Pilot on Forest fires 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. By using the DECIDO portal it will be possible to examine and improve policies in place for prevention and protection by applying evidence-based policy making. Through DECIDO portal a wide range of data will be made available in a single place to the stakeholders involved in the forest fire risk management, data provided not only by the Finnish Meteorological Institute but also for example by the European Forest Fire Information System and meteorological data from Copernicus climate data. Through the portal the data will be analysed and processed to perform predictions and improve existing policies. During evacuation procedures, 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, loss of property and human lives. During evacuation procedures data will be collected with the support of all actors involved including citizens and local businesses, this data stored on the cloud will be then made available through the DECIDO portal for further analysis. DECIDO project will also be an opportunity for the first responders to learn and receive more timely information from across EU on best practices, procedures, resources, to improve preparedness levels, behaviour, precaution actions of all the actors involved (e.g. citizens, SMEs, rescue department).
Co-creation and engagement:
Evacuation procedures 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.
- Local businesses which support the social welfare authority in providing accommodation, food and clothing and other basic care.
- The City, responsible for the evacuation center’s space solutions.
Authorities engaged: Kajaani fire department, Kajaani City social welfare authority, Police, Emergency Medical Service, Volunteers