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

Fire modelling in Tasmanian buttongrass moorlands. IV. Sustaining versus non-sustaining fires

International Journal of Wildland Fire 10(2) 255 - 262
Published: 2001


Buttongrass moorlands are widespread in western Tasmania. In these moorlands, the ability to conduct burning without having to rely on hard fuel boundaries (e.g. vegetation which is too wet to burn, water courses, mineral earth breaks and/or roads) would be a major advantage to land managers. Such burning relies on fires self-extinguishing and is normally referred to as unbounded burning. The aim of this project was to model the probability of fires extinguishing using the data from 156 buttongrass moorland fires. The variables used were wind speed, dead fuel moisture and site productivity. The model, derived from a combination of logistic regression and classification tree modelling, predicts that fires will self-extinguish over a wide range of conditions in low productivity moorlands but, in medium productivity moorlands, the conditions within which fires will self-extinguish will be much more restrictive. As a result, the technique of unbounded burning should be widely applicable in low productivity moorlands, but will be of marginal utility in medium productivity moorlands.

Keywords: fire behaviour models, fire extinguishment, fire management, Gymnoschoenus, moorland, Tasmania.

© IAWF 2001

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