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    Author(s): Palaiologos Palaiologou; Kostas Kalabokidis; Alan A. AgerMichelle A. Day
    Date: 2020
    Source: Forests. 11: 789.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)

    Description

    A solution to the growing problem of catastrophic wildfires in Greece will require a more holistic fuel management strategy that focuses more broadly on landscape fire behavior and risk in relation to suppression tactics and ignition prevention. Current fire protection planning is either non‐existent or narrowly focused on reducing fuels in proximity to roads and communities where ignitions are most likely. A more effective strategy would expand the treatment footprint to landscape scales to reduce fire intensity and increase the likelihood of safe and efficient suppression activities. However, expanding fuels treatment programs on Greek landscapes that are highly fragmented in terms of land use and vegetation requires: (1) a better understanding of how diverse land cover types contribute to fire spread and intensity; and (2) case studies, both simulated and empirical, that demonstrate how landscape fuel management strategies can achieve desired outcomes in terms of fire behavior. In this study, we used Lesvos Island, Greece as a study area to characterize how different land cover types and land uses contribute to fire exposure and used wildfire simulation methods to understand how fire spreads among parcels of forests, developed areas, and other land cover types (shrublands, agricultural areas, and grasslands) as a way to identify fire source-sink relationships. We then simulated a spatially coordinated fuel management program that targeted the fire prone conifer forests that generally burn under the highest intensity. The treatment effects were measured in terms of post‐treatment fire behavior and transmission. The results demonstrated an optimized method for fuel management planning that accounts for the connectivity of wildfire among different land types. The results also identified the scale of risk and the limitations of relying on small scattered fuel treatment units to manage long‐term wildfire risk.

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    Citation

    Palaiologou, Palaiologos; Kalabokidis, Kostas; Ager, Alan A.; Day, Michelle A. 2020. Development of comprehensive fuel management strategies for reducing wildfire risk in Greece. Forests. 11: 789.

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    Keywords

    fuel treatment optimization modeling, Calabrian pine, Pinus brutia, European olive, FlamMap, fire behavior modeling, minimum travel time algorithm, Lesvos Island

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