Cross-scale wildfire risk management in Mediterranean landscapes

By Pau Costa Foundation on

Session: Fire prevention and preparedness

Presenters: Fermín Alcasena, Marcos Rodrigues, Cristina Vega (Department of Agricultural and Forest Engineering, University of Lleida)

Alan Ager (Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service) 

Michele Salis (Institute of Biometeorology, National Research Council of Italy (CNR IBIMET))

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Fire spread and behavior modeling, risk assessment, forest management


ABSTRACT: The few large fires continue to cause the vast majority of losses in Mediterranean areas. Consequently, as the current full suppression policy is failing to protect property and natural values from these events, the landscape managers are demanding a new comprehensive long-term solution aiming at reducing the negative effects and better coexist with fire. In this talk we advance a cross-scale wildfire risk mitigation framework where we disentangle the key causative factors and propose a set of wildfire risk mitigation measures including human ignition prevention, natural fire re-introduction, forest fuel reduction, and community protection plan implementation. We first used historic ignitions to generate a fire occurrence model. Fire spread and behavior simulation modeling was then used to assess fire transmission and exposure. Finally, we used these modeling outputs to identify the priority areas, design the fuel treatment mosaics, delineate the community firesheds, and estimate the expected economic losses. The results were presented at various scales (regional division, planning area, and treatment unit) and we associated the management options to the different socioeconomic agents such as homeowners, communities, forestland owners, and various government institutions. We discuss the potential benefits from the implementation of our framework in any fire-prone Mediterranean region.

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22-UdL - Fermin Alcasena