Next Issue
Volume 4, December
Previous Issue
Volume 4, June

Fire, Volume 4, Issue 3 (September 2021) – 32 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Aja Conrad, a Karuk Tribal member, setting a prescribed cultural fire (photo credit, Stormy Staats). Indigenous leadership and interagency collaborations have advanced prescribed and cultural fire expansion in Northern California. While promising, fire managers have reported that the prioritization of fire suppression and the limited funding for prescribed burning has resulted in a shortage of available personnel to plan and implement prescribed burns. Moreover, centralized prescribed burn prohibitions impair Indigenous and allied polycentric fire governance. Devolving prescribed fire decision-making and repatriating lands to Indigenous peoples would address the wildfire crisis engendered by a settler colonial culture of fire suppression. View this paper.
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Review
A Mixed Methods Literature Review and Framework for Decision Factors That May Influence the Utilization of Managed Wildfire on Federal Lands, USA
Fire 2021, 4(3), 62; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030062 - 16 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1268
Abstract
There is increasing discussion in the academic and agency literature, as well as popular media, about the need to address the existing deficit of beneficial fire on landscapes. One approach allowable under United States federal wildland fire policy that could help address this [...] Read more.
There is increasing discussion in the academic and agency literature, as well as popular media, about the need to address the existing deficit of beneficial fire on landscapes. One approach allowable under United States federal wildland fire policy that could help address this condition is by deliberately managing wildfire with a strategy other than full suppression (hereafter referred to as ‘managed wildfire’). To improve the understanding of the managed fire decision-making process, we conducted a mixed methods review of the existing literature. This review spanned 1976 to 2013 and used thematic coding to identify key factors that affect the decision to manage a wildfire. A total of 110 descriptive factors categories were identified. These were classified into six key thematic groups, which addressed specific decision considerations. This nexus of factors and decision pathways formed what we describe as the ‘Managed Fire Decision Framework’, which contextualizes important pressures, barriers, and facilitators related to managed wildfire decision-making. The most prevalent obstacles to managing wildfire were operational concerns and risk aversion. The factor most likely to support managing a fire was the decision maker’s desire to see the strategy be implemented. Ultimately, we found that the managed fire decision-making process is extremely complex, and that this complexity may itself be a barrier to its implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Rethinking Wildland Fire Governance: A Series of Perspectives)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Perspective
Catastrophic Bushfires, Indigenous Fire Knowledge and Reframing Science in Southeast Australia
Fire 2021, 4(3), 61; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030061 - 09 Sep 2021
Viewed by 2434
Abstract
The catastrophic 2019/2020 Black Summer bushfires were the worst fire season in the recorded history of Southeast Australia. These bushfires were one of several recent global conflagrations across landscapes that are homelands of Indigenous peoples, homelands that were invaded and colonised by European [...] Read more.
The catastrophic 2019/2020 Black Summer bushfires were the worst fire season in the recorded history of Southeast Australia. These bushfires were one of several recent global conflagrations across landscapes that are homelands of Indigenous peoples, homelands that were invaded and colonised by European nations over recent centuries. The subsequent suppression and cessation of Indigenous landscape management has had profound social and environmental impacts. The Black Summer bushfires have brought Indigenous cultural burning practices to the forefront as a potential management tool for mitigating climate-driven catastrophic bushfires in Australia. Here, we highlight new research that clearly demonstrates that Indigenous fire management in Southeast Australia produced radically different landscapes and fire regimes than what is presently considered “natural”. We highlight some barriers to the return of Indigenous fire management to Southeast Australian landscapes. We argue that to adequately address the potential for Indigenous fire management to inform policy and practice in managing Southeast Australian forest landscapes, scientific approaches must be decolonized and shift from post-hoc engagement with Indigenous people and perspectives to one of collaboration between Indigenous communities and scientists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Rethinking Wildland Fire Governance: A Series of Perspectives)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effects of Wildfire and the Presence of the Invasive Paulownia tomentosa on the Regeneration of Native Tree Species in North-Central Appalachia
Fire 2021, 4(3), 60; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030060 - 06 Sep 2021
Viewed by 518
Abstract
A wildfire occurred in Shawnee State Forest located in southern Ohio that consumed 1215 hectares. Based on earlier forest inventories it was known that paulownia (Paulownia tomentosa), a non-native invasive tree species, occurred in the forest. The objective of this study [...] Read more.
A wildfire occurred in Shawnee State Forest located in southern Ohio that consumed 1215 hectares. Based on earlier forest inventories it was known that paulownia (Paulownia tomentosa), a non-native invasive tree species, occurred in the forest. The objective of this study was to determine if paulownia heavily colonized areas two years after the fire where the burn occurred, and if its presence had a negative impact on the regeneration (<137 cm height) of native species—red and white oaks (Quercus sp.), red maple (Acer rubrum), and yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera). Two years after the fire, paulownia had invaded the burned areas but not at significantly higher densities than occurred in the unburned areas. Fire significantly reduced the number of regenerating stems of white oak and red maple two years after the fire, whereas the number of regenerating stems of red oak increased slightly and that of yellow-poplar increased significantly. In areas where paulownia occurred that experienced wildfire, all species studied displayed a reduction in the number of regenerating stems compared to paulownia’s absence in the burn areas. Where paulownia occurred in areas not affected by the wildfire, all the native species studied displayed a reduction in the number of regenerating stems. The average heights of red oak, white oak, and red maple were significantly taller when growing in areas affected by the wildfire due to a more open canopy. However, there was no significant change in the average heights of yellow-poplar. The presence of paulownia in both the burned and unburned areas reduced the number of regenerating stems of the native species studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Wildfire on Biodiversity)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Generation and Mapping of Fuel Types for Fire Risk Assessment
Fire 2021, 4(3), 59; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030059 - 06 Sep 2021
Viewed by 774
Abstract
Fuel mapping is key to fire propagation risk assessment and regeneration potential. Previous studies have mapped fuel types using remote sensing data, mainly at local-regional scales, while at smaller scales fuel mapping has been based on general-purpose global databases. This work aims to [...] Read more.
