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Fire management is a technical and also a socio-cultural and political challenge that requires an effective network of willing partners, and appropriate fire management functions and processes to effectively find the appropriate balance between developing and conserving natural resources and managing unwanted fires. IFMEG works with an Integrated Fire Management (IFM) concept that addressess all aspects of fire management.

Integrated Fire Management involves the facilitation of multi-stakeholder and community consultation processes to develop a common understanding about individual fire issues. It is based on two pillars:

  • Cooperation between local communities and land managers to find compromises and solutions in developing balanced, appropriate fire management.
  • A comprehensive fire management strategy combining information, prevention and analysis, preparedness and fire suppression/fuels activities as integrated elements of an overall sustainable resource management framework.
  1. Analysis a strong insight into the aspects and perspectives of the fire issue and cause is an obvious requirement prior to heavy investment or efforts on fires and their use.
  2. Prevention many (forest) fires need not occur, however they will continue to ignite and degrade forests as long as stakeholders fail to focus on both the direct and underlying causes of (forest) fires.
  3. Preparedness - Preparedness ensures that fires are not a surprise. An important aspect of preparedness is training and development of fire management and suppression personnel. It also includes the installation and maintenance of infrastructure such as access roads and tracks, firebreaks, fire towers and preparing assets and homes. This is supported by equipment purchase and maintenance. The ongoing monitoring of weather conditions, fuels and ignition sources to provide timely advice and warnings on possible fires, ensures that resources can be most effectively used.
  4. Response being sufficiently prepared and ensuring an appropriate response to forest fires when they occur are key factors in effective and efficient fire management. It is essential to have plans and resources in place prior to fires occurring. Responsible authorities need to have a range of options available, know which fires to suppress and which to allow to burn, mechanisms for monitoring fire danger and identifying fires which require action, and clear responsibilities and coordination mechanisms.
  5. Restoration after forest fires have been extinguished there remains the need to prevent a spiral of recurrent fire and further degradation in the short-term, and to help re-establish the forest's original structure, biodiversity and functionality, over the long term. Failure to consider appropriate restoration strategies results in vulnerable people living in ever more precarious situations
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