Eighth Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology


Assessment of Fire Severity in a Mediterranean Area using FlamMap Simulator

Michele Salis, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy; and B. Arca, V. Bacciu, P. Duce, and D. Spano

In the last eight years, the Southwestern European Countries (Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece) were characterized by about 60,000 wildfires per year, with about 480,000 hectares of burned areas (European Commission, 2008). The fire peaks coincide with extreme weather conditions (mainly strong winds, hot temperatures, low atmospheric water vapour content) and fuel dryness, and also with high tourist presence. For these reasons, it is important to review historical fire events and their environmental conditions,and to study their behaviour to get information on fire spread in future events (Finney, 1998; Molina and Castellnou, 2000).

A number of computer simulation tools were developed in the last years for these purposes. FlamMap (Finney, 2003) is a fire prediction model used to compute the potential fire behaviour characteristics over a defined landscape for given weather, wind and fuel moisture conditions. For its characteristics FlamMap outputs can be used to assess areas of potential extreme fire behaviour, and to provide useful information on fire management and operative phases. In this work, we compared several fire probability and severity maps (rate of spread, fireline intensity, flame length, etc.) obtained using FlamMap simulator for the whole island of Sardinia, Italy, under different weather and fuel scenarios. To perform our analysis, Sardinia was splitted in climatic zones and for each climatic zone, 65th and 90th percentile summer weather data, associated with different fuel moisture scenarios, were calculated. These input data were used to predict the impacts of moderate and extreme environmental conditions on potential fire behaviour. In addition, to evaluate the effects of topography on wind regime and to improve the accuracy of FlamMap simulations, a computational fluid dynamic model was used to create wind field maps over the study area.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (1.9M)

Poster Session 1, Formal Poster Reviewing with Icebreaker Reception
Tuesday, 13 October 2009, 5:30 PM-7:30 PM, Big Sky Ballroom

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