Title: Assessment of Forest Fire Risk in European Mediterranean Region: Comparison of Satellite-Derived and Meteorological Indices
Authors: GABBAN AndreaSAN-MIGUEL-AYANZ JesusVIEGAS Domingos X.
Publisher: OPOCE
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC49371
ISSN: 1018-5593
Other Identifiers: EUR 23706 EN
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC49371
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: Forest fires are a major hazard to Mediterranean forests where, on average, half a million hectares of forested areas are burned every year. It is for this reason that the assessment of fire risk lies at the heart of fire prevention policies in the region. Often, the estimation of forest fire risk involves the integration of meteorological and other fuel-related variables leading to an index that assesses the different levels of risk. Two indices that are frequently used to estimate the level of fire risk are the Fire Weather Index (FWI) and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Although the correlation between the number of fires and the level of risk determined by the indices has been demonstrated; however the analysis that lead to this conclusion considered only the areas where the fires took place. The present paper analyzes the behaviour of these fire risk indices both in areas where fires took place and in those where fires did not occur. It analyzes and compares the potential of the two indices to discriminate different levels of fire risk over large areas using quantitative and graphical methods. The analysis is performed considering a dataset of 10 years of fire events, satellite data and meteorological data for Spain. The results show a better performance of the FWI over NDVI in identifying areas at risk of fires.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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