Skip to Main Content
Coupling wildfire spread and erosion models to quantify post-fire erosion before and after fuel treatmentsAuthor(s): Michele Salis; Liliana Del Giudice; Peter R. Robichaud; Alan A. Ager; Annalisa Canu; Pierpaolo Duce; Grazia Pellizzaro; Andrea Ventura; Fermin Alcasena-Urdiroz; Donatella Spano; Bachisio Arca
Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire. doi: 10.1071/WF19034.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
View PDF (2.0 MB)
DescriptionWildfires are known to change post-fire watershed conditions such that hillslopes can become prone to increased erosion and sediment delivery. In this work, we coupled wildfire spread and erosion prediction modelling to assess the benefits of fuel reduction treatments in preventing soil runoff. The study was conducted in a 68 000-ha forest area located in Sardinia, Italy. We compared no-treatment conditions v. alternative strategic fuel treatments performed in 15% of the area. Fire behaviour before and after treatments was estimated by simulating 25 000 wildfires for each condition using the minimum travel time fire-spread algorithm. The fire simulations replicated historic conditions associated with severe wildfires in the study area. Sediment delivery was then estimated using the Erosion Risk Management Tool (ERMiT). Our results showed how post-fire sediment delivery varied among and within fuel treatment scenarios. The most efficient treatment alternative was that implemented near the road network. We also evaluated other factors such as exceedance probability, time since fire, slope, fire severity and vegetation type on post-fire sediment delivery. This work provides a quantitative assessment approach to inform and optimise proactive risk management activities intended to reduce post-fire erosion.
- 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.
CitationSalis, Michele; Del Giudice, Liliana; Robichaud, Peter R.; Ager, Alan A.; Canu, Annalisa; Duce, Pierpaolo; Pellizzaro, Grazia; Ventura, Andrea; Alcasena-Urdiroz, Fermin; Spano, Donatella; Arca, Bachisio. 2019. Coupling wildfire spread and erosion models to quantify post-fire erosion before and after fuel treatments. International Journal of Wildland Fire. doi: 10.1071/WF19034.
Keywordsfire behavior, fire management, fire prevention, post-fire impacts
- Erosion Risk Management Tool (ERMiT) user manual (version 2006.01.18)
- Science You Can Use Bulletin: From watersheds to the web: Online tools for modeling forest soil erosion
- Recent findings related to measuring and modeling forest road erosion
XML: View XML