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

Assessing ignition probability and moisture of extinction in a Mediterranean grass fuel

A. P. Dimitrakopoulos A B , I. D. Mitsopoulos A and K. Gatoulas A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Laboratory of Forest Protection, School of Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, PO Box 228, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece.

B Corresponding author. Email: alexdimi@for.auth.gr

In memoriam: Professor Nikolaos H. Athanasiadis

International Journal of Wildland Fire 19(1) 29-34 https://doi.org/10.1071/WF08124
Submitted: 14 July 2008  Accepted: 15 July 2009   Published: 5 February 2010

Abstract

The objective of this study was the assessment of the probability of ignition and moisture of extinction of the annual herbaceous species Slender Oat (Avena barbata Pott. ex Link) in Greece. Multiple ignition tests were conducted in situ with a drip torch during two fire seasons, with simultaneous monitoring of the weather conditions. Stepwise logistic regression was applied to assess the probability of ignition based on plant moisture content and meteorological parameters. Fuel moisture content was determined to be the only statistically significant (P < 0.0001) parameter and, therefore, it was the only variable kept in the analysis. The logistic model correctly predicted fire ignition in 93.6% of the tests and 50% ignition probability was determined at 38.5% oven-dried weight (ODW) plant moisture content. Moisture of extinction (i.e. probability of ignition at 1%) was calculated at 55.5% ODW. Furthermore, classification tree analysis was applied to determine the independent variables that explain the variability in ignition probability. Wind speed was found to have an effect on ignition probability only at relatively high (>30% ODW) fuel moisture contents. Assessment of the ignition potential and moisture of extinction of grass fuels is a prerequisite for reliable fire danger prediction.


Acknowledgements

This study is partly based on the MSc thesis by Mr K. Gatoulas, submitted at the School of Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Part of the work was financially supported by the FIRE PARADOX project (FP6–018505).


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