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Article << Previous     |         Contents Vol 22(4)

Assessing exposure of human and ecological values to wildfire in Sardinia, Italy

Michele Salis A B F, Alan A. Ager C, Bachisio Arca D, Mark A. Finney E, Valentina Bacciu B, Pierpaolo Duce D and Donatella Spano A B

A University of Sassari, Department of Science for Nature and Environmental Resources (DIPNET), Via Enrico De Nicola 9, I-07100, Sassari, Italy.
B Euro-Mediterranean Center for Climate Changes (CMCC), IAFENT Division, Via De Nicola 9, I-07100, Sassari, Italy.
C USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center, 3160 NE 3rd Street, Prineville, OR 97754, USA.
D National Research Council (CNR), Institute of Biometeorology (IBIMET), Traversa La Crucca 3, I-07100 Sassari, Italy.
E USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, 5775 Highway 10 West, Missoula, MT 59808, USA.
F Corresponding author. Email: miksalis@uniss.it

International Journal of Wildland Fire 22(4) 549-565 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF11060
Submitted: 1 May 2011  Accepted: 14 August 2012   Published: 8 November 2012

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We used simulation modelling to analyse spatial variation in wildfire exposure relative to key social and economic features on the island of Sardinia, Italy. Sardinia contains a high density of urban interfaces, recreational values and highly valued agricultural areas that are increasingly being threatened by severe wildfires. Historical fire data and wildfire simulations were used to estimate burn probabilities, flame length and fire size. We examined how these risk factors varied among and within highly valued features located on the island. Estimates of burn probability excluding non-burnable fuels, ranged from 0–1.92 × 10–3, with a mean value of 6.48 × 10–5. Spatial patterns in modelled outputs were strongly related to fuel loadings, although topographic and other influences were apparent. Wide variation was observed among the land parcels for all the key values, providing a quantitative approach to inform wildfire risk management activities.


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