The use of spatially explicit fire spread models to assess fire propagation and behaviour has several applications for fire management and research. We used the FARSITE simulator to predict the spread of a set of wildfires that occurred along an east-west gradient of the Euro-Mediterranean countries. The main purpose of this work was to evaluate the overall accuracy of the simulator and to quantify the effects of standard vs custom fuel models on fire simulation performance. We also analysed the effects of different fuel models and slope classes on the accuracy of FARSITE predictions. To run the simulations, several input layers describing each study area were acquired, and their effect on simulation outputs was analysed. Site-specific fuel models and canopy inputs were derived either from existing vegetation information and field sampling or through remote-sensing data. The custom fuel models produced an increase in simulation accuracy, and results were nearly unequivocal for all the case studies examined. We suggest that spatially explicit fire spread simulators and custom fuel models specifically developed for the heterogeneous landscapes of Mediterranean ecosystems can help improve fire hazard mapping and optimise fuel management practices across the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Predicting wildfire spread and behaviour in Mediterranean landscapes / Salis, Michele; Arca, Bachisio; Alcasena, Fermin; Arianoutsou, Margarita; Bacciu, Valentina; Duce, Pierpaolo; Duguy, Beatriz; Koutsias, Nikos; Mallinis, Giorgos; Mitsopoulos, Ioannis; Moreno, José M.; Pérez, José Ramón; Urbieta, Itziar R.; Xystrakis, Fotios; Zavala, Gonzalo; Spano, Donatella. - In: THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF WILDLAND FIRE. - ISSN 1049-8001. - 25:10(2016), pp. 1015-1032. [10.1071/WF15081]

Predicting wildfire spread and behaviour in Mediterranean landscapes

Salis, Michele;Arca, Bachisio;Bacciu, Valentina;Spano, Donatella
2016

Abstract

The use of spatially explicit fire spread models to assess fire propagation and behaviour has several applications for fire management and research. We used the FARSITE simulator to predict the spread of a set of wildfires that occurred along an east-west gradient of the Euro-Mediterranean countries. The main purpose of this work was to evaluate the overall accuracy of the simulator and to quantify the effects of standard vs custom fuel models on fire simulation performance. We also analysed the effects of different fuel models and slope classes on the accuracy of FARSITE predictions. To run the simulations, several input layers describing each study area were acquired, and their effect on simulation outputs was analysed. Site-specific fuel models and canopy inputs were derived either from existing vegetation information and field sampling or through remote-sensing data. The custom fuel models produced an increase in simulation accuracy, and results were nearly unequivocal for all the case studies examined. We suggest that spatially explicit fire spread simulators and custom fuel models specifically developed for the heterogeneous landscapes of Mediterranean ecosystems can help improve fire hazard mapping and optimise fuel management practices across the Euro-Mediterranean region.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11388/202245
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