Culture of fire and environmental education in wildfire-prone areas: current situation in Spain
Document Type: Conference Proceedings
Author(s): Clara Quesada-Fernández; Daniel Quesada-Fernández
Editor(s): Armando González-Cabán
Publication Year: 2013

Cataloging Information

  • climate change
  • evacuation
  • forestry policy
  • human behavior
  • Spain
  • wildfire suppression
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: December 29, 2015
FRAMES Record Number: 15986


The culture of fire in the context of climate change has become a complicated relationship between people and natural areas. The interaction between people and fire is not a new issue. The use of fire by humans in most aspects of life, especially in rural areas, together with rapid and haphazard growth of structures in wildfire-prone areas, has led to the owners and residents living there being less involved due to an urban conception of natural and forest areas. At the same time, rural areas have been decreasing and their populations aging due to migration to cities. Although the authorities responsible for forestry and civil protection, both at the national and regional-local levels, have implemented various wildfire prevention strategies in these areas, they have discovered that these are insufficient to curb the problem which is increasing with time. For this reason it has been concluded that the public should move from being part of the problem to being an active part of the solution. Furthermore, human behavior is largely unpredictable, especially in emergency situations, such as those in wildland-urban interface areas, which increases the risk value in these areas. Thus, through environmental and forestry education activities, as well as those in emergencies, it is possible to carry out information, training and awareness-raising efforts about the problem. This paper provides a summary of some of the examples of the current situation in Spain in wildfire-prone areas in a wildland-urban interface situation and outlines what future recommendations and measures could be adopted to protect property and life and contribute to safer firefighting work.

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (549 KB; pdf)
Quesada-Fernández, Clara; Quesada-Fernández, Daniel. 2013. Culture of fire and environmental education in wildfire-prone areas: current situation in Spain. Pages 313-325. In: González-Cabán, Armando (technical coordinator). Proceedings of the fourth international symposium on fire economics, planning, and policy: climate change and wildfires. General Technical Report PSW-GTR-245 (English). Albany, CA: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station.