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Assessing the Influence of Roads on Fire Ignition: Does Land Cover Matter?

1
Department of Environmental Biology, University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, I-00185 Rome, Italy
2
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, Research Centre for Agriculture and Environment (CREA-AA), I-00198 Rome, Italy
3
Italian National Research Council, Institute of Environmental Geology and Geoengineering (CNR-IGAG), I-00015 Monterotondo, Italy
4
Insubric Ecosystems Group, Swiss Federal Research Institute (WSL), CH-6593 Cadenazzo, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 6 July 2018 / Accepted: 7 July 2018 / Published: 9 July 2018
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Abstract

In human-affected fire environments, assessing the influence of human activities on the spatial distribution of wildfire ignitions is of paramount importance for fire management planning. Previous studies have shown that roads have significant effects on fire ignition. However, since different land cover classes are subject to different levels of ignition risk, roads in different land cover classes may differently affect fire ignition. The aim of this paper is thus to assess the influence of roads on fire ignition in selected land cover classes subjected to different levels of anthropogenic pressure in Sardinia (Italy). Our results show that fires are preferentially ignited close to roads in all land cover classes. However, the influence of roads is much stronger in less impacted land uses, where the availability of human-induced ignitions highly depends on the accessibility networks. Our approach represents a first step towards the systematic integration of interacting fire ignition drivers such as roads and land cover into fire risk analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: distance to roads; fire selectivity; human pressure; land use/land cover; Sardinia distance to roads; fire selectivity; human pressure; land use/land cover; Sardinia
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Ricotta, C.; Bajocco, S.; Guglietta, D.; Conedera, M. Assessing the Influence of Roads on Fire Ignition: Does Land Cover Matter? Fire 2018, 1, 24.

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