Title: Integration of Socio-Economic and Environmental Variables for Modeling Long-Term Fire Danger in Southern Europe
Citation: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF FOREST RESEARCH vol. 127 no. 2 p. 149-163
Publisher: SPRINGER
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC56809
ISSN: 1612-4669
URI: http://www.springerlink.com/content/110827/
DOI: 10.1007/s10342-007-0191-5
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: In Mediterranean forests fire danger assessment is of crucial importance for any fire prevention policy, both at the local and global scale. The objective of this study is to model large scale structural forest fire danger in Southern Europe. This was done through the identification of those physiographic, socioeconomic and environmental factors that best explain fire occurrence in this region. The modeling process consisted of a multi-step analysis based on multiple regression techniques. In this work, a balance is reached between the objectivity of mechanical methods, and the thoroughness entailed by an exhaustive selection of the variables. Due to the different availability of input data, two different fire danger models were built. One model was derived for Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Greece, using an initial set of 32 independent variables. A second model was derived for a reduced area (Spain, France and Italy) using these 32 plus another 5 variables. Both models were built using the same methodology, which was based on the search for best intermediate models. The dependent variable used to represent forest fire danger was computed through the annual average of fire occurrence. Statistically, both models performed satisfactorily. The final fits for the first and second model yielded R2 values of 0.60 and 0.71, respectively. Given the structural condition of the variables considered, the resulting models can be used to support the design of fire prevention policies on the long-term basis.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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