Fuel mapping is key to fire propagation risk assessment and regeneration potential. Previous studies have mapped fuel types using remote sensing data, mainly at local-regional scales, while at smaller scales fuel mapping has been based on general-purpose global databases. This work aims to develop a methodology for producing fuel maps across European regions to improve wildland fire risk assessment. A methodology to map fuel types on a regional-continental scale is proposed, based on Sentinel-3 images, horizontal vegetation continuity, biogeographic regions, and biomass data. A vegetation map for the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands was generated with 85% overall accuracy (category errors between 3% and 28%). Two fuel maps were generated: (1) with 45 customized fuel types, and (2) with 19 fuel types adapted to the Fire Behaviour Fuel Types (FBFT) system. The mean biomass values of the final parameterized fuels show similarities with other fuel products, but the biomass values do not present a strong correlation with them (maximum Spearman’s rank correlation: 0.45) because of the divergences in the existing products in terms of considering the forest overstory biomass or not. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Measurement of Fuels and Fuel Properties)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Unveiling the Factors Responsible for Australia’s Black Summer Fires of 2019/2020
Fire 2021, 4(3), 58; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030058 - 04 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1123
Abstract
The summer season of 2019–2020 has been named Australia’s Black Summer because of the large forest fires that burnt for months in southeast Australia, affecting millions of Australia’s citizens and hundreds of millions of animals and capturing global media attention. This extensive fire [...] Read more.
The summer season of 2019–2020 has been named Australia’s Black Summer because of the large forest fires that burnt for months in southeast Australia, affecting millions of Australia’s citizens and hundreds of millions of animals and capturing global media attention. This extensive fire season has been attributed to the global climate crisis, a long drought season and extreme fire weather conditions. Our aim in this study was to examine the factors that have led some of the wildfires to burn over larger areas for a longer duration and to cause more damage to vegetation. To this end, we studied all large forest and non-forest fires (>100 km2) that burnt in Australia between September 2019 and mid-February 2020 (Australia’s Black Summer fires), focusing on the forest fires in southeast Australia. We used a segmentation algorithm to define individual polygons of large fires based on the burn date from NASA’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) active fires product and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) burnt area product (MCD64A1). For each of the wildfires, we calculated the following 10 response variables, which served as proxies for the fires’ extent in space and time, spread and intensity: fire area, fire duration (days), the average spread of fire (area/days), fire radiative power (FRP; as detected by NASA’s MODIS Collection 6 active fires product (MCD14ML)), two burn severity products, and changes in vegetation as a result of the fire (as calculated using the vegetation health index (VHI) derived from AVHRR and VIIRS as well as live fuel moisture content (LFMC), photosynthetic vegetation (PV) and combined photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic vegetation (PV+NPV) derived from MODIS). We also computed more than 30 climatic, vegetation and anthropogenic variables based on remotely sensed derived variables, climatic time series and land cover datasets, which served as the explanatory variables. Altogether, 391 large fires were identified for Australia’s Black Summer. These included 205 forest fires with an average area of 584 km2 and 186 non-forest fires with an average area of 445 km2; 63 of the forest fires took place in southeast (SE) Australia (the area between Fraser Island, Queensland, and Kangaroo Island, South Australia), with an average area of 1097 km2. Australia’s Black Summer forest fires burnt for more days compared with non-forest fires. Overall, the stepwise regression models were most successful at explaining the response variables for the forest fires in SE Australia (n = 63; median-adjusted R2 of 64.3%), followed by all forest fires (n = 205; median-adjusted R2 of 55.8%) and all non-forest fires (n = 186; median-adjusted R2 of 48.2%). The two response variables that were best explained by the explanatory variables used as proxies for fires’ extent, spread and intensity across all models for the Black Summer forest and non-forest fires were the change in PV due to fire (median-adjusted R2 of 69.1%) and the change in VHI due to fire (median-adjusted R2 of 66.3%). Amongst the variables we examined, vegetation and fuel-related variables (such as previous frequency of fires and the conditions of the vegetation before the fire) were found to be more prevalent in the multivariate models for explaining the response variables in comparison with climatic and anthropogenic variables. This result suggests that better management of wildland–urban interfaces and natural vegetation using cultural and prescribed burning as well as planning landscapes with less flammable and more fire-tolerant ground cover plants may reduce fire risk to communities living near forests, but this is challenging given the sheer size and diversity of ecosystems in Australia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fire in Human Landscapes)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Spatiotemporal Analysis of Active Fires in the Arctic Region during 2001–2019 and a Fire Risk Assessment Model
Fire 2021, 4(3), 57; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030057 - 02 Sep 2021
Viewed by 686
Abstract
The increasing frequency of active fires worldwide has caused significant impacts on terrestrial, aquatic, and atmospheric systems. Polar regions have received little attention due to their sparse populations, but active fires in the Arctic cause carbon losses from peatlands, which affects the global [...] Read more.
The increasing frequency of active fires worldwide has caused significant impacts on terrestrial, aquatic, and atmospheric systems. Polar regions have received little attention due to their sparse populations, but active fires in the Arctic cause carbon losses from peatlands, which affects the global climate system. Therefore, it is necessary to focus on the spatiotemporal variations in active fires in the Arctic and to assess the fire risk. We used MODIS C6 data from 2001 to 2019 and VIIRS V1 data from 2012 to 2019 to analyse the spatiotemporal characteristics of active fires and establish a fire risk assessment model based on logistic regression. The trends in active fire frequency based on MODIS C6 and VIIRS V1 data are consistent. Throughout the Arctic, the fire frequency appears to be fluctuating and overall increasing. Fire occurrence has obvious seasonality, being concentrated in summer (June–August) and highest in July, when lightning is most frequent. The frequency of active fires is related to multiple factors, such as vegetation type, NDVI, elevation, slope, air temperature, precipitation, wind speed, and distances from roads and settlements. A risk assessment model was constructed based on logistic regression and found to be accurate. The results are helpful in understanding the risk of fires in the Arctic under climate change and provide a scientific basis for fire prediction and control and for reducing fire-related carbon emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fire Science Models, Remote Sensing, and Data)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Prescribed Burning Reduces Large, High-Intensity Wildfires and Emissions in the Brazilian Savanna
Fire 2021, 4(3), 56; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030056 - 02 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 988
Abstract
Brazil has recently (2014) changed from a zero-fire policy to an Integrated Fire Management (IFM) program with the active use of prescribed burning (PB) in federal Protected Areas (PA) and Indigenous Territories (IT) of the Brazilian savanna (Cerrado). PB is commonly applied in [...] Read more.
