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Environments 2018, 5(7), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5070079

Fuel Treatments and Potential Fire Behavior in Peri-Urban Forests in Northern Greece

1
Forest Research Institute of Thessaloniki, ELGO-DEMETER, 57006 Vassilika, Thessaloniki, Greece
2
Laboratory of Forest Management and Economics, Department of Forestry and Natural Environment Management, Technical University of Kavala, 66100 Drama, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 June 2018 / Revised: 6 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
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Abstract

The peri-urban and urban forests in Greece occupy a total area of 105.353 ha. In these vulnerable ecosystems, fire constitutes a natural disaster presenting particular challenges and specific difficulties. These include the high number of visitors as well as the forest characteristics, such as the presence of particularly flammable tree species and the high accumulation of combustible biomass, that make the on-start of fires more likely. The main purpose of the current research is to identify the optimum combination of silvicultural treatments to efficiently reduce potential severity of forest fires and to facilitate their successful suppression by firefighting crews. In order to simulate the basic fire environment of urban forests, two main experimental plots were established and several tree and topographical characteristics were measured. Additionally, a crown fire hazard modelling system (NEXUS) was used to simulate forest fire potential behavior before and after the adoption of the silvicultural treatments that altered critical characteristics of the forest fire environment. The results clearly show that specific silvicultural prescriptions altered the type of forest fire spreading potential, revealing the overall efficiency of preventing actions during forest management. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban ecosystems; fuel treatments; NEXUS; simulation; fire urban ecosystems; fuel treatments; NEXUS; simulation; fire
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Samara, T.; Raptis, D.; Spanos, I. Fuel Treatments and Potential Fire Behavior in Peri-Urban Forests in Northern Greece. Environments 2018, 5, 79.

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