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Article

Quantifying the Prevalence and Practice of Suppression Firing with Operational Data from Large Fires in Victoria, Australia

Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires, Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Fantina Tedim, Vittorio Leone and Carmen Vázquez-Varela
Received: 25 August 2021 / Revised: 23 September 2021 / Accepted: 23 September 2021 / Published: 27 September 2021
Fire management agencies around the world use suppression firing for fire control. Yet, we know little about the extent of its use (e.g., prevalence and spatial coverage) and its impact on containment. We examine the prevalence and practice of suppression firing in Victoria, Australia. We used operational data from five years (2010–2015) to identify and map the incidence of suppression firing on 74 large fires (500+ ha). Suppression firing occurred on half (34) of these fires, 26 of which had data to map firing locations. The area burnt by suppression firing ranged from <1 ha to ~20,000 ha on separate fires. Archetypal suppression firing occurred during intervals of low fire spread and resulted in modest fire behaviour. Ground crews generally conducted the perimeter suppression firing. Aerial ignition was more common on large internal firing operations. For the 26 fires where we mapped the firing locations, firing occurred along 77% of the perimeter-aligned road. Suppression firing was a prominent containment tool used along one-fifth of the total external perimeter of these 74 large fires. Quantification of this practice is a first step towards establishing ignition thresholds, production rates, and integration with containment probability models. View Full-Text
Keywords: backburn; backfire; burnout; bushfire; counter-fire; firefighting; landscape fire; suppression fire; wildfire backburn; backfire; burnout; bushfire; counter-fire; firefighting; landscape fire; suppression fire; wildfire
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MDPI and ACS Style

Simpson, H.; Bradstock, R.; Price, O. Quantifying the Prevalence and Practice of Suppression Firing with Operational Data from Large Fires in Victoria, Australia. Fire 2021, 4, 63. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4040063

AMA Style

Simpson H, Bradstock R, Price O. Quantifying the Prevalence and Practice of Suppression Firing with Operational Data from Large Fires in Victoria, Australia. Fire. 2021; 4(4):63. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4040063

Chicago/Turabian Style

Simpson, Heather, Ross Bradstock, and Owen Price. 2021. "Quantifying the Prevalence and Practice of Suppression Firing with Operational Data from Large Fires in Victoria, Australia" Fire 4, no. 4: 63. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4040063

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