Brazil has recently (2014) changed from a zero-fire policy to an Integrated Fire Management (IFM) program with the active use of prescribed burning (PB) in federal Protected Areas (PA) and Indigenous Territories (IT) of the Brazilian savanna (Cerrado). PB is commonly applied in the management of fire-prone ecosystems to mitigate large, high-intensity wildfires, the associated emissions, and high fire suppression costs. However, the effectiveness of such fire management in reducing large wildfires and emissions over Brazil remains mostly unevaluated. Here, we aim to fill the gap in the scientific evidence of the PB benefits by relying on the most up-to-date, satellite-derived fire datasets of burned area (BA), fire size, duration, emissions, and intensity from 2003 to 2018. We focused on two Cerrado ITs with different sizes and hydrological regimes, Xerente and Araguaia, where IFM has been in place since 2015. To understand fire regime dynamics, we divided the study period into three phases according to the prevalent fire policy and the individual fire scars into four size classes. We considered two fire seasons: management fire season (MFS, which goes from rainy to mid-dry season, when PBs are undertaken) and wildfires season (WFS, when PBs are not performed and fires tend to grow out of control). Our results show that the implementation of the IFM program was responsible for a decrease of the areas affected by high fire recurrence in Xerente and Araguaia, when compared with the Zero Fire Phase (2008–2013). In both regions, PB effectively reduced the large wildfires occurrence, the number of medium and large scars, fire intensity, and emissions, changing the prevalent fire season from the WFS to the MFS. Such reductions are significant since WFS causes higher negative impacts on biodiversity conservation and higher greenhouse gas emissions. We conclude that the effect on wildfires can still be reduced if effective fire management policies, including PB, continue to be implemented during the coming decades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegetation Fires, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Adding to Fire Fighter Safety by Including Real-Time Radar Data in Short-Range Forecasts of Thunderstorm-Induced Wind Shifts
Fire 2021, 4(3), 55; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030055 - 01 Sep 2021
Viewed by 536
Abstract
Abrupt changes in wind direction and speed caused by thunderstorm-generated gust fronts can, within a few seconds, transform slow-spreading low-intensity flanking fires into high-intensity head fires. Flame heights and spread rates can more than double. Fire mitigation strategies are challenged and the safety [...] Read more.
Abrupt changes in wind direction and speed caused by thunderstorm-generated gust fronts can, within a few seconds, transform slow-spreading low-intensity flanking fires into high-intensity head fires. Flame heights and spread rates can more than double. Fire mitigation strategies are challenged and the safety of fire crews is put at risk. We propose a class of numerical weather prediction models that incorporate real-time radar data and which can provide fire response units with images of accurate very short-range forecasts of gust front locations and intensities. Real-time weather radar data are coupled with a wind model that simulates density currents over complex terrain. Then two convective systems from formation and merger to gust front arrival at the location of a wildfire at Yarnell, Arizona, in 2013 are simulated. We present images of maps showing the progress of the gust fronts toward the fire. Such images can be transmitted to fire crews to assist decision-making. We conclude, therefore, that very short-range gust front prediction models that incorporate real-time radar data show promise as a means of predicting the critical weather information on gust front propagation for fire operations, and that such tools warrant further study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wind Fire Interaction and Fire Whirl)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
How Vulnerable Are American States to Wildfires? A Livelihood Vulnerability Assessment
Fire 2021, 4(3), 54; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030054 - 27 Aug 2021
Viewed by 745
Abstract
Quantifying livelihood vulnerability to wildland fires in the United States is challenging because of the need to systematically integrate multidimensional variables into its analysis. We aim to measure wildfire threats amongst humans and their physical and social environment by developing a framework to [...] Read more.
Quantifying livelihood vulnerability to wildland fires in the United States is challenging because of the need to systematically integrate multidimensional variables into its analysis. We aim to measure wildfire threats amongst humans and their physical and social environment by developing a framework to calculate the livelihood vulnerability index (LVI) for the top 14 American states most recently exposed to wildfires. The LVI is computed by assessing each state’s contributing factors (exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity) to wildfire events. These contributing factors are determined through a set of indicator variables that are categorized into corresponding groups to produce an LVI framework. The framework is validated by performing a principal component analysis (PCA), ensuring that each selected indicator variable corresponds to the correct contributing factor. Our results indicate that Arizona and New Mexico experience the greatest livelihood vulnerability. In contrast, California, Florida, and Texas experience the least livelihood vulnerability. While California has one of the highest exposures and sensitivity to wildfires, results indicate that it has a relatively high adaptive capacity, in comparison to the other states, suggesting it has measures in place to withstand these vulnerabilities. These results are critical to wildfire managers, government, policymakers, and research scientists for identifying and providing better resiliency and adaptation measures to support states that are most vulnerable to wildfires. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Risk Assessment of Industrial Fires for Surrounding Vulnerable Facilities Using a Multi-Criteria Decision Support Approach and GIS
Fire 2021, 4(3), 53; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030053 - 25 Aug 2021
Viewed by 667
Abstract
The fires encountered in the buildings and facilities of industrial areas make up quite a small proportion of all fire cases. However, in terms of the heat release rate, size of the burned area, damage, and impact zone, such fires have a large [...] Read more.
The fires encountered in the buildings and facilities of industrial areas make up quite a small proportion of all fire cases. However, in terms of the heat release rate, size of the burned area, damage, and impact zone, such fires have a large impact as compared to other fire cases. All fires have risk in terms of propagation. However, since fires in industrial structures and plants have rather high levels, qualitatively and quantitatively, compared to residential fires and other types of fires, it should be regarded as necessary to research them extensively. In this study, fires that have broken out in various places around Turkey, such as in factories, cold storage plants, and manufacturing facilities, were investigated. We aimed to determine the level of risk of the occurrence of these fires in the environment. A large amount of detailed information gathered about these fires was analyzed. This information includes data about the causes of the fires, deformation data of various materials, data on technical problems, data on financial damage levels, and data on fire patterns. We found 40 of these fire cases in total, and the case data were used to calculate the risk scores with the Geographic Information System (GIS), Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), and Inverse Distance Weight (IDW) methods. For each fire case, places sensitive to damage and losses were assessed according to six main criteria. Buffer analysis maps were generated for the 40 fire cases, and the cases were ordered based on their overall risk scores. In this ordering, fire case number 21 was found in the riskiest region, and fire cases 32, 17, and 31 were found in the low-risk region. Fire case number 21 occurred in a factory used for manufacturing fabric. This factory works with high volumes of acrylic, polyester, and other raw materials. In addition, there are some structures in very close proximity. It was observed that fire cases could be well differentiated depending on the selected criteria in the model applied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fire in Human Landscapes)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Mapping Wetland Burned Area from Sentinel-2 across the Southeastern United States and Its Contributions Relative to Landsat-8 (2016–2019)
Fire 2021, 4(3), 52; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030052 - 25 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 677
Abstract
Prescribed fires and wildfires are common in wetland ecosystems across the Southeastern United States. However, the wetland burned area has been chronically underestimated across the region due to (1) spectral confusion between open water and burned area, (2) rapid post-fire vegetation regrowth, and [...] Read more.
