Humans and fire form a coupled and co-evolving natural-human system in Mediterranean-climate ecosystems. In this context, recent trends in landscape change, such as urban sprawl or the abandoning of agricultural and forest land management in line with new models of economic development and lifestyles, are leading to new fire scenarios. A fire scenario refers to the contextual factors of a fire regime, i.e., the environmental, socio-economic and policy drivers of wildfire initiation and propagation on different spatial and temporal scales. This is basically a landscape concept linking territorial dynamics (related to ecosystem evolution and settlement patterns) with a fire regime (ignition causes; spread patterns; fire frequency, severity, extent and seasonality). The aim of this article is to identify and characterize these land-based fire scenarios in Spain on a national and regional scale, using a GIS-based methodology to perform a spatial analysis of the area attributes of homogenous fire spread patterns. To do this, the main variables considered are: land use/land cover, fuel load and recent fire history. The final objective is to reduce territorial vulnerability to forest wildfires and facilitate the adaptation of fire policies and land management systems to current challenges of preparedness and uncertainty management.
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