UK among countries to benefit most from wildfire early warnings

New research has shown the extent to which smart detection sensors could help different European nations respond more effectively to heatwave-driven blazes. 

A new study looking at the vulnerability of different countries to wildfires, and the impact of advanced early-warning systems, has led to the production of a league table showing which European countries would benefit most from installing smart detection sensors using Internet of Things technology. 

bare trees on snow covered ground during sunset

Surprisingly, the UK featured on the league table, which has been produced by measurement, IT and electronics specialist Distrelec using European Forest Fire Information System [EFFIS] data. Although bottom of the list, Britain’s inclusion speaks volumes about the increasing impact of climate change, with record-breaking temperatures of 40C sparking major blazes in London and other areas this summer. Nationally, annual forest fires between 2006 and 2021 burnt an average of 6000.5 hectares. 

Less shocking were those at the top of the league, with Spain at number one where 2022 has so far seen four-times the average yearly burn. Romania, ranked second, exceeded ten-times its average burn this summer, while Portuguese wildfires were so extreme during the most recent hot season smoke plumes enveloped skyscrapers in the Spanish capital, Madrid, 250miles away from their source. The full list is below: 

In order to compile the table, data from EFFIS was used to determine the European countries with the worst wildfires in 2022 – with each hectare of land burnt costing an average of €10,334. This was then multiplied by the total number of hectares burnt, with an overall cost calculated from that figure.

Forest density was then measured using World Bank data, and square kilometres of fire divided by 15 – the range of early-detection sensors. Finally, the total cost of all sensors required to effectively cover that area was used to understand the difference between wildfire cost and prevention through early warning. CO2 emissions, meanwhile, were gleaned from an average of 15 tonnes per 2.5hectares of burn. 

Image: Jeromey Balderrama


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1 year ago

the price of 1 sensor I end up with is 19.91EUR. I’m pretty sure this is a possible hardware price but with no (smart) system behind. Where do we get a system at 20euro/sensor ?

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