Prescribed fires and wildfires are common in wetland ecosystems across the Southeastern United States. However, the wetland burned area has been chronically underestimated across the region due to (1) spectral confusion between open water and burned area, (2) rapid post-fire vegetation regrowth, and (3) high annual precipitation limiting clear-sky satellite observations. We developed a machine learning algorithm specifically for burned area in wetlands, and applied the algorithm to the Sentinel-2 archive (2016–2019) across the Southeastern US (>290,000 km2). Combining Landsat-8 imagery with Sentinel-2 increased the annual clear-sky observation count from 17 to 46 in 2016 and from 16 to 78 in 2019. When validated with WorldView imagery, the Sentinel-2 burned area had a 29% and 30% omission and commission rates of error for burned area, respectively, compared to the US Geological Survey Landsat-8 Burned Area Product (L8 BA), which had a 47% and 8% omission and commission rate of error, respectively. The Sentinel-2 algorithm and the L8 BA mapped burned area within 78% and 60% of wetland fire perimeters (n = 555) compiled from state and federal agencies, respectively. This analysis demonstrated the potential of Sentinel-2 to support efforts to track the burned area, especially across challenging ecosystem types, such as wetlands. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Merging of Horizontally and Vertically Separated Small-Scale Buoyant Flames
Fire 2021, 4(3), 51; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030051 - 25 Aug 2021
Viewed by 480
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the merging behavior of small-scale buoyant flames that might be representative of flames from a leaf in a shrub. Zirconia felt pads soaked in n-heptane were suspended on thin rods and spaced both horizontally and [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the merging behavior of small-scale buoyant flames that might be representative of flames from a leaf in a shrub. Zirconia felt pads soaked in n-heptane were suspended on thin rods and spaced both horizontally and vertically. Time-dependent video images from flames from two-pad and three-pad configurations were analyzed to determine merging probability, combined flame characteristics (height, area, and width), and changes in burn time. Correlations of these combined flame characteristics were developed based on horizontal and vertical spacing between the pads. Merging probability correlated with an exponential function that was quadratic in horizontal and/or vertical spacing. Flame heights corrected for vertical inter-pad spacing showed a maximum increase of 50% over single flame heights, and were correlated with an exponential decay function. Flame areas increased by a maximum of 34%, but on average were relatively constant. Corrected flame widths for the merged flames increased by as much as 55% in some configurations, but decreased by up to 73% in other configurations. Burn times for upper pads decreased when there was no horizontal spacing. The limited flame growth observed in these non-overlapping configurations in the horizontal dimension imply that overlapping configurations seem to be necessary for significant flame growth. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Considerations for Categorizing and Visualizing Numerical Information: A Case Study of Fire Occurrence Prediction Models in the Province of Ontario, Canada
Fire 2021, 4(3), 50; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030050 - 18 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1177
Abstract
Wildland fire management decision-makers need to quickly understand large amounts of quantitative information under stressful conditions. Categorization and visualization “schemes” have long been used to help, but how they are done affects the speed and accuracy of interpretation. Using traditional fire management schemes [...] Read more.
Wildland fire management decision-makers need to quickly understand large amounts of quantitative information under stressful conditions. Categorization and visualization “schemes” have long been used to help, but how they are done affects the speed and accuracy of interpretation. Using traditional fire management schemes can unduly restrict the design of new products. Our design process for Ontario’s fine-scale, spatially explicit, daily fire occurrence prediction (FOP) models led us to develop guidance for designing new schemes. We show selected historical fire management schemes and describe our method. It includes specifying goals and requirements, exploring design options and making trade-offs. The design options include gradient continuity, hue selection, range completeness and scale linearity. We apply our method to a case study on designing the scheme for Ontario’s FOP models. We arrived at a smooth, nonlinear scale that accommodates data spanning many orders of magnitude. The colouring draws attention according to levels of concern, reveals meaningful spatial patterns and accommodates some colour vision deficiencies. Our method seems simple now but reconciles complex considerations and is useful for mapping many other datasets. Our method improved the clarity and ease of interpretation of several information products used by fire management decision-makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildfire Hazard and Risk Assessment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Case Report
A Historical Perspective of Landscape and Human Population Dynamics in Guimarães (Northern Portugal): Possible Implications of Rural Fire Risk in a Changing Environment
Fire 2021, 4(3), 49; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030049 - 17 Aug 2021
Viewed by 635
Abstract
The occupation of a territory combines a set of variables which affect the development of the mode by which populations have been organized throughout history. How this occupation takes place demonstrates much of a territory’s past and shows how the populations managed to [...] Read more.
The occupation of a territory combines a set of variables which affect the development of the mode by which populations have been organized throughout history. How this occupation takes place demonstrates much of a territory’s past and shows how the populations managed to make the most out of the available resources. The region of Entre-Douro-e-Minho (Northern Portugal), similarly to what happens in other regions, such as Galicia (Northern Spain), Brittany (Northern France), or Ireland, presents a type of dispersed land use, with an alternation of urban, agriculture, and forest areas. On one hand, this proximity allows urban populations to come into contact with a rural environment. On the other hand, this proximity also causes a set of problems, namely those related to rural fires, which are now enhanced by climate change, and associated phenomena, such as heatwaves and the lack of precipitation. The present work analyzes the evolution of rural fires in 1975–2019, in the municipality of Guimarães (Northern Portugal), to understand how these events have been distributed over time and evolved in a climate change scenario. Based on the results and discussion presented, it can be concluded that there is an increasing trend in the occurrence of rural fires in the territory under study, and that this can also be associated to climate change, in the form of a gradual increment in temperature, particularly in the autumn months, and a decrease in rainfall. This situation is responsible for the increment of the risk caused by the proximity of the populations to forest and agricultural areas because rural fires can jeopardize the safety of people and goods. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Forest Structure Drives Fuel Moisture Response across Alternative Forest States
Fire 2021, 4(3), 48; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030048 - 15 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1764
Abstract
Climate warming is expected to increase fire frequency in many productive obligate seeder forests, where repeated high-intensity fire can initiate stand conversion to alternative states with contrasting structure. These vegetation–fire interactions may modify the direct effects of climate warming on the microclimatic conditions [...] Read more.
