FIRE PLANNING OF URBAN-RURAL INTERFACE IN OPEN SOURCE GIS ENVIRONMENT: CASE STUDY OF THE APULIA REGION (SOUTHERN ITALY)
Keywords: QGIS, spatial analysis, urban-rural interface, vulnerability index, civil protection, OpenStreetMap
Abstract. Fires represent one of main challenges of the last decades as global changes are causing an increase in economic and environmental damages. Indeed, just in 2017, more than 10,000 km2 of land were burned in Europe, causing significant damage to both the natural heritage (25% of burned areas were part of Natura 2000 protected areas) and the economy with estimated losses around 10 billion euros. In addition, every year there are losses of human life that make even more necessary new strategies of action and monitoring. Therefore, an efficient management of forecasting, prevention, active fight and post fire phases, is essential to make the territories less vulnerable and reduce the impacts on human lives. But these steps require an integrated approach of different tools in order to make faster and more efficient the different operations. In this context, the study illustrates the expeditious and standardized methodologies in open source GIS environment proposed in a research project with the Civil Protection of Apulia Region in order to implement a vulnerability index to improve operations in forecasting, emergency management in real-near time and post-event analysis in urban-rural interface. All the techniques and methodologies proposed were based on the use of QGIS software as it is a highly user friendly software that can be easily used even by non-specialized technicians. Moreover, the methodologies have been validated through a direct comparison with the tools currently in use in Civil Protection Department of Apulia Region.