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

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A PROBABILITY MODEL FOR LONG TERM FOREST FIRE OCCURRENCE IN THE KARST FOREST MANAGEMENT AREA OF SLOVENIA

Tomaž Šturm , Tomaž Podobnikar

Abstract

The aim of this study is to develop a long-term forest fire occurrence probability model in the Karst forest management area of Slovenia. The target area has the greatest forest fires occurrence rates and the largest burned areas in the country. To discover how the forest stand characteristics influence forest fire occurrence, we developed a long-term linear regression model. The geographically weighted regression method was applied to build the model, using forest management plans and land-based datasets as explanatory variables and a past forest fire activity dataset as a predicted variable. The land based dataset was used to represent human activity as a key role in fire occurrence. Variables representing natural and the anthropogenic environment used in the model explained 39% of past forest fire occurrences and predicted areas with the highest likelihood of forest fire occurrence. The results show that the forest fire occurrence probability in a stand increases with lower wood stock, lower species diversity, lower thickness diversity and in stands dominated by conifer trees under normal canopy closure. These forests stand characteristics are planned to be used in forest management and silviculture planning to reduce fire damage in Slovenian forests.

WF15192  Accepted 07 March 2017

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