Climate warming is expected to increase fire frequency in many productive obligate seeder forests, where repeated high-intensity fire can initiate stand conversion to alternative states with contrasting structure. These vegetation–fire interactions may modify the direct effects of climate warming on the microclimatic conditions that control dead fuel moisture content (FMC), which regulates fire activity in these high-productivity systems. However, despite the well-established role of forest canopies in buffering microclimate, the interaction of FMC, alternative forest states and their role in vegetation–fire feedbacks remain poorly understood. We tested the hypothesis that FMC dynamics across alternative states would vary to an extent meaningful for fire and that FMC differences would be attributable to forest structural variability, with important implications for fire-vegetation feedbacks. FMC was monitored at seven alternative state forested sites that were similar in all aspects except forest type and structure, and two proximate open-weather stations across the Central Highlands in Victoria, Australia. We developed two generalised additive mixed models (GAMMs) using daily independent and autoregressive (i.e., lagged) input data to test the importance of site properties, including lidar-derived forest structure, in predicting FMC from open weather. There were distinct differences in fuel availability (days when FMC < 16%, dry enough to sustain fire) leading to positive and negative fire–vegetation feedbacks across alternative forest states. Both the independent (r2 = 0.551) and autoregressive (r2 = 0.936) models ably predicted FMC from open weather. However, substantial improvement between models when lagged inputs were included demonstrates nonindependence of the automated fuel sticks at the daily level and that understanding the effects of temporal buffering in wet forests is critical to estimating FMC. We observed significant random effects (an analogue for forest structure effects) in both models (p < 0.001), which correlated with forest density metrics such as light penetration index (LPI). This study demonstrates the importance of forest structure in estimating FMC and that across alternative forest states, differences in fuel availability drive vegetation–fire feedbacks with important implications for forest flammability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Measurement of Fuels and Fuel Properties)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Perceptions of NRCS Assistance with Prescribed Fires on U.S. Private Lands: A Regionally Stratified Case Study
Fire 2021, 4(3), 47; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030047 - 14 Aug 2021
Viewed by 527
Abstract
The benefits of prescribed fires are recognized throughout the United States, but the ability to assist with prescribed fire application on private land by government agencies has many possible constraints and challenges. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a federal agency, is mandated [...] Read more.
The benefits of prescribed fires are recognized throughout the United States, but the ability to assist with prescribed fire application on private land by government agencies has many possible constraints and challenges. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a federal agency, is mandated to assist private landowners with meeting land management objectives, but the ability of employees to utilize prescribed fire as a management tool is complex. We conducted a regionally stratified online survey of NRCS employees across the United States to determine the barriers inhibiting their ability to assist private landowners with prescribed fire application. In January of 2020, we recruited 101 NRCS rangeland and grazing land specialists to participate in the survey with 50 completing the survey (regional sample size: Central n = 14, Northeast n = 5, Southeast n = 12, West n = 19). A majority (82%) of respondents thought prescribed fires were staying the same or increasing in number. Regional differences in assistance types were significant for conducting burns and providing technical education, but not for other assistance types. Regional differences for perceived constraints were also significant for how the public understands the risks of prescribed fire and the ecological constraints but not for state policy, federal policy, liability, or public understanding of prescribed fire benefits. Overall and across regions, the NRCS survey participants perceived federal policies, liability, and private landowners’ lack knowledge of prescribed fire limits their ability to assist in the utilization of prescribed fire. Creating a national policy that allows a streamlined process for NRCS employees to assist with prescribed fire implementation and collaborative initiatives to improve private landowner knowledge gaps has the potential to improve prescribed fire application across the United States. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Reframing Wildfire Simulations for Understanding Complex Human–Landscape Interactions in Cross-Cultural Contexts: A Case Study from Northern Australia
Fire 2021, 4(3), 46; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030046 - 13 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1129
Abstract
An increase in the frequency of severe fire events, as well as a growing interest in wildfire mitigation strategies, has created a demand for skilled managers of landscape fire and a better community understanding of fire behaviour. While on-ground experience is essential, there [...] Read more.
An increase in the frequency of severe fire events, as well as a growing interest in wildfire mitigation strategies, has created a demand for skilled managers of landscape fire and a better community understanding of fire behaviour. While on-ground experience is essential, there is potential to substantially enhance training and community engagement with explanatory simulations. Through this work, we explore landscape fire behaviour as a complex system where understanding key behaviour characteristics is often more important and achievable than prediction. It is argued that this approach has particular value in Northern Australia, where fires burn across vast and sparsely inhabited landscapes that are largely under Indigenous ownership. Land and fire management in such complex cross-cultural contexts requires combining traditional and local knowledge with science and technology to achieve the best outcomes. We describe the workings of the model, a stochastic cellular automata fire behaviour simulation, developed through a participatory modelling approach for Northern Australia; the outputs generated; and a range of operational applications. We found that simulation assisted training and engagement through the development of an understanding of fire dynamics through visualisation, underpinned by landscape data sets, and engaging a culturally diverse set of land managers in discussions of fire management. We conclude that there is scope for a broader use of explanatory fire simulations to support development of shared understandings of fire management objectives. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Perspective
Boots on the Ground and Eyes in the Sky: A Perspective on Estimating Fire Danger from Soil Moisture Content
Fire 2021, 4(3), 45; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030045 - 11 Aug 2021
Viewed by 805
Abstract
With increasing forest and grassland wildfire trends strongly correlated to anthropogenic climate change, assessing wildfire danger is vital to reduce catastrophic human, economic, and environmental loss. From this viewpoint, the authors discuss various approaches deployed to evaluate wildfire danger, from in-situ observations to [...] Read more.
