913327 Fire management in mountain forest ecosystems - prophylaxis and control

Lecture and seminar
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Vacik, Harald
Offered in
Sommersemester 2024
Languages of instruction


Forest fires play an important role in the evolution /ecology of forest ecosystems and its management, use and protection - these issues are still more relevant and a challenge in mountain forests. Therefore the following issues are adressed:

Forest fire dimensions worldwide: wildland fire types, specifcs for mountain regions, fires at the urban-wildland interface

Role of man in fire ecosystems: co-evolution vs./plus anthropogenic inputs, use of fire for cultivation, protection, control/ in Central Europe, Eurasia, Australia, North America, Africa (in short exemplified overviews - to be extended by the students' respective term papers, for instance).

Fire management: different techniques for fire fighting, fire supression, prescribed burning, the role of fire in comparison to clear-cutting and windthrows. Human attitudes to grassland and to forest fires vs. prescribed burning: "new forestry" approaches - national park management - integrated wildland fire management. Gaps in fire research and behaviour knowledge.

Use of models for predicting fire ignition and fire behaviour (Fire weather indices, fuel models, fire behaviour models), opportunities and limitations of existing Fire Danger / Fire Hazard / Fire Risk systems, The Austrian Forest Fire Research Initiative

Previous knowledge expected

General basic knowledge about forest ecosystems and natural resources is recommended.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

The following Learning Outcomes can be expected: Students should be able to
- Identify and consider implications of fire events on the enviroment and humans.
- Describe how different fire management practices can be conducted worldwide.
- Describe the current advances in fire research and fire management.
- Define fire behaviour depending on enviromental conditions.
- List criteria to be taken into account when planning prescribed burning practices.
- List models, methods and tools applied in fire research and fire management.
- List input data needed to predict fire ignition and fire behaviour.
- Explain the role of "fire as a (possibly) good servant, but a bad master"
- Recall methods and techniques for fire fighting and fire supression.
- Evaluate the information gained on fire management in the context of a study case.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.