Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2022-107
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2022-107
 
02 May 2022
02 May 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Coupling wildfire spread simulations and connectivity analysis for hazard assessment: a case study in Serra da Cabreira, Portugal

Ana C. L. Sá1, Bruno A. Aparicio1, Akli Benali1, Chiara Bruni1, Michele Salis2, Fábio Silva3, Martinho Marta-Almeida4, Susana Pereira5, Alfredo Rocha5, and José M. C. Pereira1 Ana C. L. Sá et al.
  • 1School of Agriculture, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, 1349-017, Portugal
  • 2Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto per la BioEconomia, Sassari, Italy
  • 3Autoridade Nacional de Emergência e Proteção Civil, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 4Centro Oceanográfico de A Coruña, Instituto Español de Oceanografía, A Coruña, Spain
  • 5CESAM - Department of Physics, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal

Abstract. This study aims to assess wildfire hazard in northern Portugal by combining landscape-scale wildfire spread modelling and connectivity analysis to help fuel management planning. We used the Minimum Travel Time (MTT) algorithm to run simulations under extreme (95th percentile) fire weather conditions. We assessed wildfire hazard through burn probability, fire size, conditional flame length and fire potential index wildfire descriptors. Simulated fireline intensity (FLI) using historical fire weather conditions were used to build landscape networks and assess the impact of weather severity in landscape wildfire connectivity (DICW). Our results showed that 27 % of the study area is likely to experience high-intensity fires and 51 % of it is susceptible to spread fires larger than 1,000 ha. Furthermore, the increase in weather severity led to the increase in the extent of high-intensity fires and highly connected fuel patches, covering about 13 % of the landscape in the most severe weather. Shrublands and pine forests are the main contributors for the spread of these fires, and highly connected patches were mapped. These are candidates for targeted fuel treatments. This study contributes to improve future fuel treatment planning by integrating wildfire connectivity in wildfire management planning of fire-prone Mediterranean landscapes.

Ana C. L. Sá et al.

Status: open (until 15 Jun 2022)

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Ana C. L. Sá et al.

Ana C. L. Sá et al.

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Short summary
Assessing landscape wildfire connectivity supported by wildfire spread simulations can improve fire hazard assessment and fuel management plans. Weather severity determines the degree of fuel patches connectivity, and thus the potential to spread large and intense wildfires. Mapping highly connected patches in the landscape highlights patch candidates for prior fuel treatments, which ultimately will contribute to create fire-resilient Mediterranean landscapes.
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