With increasing forest and grassland wildfire trends strongly correlated to anthropogenic climate change, assessing wildfire danger is vital to reduce catastrophic human, economic, and environmental loss. From this viewpoint, the authors discuss various approaches deployed to evaluate wildfire danger, from in-situ observations to satellite-based fire prediction systems. Lately, the merit of soil moisture in predicting fuel moisture content and the likelihood of wildfire occurrence has been widely realized. Harmonized soil moisture measurement initiatives via state-of-the-art soil moisture networks have facilitated the use of soil moisture information in developing innovative applications for wildfire prediction and risk management applications. Additionally, the increasing availability of remote-sensing data has enabled the monitoring and modeling of wildfires across various terrestrial ecosystems. When coupled with remotely sensed data, field-based soil moisture measurements have been more valuable predictors of assessing wildfire than alone. However, sensors capable of acquiring higher spectral information and radiometry across large spatiotemporal domains are still lacking. The automation aspect of such extensive data from remote-sensing and field data is needed to rapidly assess wildfire and mitigation of wildfire-related damage at operational scales. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Comprehensive Examination of the Determinants of Damage to Houses in Two Wildfires in Eastern Australia in 2013
Fire 2021, 4(3), 44; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030044 - 09 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1165
Abstract
Wildfires continue to destroy houses, but an understanding of the complex mix of risk factors remains elusive. These factors comprise six themes: preparedness actions (including defensible space), response actions (including defence), house construction, landscape fuels, topography and weather. The themes span a range [...] Read more.
Wildfires continue to destroy houses, but an understanding of the complex mix of risk factors remains elusive. These factors comprise six themes: preparedness actions (including defensible space), response actions (including defence), house construction, landscape fuels, topography and weather. The themes span a range of spatial scales (house to region) and responsible agents (householders through government to entirely natural forces). We conducted a statistical analysis that partitions the contribution of these six themes on wildfire impact to houses, using two fires that destroyed 200 houses in New South Wales (Australia) in October 2013 (the Linksview and Mt York fires). We analysed 85 potential predictor variables using Random Forest modelling. The best predictors of impact were whether the house was defended and distance to forest toward the direction of fire spread. However, predictors from all four of the other themes had some influence, including distance to the nearest other burnt house (indicating house-to-house transmission) and vegetation cover up to 40 m from the house. The worst-placed houses (undefended, without adequate defensible space, with burnt houses nearby and with a westerly aspect) were 10 times more likely to be impacted than the best-placed houses in our study. The results indicate that householders are the agents most able to mitigate risk in the conditions experienced in these fires through both preparation and active defence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fire in Human Landscapes)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Experimental and Numerical Analysis of Formation and Flame Precession of Fire Whirls: A Review
Fire 2021, 4(3), 43; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030043 - 06 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 662
Abstract
Fire whirls are a particular case of flame behaviour characterized by a rotating column of fire driven by intense convective heating of air close to the ground. They typically result in a substantial increase in burning rate, temperature, and flame height. Fire whirls [...] Read more.
Fire whirls are a particular case of flame behaviour characterized by a rotating column of fire driven by intense convective heating of air close to the ground. They typically result in a substantial increase in burning rate, temperature, and flame height. Fire whirls can occur in any intense flame environment, including urban areas, particularly within combustible structures, and in wildland or forest fires. Recently, investigations on the creation of fire whirls have attracted much attention. However, most analyses are focused on fire whirl structure, formation, and controlling their unique state. In effect, revisiting the available experimental techniques and numerical simulations used in analyzing fire whirls has received less attention. In this paper, experimental arrangements including empirical set ups and employed fuels are presented in detail. Subsequently, major research progress focused on experimental studies and their laboratory setup is fully discussed, followed by the available numerical simulations, including combustion and turbulence models. Applied methodologies and chosen software in the recent numerical studies are also reviewed exclusively. Finally, the latest findings are featured, and prospective pathways are advised. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wind Fire Interaction and Fire Whirl)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Protective Decision-Making in Bushfire Part 2: A Rapid Systematic Review of the ‘Leave Early’ Literature
Fire 2021, 4(3), 42; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030042 - 02 Aug 2021
Viewed by 761
Abstract
In Australia, residents can choose to remain to defend their property against bushfire but, since the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, considerable emphasis is placed on leaving early, well in advance of a bushfire. However, many householders delay their protective decision. The insights offered [...] Read more.
In Australia, residents can choose to remain to defend their property against bushfire but, since the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, considerable emphasis is placed on leaving early, well in advance of a bushfire. However, many householders delay their protective decision. The insights offered by the literature into how and why some people leave early before their personal safety is threatened can inform bushfire safety policy and practice. This systematic review reports the findings of 90 papers selected from 216 identified through a search of papers in Scopus, Science Direct and Google Scholar published between 1995 and May 2021 in English. This review establishes the reasons people leave early; the influence of official and unofficial warnings; gender and other demographics; the influence of self-evacuation archetypes; planning and preparation; the influence of children and other dependents and pets; triggers initiating leaving; factors impeding and facilitating leaving; and policy issues around early leaving. This review also details 12 seminal studies that capture much of the evidence on the decision to leave early. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Concept Paper
Transcending Parallel Play: Boundary Spanning for Collective Action in Wildfire Management
Fire 2021, 4(3), 41; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030041 - 30 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 956
Abstract
A key challenge in the United States is how to manage wildfire risk across boundaries and scales, as roles, responsibilities, and ability to act are distributed among actors in ways that do not always incentivize collective action. In this review paper, we provide [...] Read more.
A key challenge in the United States is how to manage wildfire risk across boundaries and scales, as roles, responsibilities, and ability to act are distributed among actors in ways that do not always incentivize collective action. In this review paper, we provide several conceptual contributions to the understanding of wildfire management through the application of boundary spanning frameworks. This includes: (1) a characterization of four major types of boundaries in managing wildfire risk; (2) a review of major boundary spanning features and frameworks that integrate them; and (3) consideration of current and potential applications of the boundary spanning construct to the domain of wildfire management. Our goal is to advance knowledge of how actors in this arena may overcome “parallel play” to more collectively address wildfire risk. We generate new thinking about wildfire management, and offer potential implications and questions for future research, policy, and management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Rethinking Wildland Fire Governance: A Series of Perspectives)
Case Report
UAV Assisted Spatiotemporal Analysis and Management of Bushfires: A Case Study of the 2020 Victorian Bushfires
Fire 2021, 4(3), 40; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030040 - 26 Jul 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1174
Abstract
Australia is a regular recipient of devastating bushfires that severely impacts its economy, landscape, forests, and wild animals. These bushfires must be managed to save a fortune, wildlife, and vegetation and reduce fatalities and harmful environmental impacts. The current study proposes a holistic [...] Read more.
