Skip to Main Content
Defining extreme wildfire events: Difficulties, challenges, and impactsAuthor(s): Fantina Tedim; Vittorio Leone; Malik Amraoui; Christophe Bouillon; Michael R. Coughlan; Giuseppe M. Delogu; Paulo M. Fernandes; Carmen Ferreira; Sarah McCaffrey; Tara K. McGee; Joana Parente; Douglas Paton; Mario G. Pereira; Luís M. Ribeiro; Domingos X. Viegas; Gavriil Xanthopoulos
Source: Fire. 1: 9.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
Download Publication (715.0 KB)
DescriptionEvery year worldwide some extraordinary wildfires occur, overwhelming suppression capabilities, causing substantial damages, and often resulting in fatalities. Given their increasing frequency, there is a debate about how to address these wildfires with significant social impacts, but there is no agreement upon terminology to describe them. The concept of extreme wildfire event (EWE) has emerged to bring some coherence on this kind of events. It is increasingly used, often as a synonym of other terms related to wildfires of high intensity and size, but its definition remains elusive. The goal of this paper is to go beyond drawing on distinct disciplinary perspectives to develop a holistic view of EWE as a social-ecological phenomenon. Based on literature review and using a transdisciplinary approach, this paper proposes a definition of EWE as a process and an outcome. Considering the lack of a consistent “scale of gravity” to leverage extreme wildfire events such as in natural hazards (e.g., tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes) we present a proposal of wildfire classification with seven categories based on measurable fire spread and behavior parameters and suppression difficulty. The categories 5 to 7 are labeled as EWE.
- You may send email to email@example.com 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.
CitationTedim, Fantina; Leone, Vittorio; Amraoui, Malik; Bouillon, Christophe; Coughlan, Michael R.; Delogu, Giuseppe M.; Fernandes, Paulo M.; Ferreira, Carmen; McCaffrey, Sarah; McGee, Tara K.; Parente, Joana; Paton, Douglas; Pereira, Mario G.; Ribeiro, Luís M.; Viegas, Domingos X.; Xanthopoulos, Gavriil. 2018. Defining extreme wildfire events: Difficulties, challenges, and impacts. Fire. 1: 9.
Keywordscontrol capacity, disaster, extreme wildfire event (EWE), large fire, megafire, social-ecological, transdisciplinary
- Evaluating socioecological wildfire effects in Greece with a novel numerical index
- What can we do differently about the extreme wildfire problem: An overview [Chapter 13]
- Characterization of ten extreme disturbance events in the context of social and ecological systems
XML: View XML