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

International Journal of Wildland Fire

Volume 23 Number 2 2014

This paper reviews the potential hydrologic and erosion consequences of increased wildfire activity associated with cheatgrass invasions, plant community transitions and warming climate along the rangeland–xeric forest continuum in the western United States. A conceptual model of post-fire hydrologic vulnerability and risk is presented and key knowledge gaps that limit post-fire risk assessment are identified.

Can bushfire activity be forecast using climate variables? We review the relationship between fire activity, climate variables and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) for the fire-prone state of Victoria, Australia. The results reveal the potential to use climate variables and ENSO indices to forecast the upcoming season’s potential bushfire activity.

We examined the predictability of fire days in a seasonally dry tropical forest in southern India using weather parameters. Fire days were more likely with low rainfall in the early dry season, low relative humidity and high temperatures during the dry season. We provide a quantitative framework for fire risk assessment for this forest type.

A website integrates weather, fire danger and fire behaviour information for the Great Lakes region of the United States. Applications of this Great Lakes Fire and Fuels System are demonstrated and evaluated for the 2012 fire season.

It is often necessary to know what day any given area has burned to allow for incorporating daily weather data into fire-related analyses. I evaluated several methods for interpolating coarse-resolution day-of-burning satellite data into fine-resolution maps. The resulting maps showed reasonably high quantitative and qualitative agreement with fire progression data.

WF13086Estimation of forest structure and canopy fuel parameters from small-footprint full-waveform LiDAR data

Txomin Hermosilla, Luis A. Ruiz, Alexandra N. Kazakova, Nicholas C. Coops and L. Monika Moskal
pp. 224-233

Knowledge of fuel conditions is critical to accurately forecast fire behaviour. We present a methodology to estimate forest canopy fuel parameters using small-footprint, full-waveform light detection and ranging (LiDAR) airborne data in a mixed forest region of north-west Oregon (US).

Tree-ring reconstructions reveal historically frequent, low-severity fires (mean fire interval = 7.8 years, ≥2 sites scarred) and low tree densities (mean = 135 trees ha–1) in a piñon–juniper savanna in the south-western USA. This differs dramatically from (1) current conditions and (2) other piñon–juniper ecosystems containing less grass cover.

WF13031Large airtanker use and outcomes in suppressing wildland fires in the United States

David E. Calkin, Crystal S. Stonesifer, Matthew P. Thompson and Charles W. McHugh
pp. 259-271

We integrate multiple datasets to characterise the use of large airtankers in fire suppression efforts on federal land for the conterminous United States in 2010 and 2011. Results confirm earlier work suggesting extensive use of large airtankers on extended attack, despite policy stating priority for use in initial attack. Further, results suggest that initial attack success rates for fires with large airtanker use are relatively low compared with the success rate on all wildfires.

WF13029Air tanker drop patterns

Dominique Legendre, Ryan Becker, Elise Alméras and Amélie Chassagne
pp. 272-280

Ground patterns of liquid aerial drops for combating wildfires (airplanes and helicopters) are considered. Based on a significant number of drop tests, a simple model for the length, the width and the coverage distribution is presented. The difference between gravity systems and recent pressurised systems is also discussed.

WF12106Social preferences for fuel break management programs in Spain: a choice modelling application to prevention of forest fires

Elsa Varela, Marek Giergiczny, Pere Riera, Pierre-Alexandre Mahieu and Mario Soliño
pp. 281-289

This article presents an economic valuation study of several aspects related to the management of fuel break networks. It shows how citizens’ welfare is influenced by eventual changes in fuel break management programs that have to do with the cleaning techniques employed, the design and overall, with the potential to reduce fire risk.

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