Australia is a regular recipient of devastating bushfires that severely impacts its economy, landscape, forests, and wild animals. These bushfires must be managed to save a fortune, wildlife, and vegetation and reduce fatalities and harmful environmental impacts. The current study proposes a holistic model that uses a mixed-method approach of Geographical Information System (GIS), remote sensing, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)-based bushfire assessment and mitigation. The fire products of Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) are used for monitoring the burnt areas within the Victorian Region due to the 2020 bushfires. The results show that the aggregate of 1500 m produces the best output for estimating the burnt areas. The identified hotspots are in the eastern belt of the state that progressed north towards New South Wales. The R2 values between 0.91–0.99 indicate the fitness of methods used in the current study. A healthy z-value index between 0.03 to 2.9 shows the statistical significance of the hotspots. Additional analysis of the 2019–20 Victorian bushfires shows a widespread radius of the fires associated with the climate change and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) phenomenon. The UAV paths are optimized using five algorithms: greedy, intra route, inter route, tabu, and particle swarm optimization (PSO), where PSO search surpassed all the tested methods in terms of faster run time and lesser costs to manage the bushfires disasters. The average improvement demonstrated by the PSO algorithm over the greedy method is approximately 2% and 1.2% as compared with the intra route. Further, the cost reduction is 1.5% compared with the inter-route scheme and 1.2% compared with the intra route algorithm. The local disaster management authorities can instantly adopt the proposed system to assess the bushfires disasters and instigate an immediate response plan. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Towards Understanding Fire Causes in Informal Settlements Based on Inhabitant Risk Perception
Fire 2021, 4(3), 39; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030039 - 23 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 881
Abstract
Informal settlements (ISs) are a high-risk environment in which fires are often seen. In 2019 alone, 5544 IS fires were reported in South Africa. One of the main problems, when investigating an IS fire, is determining the fire cause. In the last 15 [...] Read more.
Informal settlements (ISs) are a high-risk environment in which fires are often seen. In 2019 alone, 5544 IS fires were reported in South Africa. One of the main problems, when investigating an IS fire, is determining the fire cause. In the last 15 years, approximately 40% of the fire causes were classified as ‘undetermined’ in South Africa. Furthermore, the cases where the fire causes have been determined, do not provide the necessary information to comprehend why the fire started. This paper seeks to gain better insight with respect to fire causes by analysing the fire risk perception of IS inhabitants. To this end, a survey that was conducted in 2017, consisting of data from 2178 IS households, that were affected by a large-scale fire, was analysed. The survey consisted of questions relating to the fire risk perception with regards to the settlement in general, to the inhabitants’ own household, and about measures that could reduce fire risk. The analysis suggests that (a) the survey’s risk target had a strong influence on risk perception, (b) the inhabitants’ fire risk perception of their settlement is similar to that of firefighters in previous research, (c) the risk mitigation demands are more focused on decreasing the consequences of the fire than on the occurrence of a fire event, (d) the national fire statistics are not capturing the causes of real fire incidents, and (e) improvements to the documentation process after a fire event could provide critical information for the implementation of prevention measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fire in Human Landscapes)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Hotspot Analysis of Structure Fires in Urban Agglomeration: A Case of Nagpur City, India
Fire 2021, 4(3), 38; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030038 - 21 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 702
Abstract
Fire Service is the fundamental civic service to protect citizens from irrecoverable, heavy losses of lives and property. Hotspot analysis of structure fires is essential to estimate people and property at risk. Hotspot analysis for the peak period of last decade, using a [...] Read more.
Fire Service is the fundamental civic service to protect citizens from irrecoverable, heavy losses of lives and property. Hotspot analysis of structure fires is essential to estimate people and property at risk. Hotspot analysis for the peak period of last decade, using a GIS-based spatial analyst and statistical techniques through the Kernel Density Estimation (KDE) and Getis-Ord Gi* with Inverse Distance Weighted (IDW) interpolation is performed, revealing fire risk zones at the city ward micro level. Using remote sensing, outputs of hotspot analysis are integrated with the built environment of Land Use Land Cover (LULC) to quantify the accurate built-up areas and population density of identified fire risk zones. KDE delineates 34 wards as hotspots, while Getis-Ord Gi* delineates 17 wards within the KDE hotspot, the central core areas having the highest built-up and population density. A temporal analysis reveals the maximum fires on Thursday during the hot afternoon hours from 12 noon to 5 p.m. The study outputs help decision makers for effective fire prevention and protection by deploying immediate resource allocations and proactive planning reassuring sustainable urban development. Furthermore, updating the requirement of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to build urban resilient infrastructure in accord with the Smart City Mission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Performance-Based Design in Structural Fire Engineering)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Facilitating Prescribed Fire in Northern California through Indigenous Governance and Interagency Partnerships
Fire 2021, 4(3), 37; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030037 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2152
Abstract
Prescribed burning by Indigenous people was once ubiquitous throughout California. Settler colonialism brought immense investments in fire suppression by the United States Forest Service and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention (CAL FIRE) to protect timber and structures, effectively limiting prescribed [...] Read more.
