Background: Wildfires play a key role in shaping Mediterranean landscapes and ecosystems and in impacting species dynamics. Numerous studies have investigated the wildfire occurrences and the influence of their drivers in many countries of the Mediterranean Basin. However, in this regard, no studies have attempted to compare different Mediterranean regions, which may appear similar under many aspects. In response to this gap, climatic, topographic, anthropic, and landscape drivers were analyzed and compared to assess the patterns of fire ignition points in terms of fire occurrence and frequency in Catalonia (Spain), Sardinia, and Apulia (Italy). Therefore, the objectives of the study were to (1) assess fire ignition occurrence in terms of probability and frequency, (2) compare the main drivers affecting fire occurrence, and (3) produce fire probability and frequency maps for each region. Results: In pursuit of the above, the probability of fire ignition occurrence and frequency was mapped using Negative Binomial Hurdle models, while the models’ performances were evaluated using several metrics (AUC, prediction accuracy, RMSE, and the Pearson correlation coefficient). The results showed an inverse correlation between distance from infrastructures (i.e., urban roads and areas) and the occurrence of fires in all three study regions. This relationship became more significant when the frequency of fire ignition points was assessed. Moreover, a positive correlation was found between fire occurrence and landscape drivers according to region. The land cover classes more significantly affected were forest, agriculture, and grassland for Catalonia, Sardinia, and Apulia, respectively. Conclusions: Compared to the climatic, topographic, and landscape drivers, anthropic activity significantly influences fire ignition and frequency in all three regions. When the distance from urban roads and areas decreases, the probability of fire ignition occurrence and frequency increases. Consequently, it is essential to implement long- to medium-term intervention plans to reduce the proximity between potential ignition points and fuels. In this perspective, the present study provides an applicable decision-making tool to improve wildfire prevention strategies at the European level in an area like the Mediterranean Basin where a profuse number of wildfires take place.
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|Titolo:||Modeling fire ignition probability and frequency using Hurdle models: a cross-regional study in Southern Europe|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|