Legal framework related to prescribed burning in Italy

Giovanni Bovio, Davide Ascoli


Prescribed burning for land management goals (wildfire prevention, habitat conservation, grazing management) is attracting an increasing interest in Italy. Nevertheless, the lack of a clear legislative framework is one of the main factors which hamper prescribed burning application in our territory. The objective of this study was to analyse the state of art of the normative about prescribed burning in Italy, stressing the main strengths and weaknesses. In total, 236 legislative documents pertaining the forestry and fire management sectors were analysed. Prescribed burning was ruled in 32 texts of 14 Administrative Regions. The study emphasizes the high heterogeneity at the regional level, which regards the used terminology, objectives, the identification of the personnel involved (the proposer, the planner and the responsible of the implementation), the set of a clear administrative process, the structure of the prescribed burning plan and prescriptions for specific objectives. Innovative and critical aspects are discussed, such as the misunderstanding between prescribed burning and agricultural fire, and between damage and desired effect. In conclusion, useful elements to ameliorate the legislative framework in Italy are suggested.


prescribed burning; forest legislation; fire management

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