Skip to Main Content
Assessing the effect of a fuel break network to reduce burnt area and wildfire risk transmissionAuthor(s): Tiago M. Oliveira; Ana M. G. Barros; Alan A. Ager; Paulo M. Fernandes
Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
View PDF (1.0 MB)
DescriptionWildfires pose complex challenges to policymakers and fire agencies. Fuel break networks and area-wide fuel treatments are risk-management options to reduce losses from large fires. Two fuel management scenarios covering 3% of the fire-prone Algarve region of Portugal and differing in the intensity of treatment in 120-m wide fuel breaks were examined and compared with the no-treatment option. We used the minimum travel time algorithm to simulate the growth of 150 000 fires under the weather conditions historically associated with large fires. Fuel break passive effects on burn probability, area burned, fire size distribution and fire transmission among 20 municipalities were analysed. Treatments decreased large-fire incidence and reduced overall burnt area up to 17% and burn probability between 4% and 31%, depending on fire size class and treatment option. Risk transmission among municipalities varied with community. Although fire distribution shifted and large events were less frequent, mean treatment leverage was very low (1 : 26), revealing a very high cost–benefit ratio and the need for engaging forest owners to act in complementary area-wide fuel treatments. The study assessed the effectiveness of a mitigating solution in a complex socioecological system, contributing to a better-informed wildland fire risk governance process among stakeholders.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationOliveira, Tiago M.; Barros, Ana M. G.; Ager, Alan A.; Fernandes, Paulo M. 2016. Assessing the effect of a fuel break network to reduce burnt area and wildfire risk transmission. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 25(6): 619-632.
KeywordsPortugal, risk governance, risk management, wildfire exposure
- Estimation of wildfire size and risk changes due to fuels treatments
- Wildfire exposure and fuel management on western US national forests
- Analyzing the transmission of wildfire exposure on a fire-prone landscape in Oregon, USA
XML: View XML