|Forest Fires 2008|
International Conference on Modelling, Monitoring and Management of Forest Fires
17 - 19 September 2008
The 1st International Conference on Forest Fires: Modelling, Monitoring and Management was held recently in Toledo, organised by the University of Castilla La-Mancha (UCLM) and the Wessex Institute of Technology (WIT) as part of one of their joint activities under the existing link agreement between the two institutions.
WIT, Professor Brebbia said, has formal link agreements with many institutions around the world, including the University of Castilla La-Mancha. The Conference is held under the terms of that agreement and reflects the common research interests of both institutions. New interest in Forest Fires has arisen in the UK, driven by the perceived climate changes to take place in the next few years. The New Forest is an area which would be affected by those changes.
Professor Brebbia ended by thanking the University authorities for allowing the conference the use of such magnificent rooms. The Meeting took place in one of the historical buildings used by the University in Toledo. It was called Peter the Master convent, originally the property of the Dominican order, famous for their prominent role in the Inquisition. The opening ceremony took place in the old church, still richly adorned and in an excellent state of decoration. Equally impressive was the room in which all the other sessions were held, including the so called ‘small theatre’ (teatrillo) which was originally the refectory, a room famous for its beautiful tiles. The refreshment breaks were taken in one of the main patio areas, surrounded by cloisters and balconies dating from the XIV Century. The Conference environment was representative of the whole city of Toledo, a town renowned for its rich history and as a crossroads of cultures and civilisations.
Professor Jorge de las Heras, Co-Chairman of the Conference, welcomed the delegates in the name of UCLM and mentioned that the University, albeit relatively new, now has 30,000 students spread over five campuses in the region. The Albacete Campus, where he is based, is deeply committed to research on Forestry and in particular, Forest Fires.
Conference SessionsThe Conference covered several important sessions as follows:
Two special sessions were organised on topics of current interest:
The other special session was on “Wildfire Modelling” organised by D. Morvan, UNINECA, France. It contained the following papers:
In addition to the regular papers and special sessions, a number of invited presentations were scheduled, to enhance the meeting, as follows:
International Scientific Advisory CommitteeA meeting of the International Scientific Advisory Committee took place over lunch to discuss how the Conference was proceeding and the type of topics that will be put forward when the Conference is reconvened. The Committee were happy with the outcome of this first meeting but thought that it was necessary to focus on a series of well defined topics. The Chairmen will discuss ways in which to improve the Conference in the future.
Conference BanquetThe delegates were offered a complimentary lunch each day to facilitate the development of better contacts. In addition, a cocktail party was arranged on the first day of the meeting in the evening, held in one of the historical parts of the University building.
The conference banquet took place in a building located at the top of a hill in the neighbourhood of Toledo from which the surrounding countryside could be better appreciated. The banquet consisted of a series of local specialities accompanied by excellent Castillian wines. A recital, consisting of medieval compositions played on an old instrument, a viola with keys, took place after dinner. The musician, Ana Alcaide, included some saphardi pieces which reflect the Jewish culture for which Toledo was famous until the end of the XV Century.
The Conference was highly successful in terms of the quality of the presentations and will be reconvened in the near future.
Papers from the conference will also be hosted online in the WIT eLibrary as volume 119 of WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment (ISSN: 1743-3541). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at www.witpress.com
| Wessex Institute of Technology, UK
|University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain
|WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment|
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