Monday 6 May 2013

How fire history, fire suppression practices and climate change affect wildfire regimes in Mediterranean landscapes

In a new article published in PLOS ONE, co-authored with Canadians co-workers, Marie Josée Fortin and Andrew Fall, ECOLAND members have investigated the role of fire suppression strategies in synergy with climate change on the resulting fire regimes in Catalonia (north-eastern Spain). We used a spatially-explicit fire-succession model at the landscape level to test whether the use of different fire-fighting opportunities related to observed reductions in fire spread rates and effective fire sizes, and hence changes in the fire regime.

Available data show that future changes in global change drivers may lead to an increasing impact of fires on terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. Yet, fire regime changes in highly humanised fire-prone regions are difficult to predict because fire effects may be heavily mediated by human activities We investigated the role of fire suppression strategies in synergy with climate change on the resulting fire regimes in Catalonia (north-eastern Spain). We used a spatially-explicit fire-succession model at the landscape level to test whether the use of different firefighting opportunities related to observed reductions in fire spread rates and effective fire sizes, and hence changes in the fire regime.

We calibrated this model with data from a period with weak firefighting and later assess the potential for suppression strategies to modify fire regimes expected under different levels of climate change. When comparing simulations with observed fire statistics from an eleven-year period with fire-fighting strategies in place, our results showed that, at least in two of the three sub-regions analysed, the observed fire regime could not be reproduced unless taking into account the effects of fire suppression. Fire regime descriptors were highly dependent on climate change scenarios, with a general trend, under baseline scenarios without fire suppression, to large-scale increases in area burnt.

Fire suppression strategies had a strong capacity to compensate for climate change effects. However, strong active fire suppression was necessary to accomplish such compensation, while more opportunistic fire suppression strategies derived from recent fire history only had a variable, but generally weak, potential for compensation of enhanced fire impacts under climate change. The concept of fire regime in the Mediterranean is probably better interpreted as a highly dynamic process in which the main determinants of fire are rapidly modified by changes in landscape, climate and socioeconomic factors such as fire suppression strategies.


Identifiquen els bombers com el factor determinant en el règim d’incendis forestals actual a Catalunya

El incendis forestals juguen un paper fonamental en molts ecosistemes terrestres. Malgrat aquest fet, la veritat és que no s’entén encara prou bé quins són els factors principals que determinen els incendis en regions altament humanitzades. Això fa que l’impacte dels incendis en aquestes zones sigui difícil de predir. A partir de l’anàlisi dels resultats d’un nou model d’evolució del paisatge desenvolupat per investigadors catalans i canadencs i publicats recentment a la revista PLOS ONE, s’ha pogut analitzar aquest problema des d’un nou vessant.

Aquest nou model ha estat capaç de predir la superfície cremada a Catalunya entre els anys 1990 i 2000, però no ha estat capaç de reproduir l’àrea cremada entre els anys 2000 i 2012, excepte en aquells casos en què el model, a diferència del període anterior, introduïa un increment en l‘eficiència dels bombers utilitzant oportunitats d’extinció. Aquestes oportunitats d’extinció són zones del paisatge amb característiques concretes que permeten als bombers anticipar canvis en el comportament del foc i aturar-ne la seva progressió. Només pel cas de l’incendi de Girona, el model s’ajustava a les dades observades sense la necessitat d’incorporar l’acció dels bombers de manera significativa.

Els resultats també indiquen que l’impacte històric dels incendis pot contribuir a limitar l’impacte dels nous incendis durant un temps, oferint als bombers oportunitats d’extinció fàcilment previsibles. Finalment, les projeccions derivades del model van mostrar que, si les tendències climàtiques actuals continuen, la superfície cremada en els propers 20 anys podria augmentar en més d’un 60 %. Ara bé, el paper de les estratègies d’extinció i les decisions preses en la seva implementació  són factors crítics per arribar a aquest valor o reduir-lo de manera rellevant.

Segons Lluís Brotons, investigador CTFC- CREAF, “els resultats d’aquest estudi ofereixen un marc per guiar les decisions que marcaran el futur del nostres paisatges forestals”. A més, identifiquen la importància de les estratègies d’extinció en l’impacte dels focs forestals a Catalunya i reforcen la idea que a la Mediterrània, a diferència del que passa en altres regions del món, el règim d’incendis és un concepte canviant segons el pes relatiu de factors ambientals i socials. Finalment, Lluís Brotons remarca la idea de que, fins i tot amb una alta eficiència dels sistemes d’extinció, l’acció del foc seguirà present als paisatges mediterranis i que per tant, no es pot baixar la guàrdia en un futur en el  que segur que augmentaran de manera important les situacions de risc de gran incendi forestal.

Brotons L, Aquilué N, de Cáceres M, Fortin M-J, Fall A (2013) How Fire History, Fire Suppression Practices and Climate Change Affect Wildfire Regimes in Mediterranean Landscapes. PLoS ONE 8(5): e62392. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062392


Lluís Brotons said...

VIFSM said...

Nice post. Thanks for sharing this informative post. This is really useful. Fire and safety course has good scope and it is really useful in personal as well as professional life.
Fire and Safety Institute in UP

Maria said...

The most common reasons for fires that happen at night time are careless discarding of cigarettes, fireplaces that sparked on doors, heating equipment or appliances that were left so close to flammable materials or furniture. This type of fire can be very dangerous because they can last for a long time without being known by the sleeping family.

Fire Safety Course | Fire Safety Certificate

Redhat Safety said...

nebosh course in chennai
nebosh courses in chennai
nebosh igc
nebosh courses in india
nebosh courses in tamilnadu
nebosh idip
nebosh course in chennai
nebosh in chennai

evergreensumi said...

It’s always so sweet and also full of a lot of fun for me personally and my office colleagues to search your blog a minimum of thrice in a week to see the new guidance you have got.nebosh courses in chennai

Unknown said...

I'm essentially satisfied along with your great work.You put truly extremely supportive data. Keep it up. Continue blogging. Hoping to perusing the next posthealth and safety recruitment

AMBA Training said...

I am glad to left comment on this blog.This types of informative blog makes me more knowledgeable.Share more on Fire Safety Training.

gowthunan said...

Please let me know if you’re looking for an author for your site. You have some great posts, and I think I would be a good asset.
nebosh course in chennai

saloniji said...

If you are looking best preparing organization for NEBOSH, Safety Classes, Safety Engineering course, Safety Officer Course in Lucknow and Bihar? NISHE is a top best rumored driving preparing foundation for different kind of courses. Connect with us today.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner