Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-174
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-174

  28 Jun 2021

28 Jun 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Environmental Factors Affecting Wildfire Burned Area In South-Eastern France, 1970–2019

Christos Bountzouklis1, Dennis Michael Fox1, and Elena Di Bernardino2 Christos Bountzouklis et al.
  • 1University of Côte d'Azur, UMR CNRS 7300 ESPACE, Nice, 06204, France
  • 2University of Côte d'Azur, UMR CNRS 7351 LJAD, Nice, 06108, France

Abstract. Forest fires burn an average of about 440,000 ha each year in southern Europe. These fires cause numerous casualties and deaths and destroy houses and other infrastructures. In order to elaborate suitable fire-fighting strategies, complex interactions between human and environmental factors must be taken into account. In this study, we investigated the spatio-temporal evolution in burned area over a 50-year period (1970–2019) and its interactions between topography (slope inclination and aspect) and vegetation type in south-eastern France by exploiting Geographic Information System databases. Burned area decreased sharply after 1994, with the advent of the new fire suppression policy which focused on rapid extinction of fires in their early phase. The geographic distribution of burned area has also changed in the last 25 years, mainly in regions where large fires occurred (Var department). In other parts, even though forest fires are still frequent and occur in the same geographic locations, the total extent of the burned area is significantly reduced. Slope orientation presents an increasingly important role every decade, S-facing slopes have the greatest burned areas and increase their proportion each decade, while the opposite is observed for N-facing and W-facing ones. Fire increasingly favors low and intermediate slopes after the sharp decrease of burned area in 1990. The largest part of the BA is strongly associated with the location of sclerophyllous vegetation clusters, which exhibit high fire proneness while simultaneously expanding the region. On the contrary, natural grassland numbers decline through time as the proportion of area burned increases.

Christos Bountzouklis et al.

Status: open (until 18 Aug 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Christos Bountzouklis et al.

Christos Bountzouklis et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 202 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
149 50 3 202 2 2
  • HTML: 149
  • PDF: 50
  • XML: 3
  • Total: 202
  • BibTeX: 2
  • EndNote: 2
Views and downloads (calculated since 28 Jun 2021)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 28 Jun 2021)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 198 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 198 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Latest update: 01 Aug 2021
Download
Short summary
Forest fires burn thousands of hectares, cause casualties, and destroy infrastructures. The study addresses the evolution of burned area in southeastern France between 1970 to 2019. With the introduction of a new fire-fighting policy in 1994, regions with large fires were heavily impacted, whereas in other areas the fires are as frequent and occur in the same locations. Burned area is associated with south facing slopes, low to intermediate inclination and low vegetation (bushes).
Altmetrics