Changing weather extremes call for early warnint of potential for catastrophic fire

dc.contributor.authorBoer, Matthias M.
dc.contributor.authorNolan, Rachael H.
dc.contributor.authorResco de Dios, Víctor
dc.contributor.authorClarke, Hamish
dc.contributor.authorPrice, Owen F.
dc.contributor.authorBradstock, Ross A.
dc.date.accessioned2018-01-11T13:10:38Z
dc.date.available2018-01-11T13:10:38Z
dc.date.issued2017
dc.date.updated2018-01-11T13:10:39Z
dc.description.abstractChanging frequencies of extreme weather events and shifting fire seasons call for enhanced capability to forecast where and when forested landscapes switch from a nonflammable (i.e., wet fuel) state to the highly flammable (i.e., dry fuel) state required for catastrophic forest fires. Current forest fire danger indices used in Europe, North America, and Australia rate potential fire behavior by combining numerical indices of fuel moisture content, potential rate of fire spread, and fire intensity. These numerical rating systems lack the physical basis required to reliably quantify forest flammability outside the environ- ments of their development or under novel climate conditions. Here, we argue that exceedance of critical forest flammability thresholds is a prerequisite for major forest fires and therefore early warning systems should be based on a reliable prediction of fuel moisture content plus a regionally calibrated model of how forest fire activity responds to variation in fuel moisture content. We demonstrate the potential of this approach through a case study in Portugal. We use a physically based fuel moisture model with historical weather and fire records to identify critical fuel moisture thresholds for forest fire activity and then show that the catastrophic June 2017 forest fires in central Portugal erupted shortly after fuels in the region dried out to historically unprecedented levels.
dc.description.sponsorshipThis research was partly financially supported by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre. V.R.D. was funded by the Spanish Government (RYC-2012-10970; AGL2015-69151-R). The authors thank M. de Luis, R. Serrano and G. Devine for their assistance with data access. All analyses are based on publically available data from sources listed in the references
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifier.doihttps://doi.org/10.1002/2017EF000657
dc.identifier.idgrec026271
dc.identifier.issn2328-4277
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10459.1/62338
dc.language.isoeng
dc.publisherWiley Open Access
dc.publisherAmerican Geophysical Union (AGU)
dc.relationinfo:eu-repo/grantAgreement/MINECO//AGL2015-69151-R/ES/MORTALIDAD ARBOREA TRAS INCENDIOS: PROCESOS SUBYACENTES Y CONSECUENCIAS PARA LA RECUPERACION Y GESTION DE LOS BOSQUES MEDITERRANEOS/
dc.relation.isformatofReproducció del document publicat a: https://doi.org/10.1002/2017EF000657
dc.relation.ispartofEarth's Future, 2017, vol. 6, p. 1180-1186
dc.rightscc-by-nc-nd, (c) Boer et al., 2017
dc.rights.accessRightsinfo:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.rights.urihttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/
dc.subject.otherMeteorologia
dc.subject.otherIncendis forestals
dc.titleChanging weather extremes call for early warnint of potential for catastrophic fire
dc.typeinfo:eu-repo/semantics/article
dc.type.versionpublishedVersion
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