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

Mediterranean fuel models and potential fire behaviour in Greece

International Journal of Wildland Fire 11(2) 127 - 130
Published: 30 July 2002


The Mediterranean vegetation types of Greece were classified into typical fuel models by measuring the following fuel parameters in 181 representative natural fuel complexes: 1-h, 10-h, 100-h and 1000-h fuel loads; foliage load; litter load and depth; total fuel load; average height and soil cover of the herbaceous, small shrub (up to 0.5 m) and tall shrub (0.5-3.0 m) vegetation layers. The data set was statistically analysed by a two-stage clustering procedure that produced seven distinct fuel models: two for evergreen-sclerophyllous shrublands (maquis), one for kermes oak shrublands, two for phrygana, one for grasslands and one for the litter layer of Mediterranean pine forests. The indicative range (upper and lower limit) of potential fire behavior for every fuel model was calculated with the BEHAVE fire behavior prediction system, using as inputs the specific fuel parameter values of every model. The shrubland fuel models resulted in fires with high intensity and rate of spread, while the phrygana and grassland models in fast fires of medium to low intensity. The litter layer of the pine forests provided the least severe burning conditions.

Keywords: forest fuels; fire management.

© IAWF 2002

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