Prescribed burning by Indigenous people was once ubiquitous throughout California. Settler colonialism brought immense investments in fire suppression by the United States Forest Service and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention (CAL FIRE) to protect timber and structures, effectively limiting prescribed burning in California. Despite this, fire-dependent American Indian communities such as the Karuk and Yurok peoples, stalwartly advocate for expanding prescribed burning as a part of their efforts to revitalize their culture and sovereignty. To examine the political ecology of prescribed burning in Northern California, we coupled participant observation of prescribed burning in Karuk and Yurok territories (2015–2019) with 75 surveys and 18 interviews with Indigenous and non-Indigenous fire managers to identify political structures and material conditions that facilitate and constrain prescribed fire expansion. Managers report that interagency partnerships have provided supplemental funding and personnel to enable burning, and that decentralized prescribed burn associations facilitate prescribed fire. However, land dispossession and centralized state regulations undermine Indigenous and local fire governance. Excessive investment in suppression and the underfunding of prescribed fire produces a scarcity of personnel to implement and plan burns. Where Tribes and local communities have established burning infrastructure, authorities should consider the devolution of decision-making and land repatriation to accelerate prescribed fire expansion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Rethinking Wildland Fire Governance: A Series of Perspectives)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Non-Destructive Fuel Volume Measurements Can Estimate Fine-Scale Biomass across Surface Fuel Types in a Frequently Burned Ecosystem
Fire 2021, 4(3), 36; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030036 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 790
Abstract
Measuring wildland fuels is at the core of fire science, but many established field methods are not useful for ecosystems characterized by complex surface vegetation. A recently developed sub-meter 3D method applied to southeastern U.S. longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) communities captures [...] Read more.
Measuring wildland fuels is at the core of fire science, but many established field methods are not useful for ecosystems characterized by complex surface vegetation. A recently developed sub-meter 3D method applied to southeastern U.S. longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) communities captures critical heterogeneity, but similar to any destructive sampling measurement, it relies on separate plots for calculating loading and consumption. In this study, we investigated how bulk density differed by 10-cm height increments among three dominant fuel types, tested predictions of consumption based on fuel type, height, and volume, and compared this with other field measurements. The bulk density changed with height for the herbaceous and woody litter fuels (p < 0.001), but live woody litter was consistent across heights (p > 0.05). Our models predicted mass well based on volume and height for herbaceous (RSE = 0.00911) and woody litter (RSE = 0.0123), while only volume was used for live woody (R2 = 0.44). These were used to estimate consumption based on our volume-mass predictions, linked pre- and post-fire plots by fuel type, and showed similar results for herbaceous and woody litter when compared to paired plots. This study illustrates an important non-destructive alternative to calculating mass and estimating fuel consumption across vertical volume distributions at fine scales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Measurement of Fuels and Fuel Properties)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Ignition of Fuel Beds by Cigarettes: A Conceptual Model to Assess Fuel Bed Moisture Content and Wind Velocity Effect on the Ignition Time and Probability
Fire 2021, 4(3), 35; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030035 - 06 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1204
Abstract
A conceptual model based on the balance of energy in a system composed of a burning cigarette, ambient flow and a porous fuel bed is proposed to study the burning of a single cigarette and the process of fuel bed dehydration, pyrolysis and [...] Read more.
A conceptual model based on the balance of energy in a system composed of a burning cigarette, ambient flow and a porous fuel bed is proposed to study the burning of a single cigarette and the process of fuel bed dehydration, pyrolysis and its eventual ignition or combustion extinction. Model predictions of time to ignition and of the probability of ignition as a function of fuel bed moisture content and ambient flow velocity are compared with results obtained in laboratory ignition tests of straw fuel beds for various ambient conditions. According to this study, the main parameters influencing the models developed are the fuel bed and tobacco moisture content, as well as the flow velocity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Measurement of Fuels and Fuel Properties)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Assessing Wildfire Regimes in Indigenous Lands of the Brazilian Savannah-Like Cerrado
Fire 2021, 4(3), 34; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030034 - 05 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 886
Abstract
The Brazilian savannah-like Cerrado is classified as a fire-dependent biome. Human activities have altered the fire regimes in the region, and as a result, not all fires have ecological benefits. The indigenous lands (ILs) of the Brazilian Cerrado have registered the recurrence of [...] Read more.
The Brazilian savannah-like Cerrado is classified as a fire-dependent biome. Human activities have altered the fire regimes in the region, and as a result, not all fires have ecological benefits. The indigenous lands (ILs) of the Brazilian Cerrado have registered the recurrence of forest fires. Thus, the diagnosis of these events is fundamental to understanding the burning regimes and their consequences. The main objective of this paper is to evaluate the fire regimes in Cerrado’s indigenous lands from 2008 to 2017. We used the Landsat time series, at 30 m spatial resolution, available in the Google Earth Engine platform to delineate the burned areas. We used precipitation data from a meteorological station to define the rainy season (RS), early dry season (EDS), middle dry season (MDS), and late dry season (LDS) periods. During 2008–2017, our results show that the total burned area in the indigenous lands and surrounding area was 2,289,562 hectares, distributed in 14,653 scars. Most fires took place between June and November, and the annual burned area was quite different in the years studied. It was also possible to identify areas with high fire recurrence. The fire regime patterns described here are the first step towards understanding the fire regimes in the region and establishing directions to improve management strategies and guide public policies. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Energy Recovery of Shrub Species as a Path to Reduce the Risk of Occurrence of Rural Fires: A Case Study in Serra da Estrela Natural Park (Portugal)
Fire 2021, 4(3), 33; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4030033 - 30 Jun 2021
Viewed by 601
Abstract
The accumulation of biomass fuels resulting from the growth of heliophilous shrubs and small tree species at the edge of forests and on scrub and pasture lands contributes to the increased risk of rural fires in Mediterranean climate regions. This situation has been [...] Read more.
The accumulation of biomass fuels resulting from the growth of heliophilous shrubs and small tree species at the edge of forests and on scrub and pasture lands contributes to the increased risk of rural fires in Mediterranean climate regions. This situation has been managed with a set of legislative measures launched with the objective of promoting cleaning and the control of these species. Areas of scrub and pasture already constitute the largest part of the annually burnt area in Portugal, resulting in high-intensity fires. In the present study, shrubs and small tree species were characterized in the laboratory. Thermogravimetric, chemical and calorimetric analyses for the evaluation of the potential for the energy recovery of the selected species were carried out. It was observed that energetic valorization (i.e., to enhance the value by planned actions) of these species is difficult because they present high levels of ash and metals, becoming prone to the occurrence of fouling and slagging phenomena. Thus, the creation of value chains that justify the incorporation of these materials becomes very difficult, except if used in non-certified, small-scale and locally based processes. The possibility of recovery through thermochemical conversion processes, such as torrefaction, pyrolysis or gasification, must be studied so that more efficient and feasible recovery alternatives can be found, allowing for the creation of value chains for these residual materials to promote their sustainable management and, thus, mitigate the risk of rural fires occurring. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop