LEIF | Forest Fire Research Laboratory

The Forest Fire Research Laboratory (LEIF) is the most important structure dedicated to experimental investigation on forest fires in Europe. It is managed by the Forest Fire Research Center (CEIF) of the ADAI which since 1985 develops applied investigation in several fire behavior and personal safety related topics.

LEIF is located in Lousã, about 30km from Coimbra, near the local arifield. With a total covered area of 1152 m2 and is 11m height, LEIF has several test rigs and equipments, many of them of original design:

- Structures for simulating fire behavior on slopes and in canyons.
- Vertical tunnel for studying the transport of incandescent particles (embers).
- Fire vortex or fire whirl generator.
- Combustion tunnel to study the wind action on fire propagation.
- Structures for testing chemical products and retardants.
- Structures for testing protection systems for firefighting vehicles.
- Development of individual and collective protection systems against fire.

In addition to the laboratory, the CEIF team has access to areas for field tests and is accredited to monitor and study forest fires.

CEIF's activity has been developed within the scope of several national and international research projects and contracts, with the support and collaboration of several research, operational, corporate and training institutions. The CEIF team has promoted several scientific, academic and operational training courses and has participated in the analysis and investigation of several cases of major fires and fire-related accidents, in Portugal and abroad.

Visits to LEIF

If you would like to visit LEIF with a group, including demonstrations and explanations by CEIF researchers, please send an email to