Forest Fire Risks to Cultural Heritage: a STORM Project Presentation


When evaluating the fire risks to cultural resources, the focus is typically on buildings and artifacts, with forest or vegetation fires considered in a relatively limited number of cases.

The technical literature addressing the protection of cultural heritage from fire risks often overlooks this specific aspect. One of the few comprehensive documents that delves into this issue is the Wildland Fire report on Ecosystems Effects of Fire on Cultural Resources and Archeology, published by the United States Department of Agriculture.

To address the risks associated with vegetation fires, the report categorizes types of fires into three main areas:

  1. Risk to artifacts caused by vegetation fires;
  2. Risk to intangible Cultural Resources caused by vegetation fires;
  3. Risk to Cultural Resources caused by fire suppression and rehabilitation activities.

A quick overview of the overall problem (broadly based on the USDA document) of the risks to Cultural Heritage associated with vegetation fires has been the object of a presentation during the 2017 STORM Summer School, held on September 11-13 in Rome.
STORM is an EU Horizon 2020 project financed to enhance the capacity of stakeholders to protect cultural heritage against climate change effects and the course – Emergency Management of Cultural Heritage – has dealt with several issues of protection of Cultural Heritage.

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