May 21-24; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-78. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 318-324.

Publication Notes

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/63236