Pilot on Forest fire evacuation in Kajaani, Finland
Overall Policy Objective:
Prevention and protection against forest fires; Procedures to mitigate damage to nature, infrastructure and life.
The 2018 forest wildfires in Sweden and the more common occurrence of extreme weather conditions in the Nordics, caused concern among Finnish emergency professionals. The regional emergency services in Kainuu cover an area of 22,687.38 km2 with a population of only 75 415 inhabitants. The vast territory and small population mean that monitoring and verifying every risk zone, as well as reaching towns can take hours at a time. Currently, the information available is limited to weather updates and weekly meetings with the Finnish Meteorological Institute. With 95% of Kainuu being covered by forests, the preparedness of all levels of the community is essential in prevention and protection procedures.
Long dry periods in the Kainuu region have increased the forest fire index to the highest level. The local authorities are concerned of a wildfire outbreak and engage in established risk mitigation procedures. The DECIDO portal is used to review policies and procedures in place, share information and coordinate resourcing among the involved actors. Existing data from prior seasons, procedures and events is used to facilitate evidence-based policy making. First responders, public authorities, NGO’s and citizens can access the portal to disseminate policy development, communicate and co-create throughout the policy making process. During emergencies, by using the DECIDO portal, the local public authorities will be able to map the predicted risk and engage the right entities in emergency management to minimize damages and loss of human life. Furthermore, access to data analytics and rich data will improve interdepartmental collaboration at all stages of the policy life-cycle and enhance the sharing of knowledge and information.
Co-creation and engagement:
Evacuation procedures and data availability will be analysed and improved with the involvement of the following stakeholder in co- creation activities:
- • The rescue department, responsible for rescuing and moving people out of the danger area.
- • The police who assist the rescue authorities, containment of the accident area, traffic control, public order and safety at the scene, during transport and at the evacuation center
- • The emergency medical service responsible for the emergency care and transport of the injured
- • The social welfare authority who is responsible for the early-stage maintenance of the evacuees.
- • Procedures through which departments engage with local businesses that provide accommodation, food and clothing and other basic care.
- • The City of Kajaani, responsible for the evacuation centre’s space solutions.
Authorities engaged in evacuation scenario: Kajaani fire department, Kajaani City social welfare authority, Police, Emergency Medical Service, Volunteers
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