Forest fires are a key factor in Mediterranean Europe because of their ecological, environmental, economic and social impacts. Spain is one of the Euro-Mediterranean countries more affected by this phenomenon with 17000 anually fires on average. More than 90% of fires in this area are human-caused.

Land use changes (LUC) have been happening in Mediterranean Europe along history and explain the existing landscape. In the 1960's rural areas become unpopulated because of migration processes towards the urban areas. As a consequence, the lands were abandoned and so the traditional activities. During 1990's and 2000's urban pressure over the natural environment due to new urban developments was also an important component of territorial transformations. All these changes have had an influence on fire occurrence due to fuel accumulation and the increase of ignition risk associated to human activities. It is expected that changes in land use, socioeconomic and climate will continue. Because of that it will be of great interest to create or adapt new tools that allow to estimate the potential impact of forest fires occurrence in the future.

LUC4FIRE project aims to estimate future fire occurrence by means of modeling land use change scenarios in four Spanish provinces: Orense, Zamora, Madrid and Valencia. These regions are different in terms of land use, socio-economy and fire occurrence.

LUC4FIRE will analyze the relationships between historic forest fire occurrence, derived from satellite data and official statistics, and driving factors (LUC) arrangements plus physical variables such as topography and climate) in the 1970-2015 period by means of statistical models. Specific LUC arrangements or interfaces will be used to represent the relationship between human activities and socio-economic factors related with fire occurrence. LUC future scenarios will be simulated for 2025 and 2050 using different storylines: business as usual, climatic, agricultural and conservation. In order to generate the LUC future scenarios, information regarding past land use as well as drivers and restrictions will be needed. LUC information will be obtained and analyzed for three different periods and data sources. Eventually, the historic fire occurrence models will be applied to the LUC information derived from the scenarios in combination with climatic predictions to obtain the estimation of future fire occurrence. It is expected that the results of the project could be interest for management and planning activities in the context of fire prevention at local-regional scales.