International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire

Estimating live fine fuels moisture content using meteorologically-based indices

International Journal of Wildland Fire 10(2) 223 - 240
Published: 2001


Field measurements of moisture content of several fine fuels (shrub vegetation and live foliage) were performed in Central Portugal and in Catalunya (NE Spain) for 1–10 years. Seasonal and interannual variation of live fine fuels of several species in two regions of the Iberian Peninsula are analysed. The species were grouped in three sets according to their relatively high, intermediate or low seasonal variability. Meteorological data from nearby stations were collected in each study area and used in the evaluation of some indicators of fuel moisture that are used in the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System, namely the Drought Code (DC). It was found that in the summer season the slow response of live fine fuel moisture content (LFFMC) to meteorological conditions, namely to precipitation, was well described by the DC. Empirical correlations between LFFMC and DC for each species and site are proposed.

Keywords: forest fuels, moisture content, live fuels, fire meteorology, Canadian FFDRS, drought code, Mediterranean ecosystems.

© IAWF 2001

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