A new wildland fire danger index for a Mediterranean region and some validation aspects

Autores UPV


Wildland fires are the main cause of tree mortality in Mediterranean Europe and a major threat to Spanish forests. This paper focuses on the design and validation of a new wildland fire index especially adapted to a Mediterranean Spanish region. The index considers ignition and spread danger components. Indicators of natural and human ignition agents, historical occurrence, fuel conditions and fire spread make up the hierarchical structure of the index. Multi-criteria methods were used to incorporate experts¿ opinion in the process of weighting the indicators and to carry out the aggregation of components into the final index, which is used to map the probability of daily fire occurrence on a 0.5-km grid. Generalised estimating equation models, which account for possible correlated responses, were used to validate the index, accommodating its values onto a larger scale because historical records of daily fire occurrence, which constitute the dependent variable, are referred to cells on a 10-km grid. Validation results showed good index performance, good fit of the logistic model and acceptable discrimination power. Therefore, the index will improve the ability of fire prevention services in daily allocation of resources.