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Fire, Volume 2, Issue 2 (June 2019) – 20 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Lightning is responsible for 56% of the acreage burned each year by wildfire. Nearly half of [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Deriving Fire Behavior Metrics from UAS Imagery
Fire 2019, 2(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020036 - 22 Jun 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1840
Abstract
The emergence of affordable unmanned aerial systems (UAS) creates new opportunities to study fire behavior and ecosystem pattern—process relationships. A rotor-wing UAS hovering above a fire provides a static, scalable sensing platform that can characterize terrain, vegetation, and fire coincidently. Here, we present [...] Read more.
The emergence of affordable unmanned aerial systems (UAS) creates new opportunities to study fire behavior and ecosystem pattern—process relationships. A rotor-wing UAS hovering above a fire provides a static, scalable sensing platform that can characterize terrain, vegetation, and fire coincidently. Here, we present methods for collecting consistent time-series of fire rate of spread (RoS) and direction in complex fire behavior using UAS-borne NIR and Thermal IR cameras. We also develop a technique to determine appropriate analytical units to improve statistical analysis of fire-environment interactions. Using a hybrid temperature-gradient threshold approach with data from two prescribed fires in dry conifer forests, the methods characterize complex interactions of observed heading, flanking, and backing fires accurately. RoS ranged from 0–2.7 m/s. RoS distributions were all heavy-tailed and positively-skewed with area-weighted mean spread rates of 0.013–0.404 m/s. Predictably, the RoS was highest along the primary vectors of fire travel (heading fire) and lower along the flanks. Mean spread direction did not necessarily follow the predominant head fire direction. Spatial aggregation of RoS produced analytical units that averaged 3.1–35.4% of the original pixel count, highlighting the large amount of replicated data and the strong influence of spread rate on unit size. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unmanned Aircraft in Fire Research and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
LANDFIRE Remap Prototype Mapping Effort: Developing a New Framework for Mapping Vegetation Classification, Change, and Structure
Fire 2019, 2(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020035 - 20 Jun 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1463
Abstract
LANDFIRE (LF) National (2001) was the original product suite of the LANDFIRE program, which included Existing Vegetation Cover (EVC), Height (EVH), and Type (EVT). Subsequent refinements after feedback from data users resulted in updated products, referred to as LF 2001, that now served [...] Read more.
LANDFIRE (LF) National (2001) was the original product suite of the LANDFIRE program, which included Existing Vegetation Cover (EVC), Height (EVH), and Type (EVT). Subsequent refinements after feedback from data users resulted in updated products, referred to as LF 2001, that now served as LANDFIRE’s baseline datasets and are the basis for all subsequent LANDFIRE updates. These updates account for disturbances and vegetation transition changes that may not represent current vegetation conditions. Therefore, in 2016 LANDFIRE initiated the Remap prototype to determine how to undertake a national-scale remap of the LANDFIRE primary vegetation datasets. EVC, EVH, and EVT were produced (circa 2015) via modeling for ecologically variable prototyping areas in the Pacific Northwest (NW) and Grand Canyon (GC). An error analysis within the GC suggested an overall accuracy of 52% (N = 800) for EVT, and a goodness of fit of 51% (N = 38) for percent cover (continuous EVC) and 53% (N = 38) for height (continuous EVH). The prototyping effort included a new 81-class map using the National Vegetation Classification (NVC) within the NW. This paper presents a narrative of the innovative methodologies in image processing and mapping used to create the new LANDFIRE vegetation products. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Firefighter Observations of “Surprising” Fire Behavior in Mountain Pine Beetle-Attacked Lodgepole Pine Forests
Fire 2019, 2(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020034 - 18 Jun 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1522
Abstract
The recent mountain pine beetle outbreak affecting lodgepole pine forests in the Rocky Mountains has created a novel fire environment for wildland firefighters. This paper presents results from an examination of firefighters’ observations of fire behavior in post-outbreak lodgepole pine forests, with a [...] Read more.
The recent mountain pine beetle outbreak affecting lodgepole pine forests in the Rocky Mountains has created a novel fire environment for wildland firefighters. This paper presents results from an examination of firefighters’ observations of fire behavior in post-outbreak lodgepole pine forests, with a focus on what they considered surprising from a fire behavior standpoint and how this in turn affected their suppression tactics. The surprises in fire behavior experienced by firefighters during the red phase of post-outbreak forests included an elevated level of fire spread and intensity under moderate weather and fuel moisture conditions, increased spotting, and faster surface-to-crown fire transitions with limited or no ladder fuels. Unexpectedly, during the gray phase in mountain pine beetle-attacked stands, crown ignition and crown fire propagation was observed for short periods of time. Firefighters are now more likely to expect to see active fire behavior in nearly all fire weather and fuel moisture conditions, not just under critically dry and windy situations, and across all mountain pine beetle attack phases, not just the red phase. Firefighters changed their suppression tactics by adopting indirect methods due to the potential fire behavior and tree-fall hazards associated with mountain pine beetle-attacked lodgepole pine forests. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
How Much Does Fire Behavior of Leaf Litter Beds Change within Two Months?
Fire 2019, 2(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020033 - 14 Jun 2019
Viewed by 1266
Abstract
Fire behavior is well-recognized as a function of fuel characteristics, but in practice the dynamics of fuels are often overlooked. Here we focus on short term changes in the fuel bed structure and fire behavior. Fire behavior and structural characteristics of leaf litter [...] Read more.
Fire behavior is well-recognized as a function of fuel characteristics, but in practice the dynamics of fuels are often overlooked. Here we focus on short term changes in the fuel bed structure and fire behavior. Fire behavior and structural characteristics of leaf litter beds of Pinus halepensis, Ceratonia silique, and Quercus pubescens were examined. Three treatments were applied: testing freshly constructed samples (treatment “0”), exposure to a simulated precipitation event (treatment ”10”), and a two-month exposure to outside weather conditions (treatment “60”). The testing procedure allowed fire behavior testing without disturbing sample structure. Out of the tested species P. halepensis was most affected by the treatments, followed by Q. pubescens. C. silique showed no significant treatment effects. Response to the treatments could be attributed to pore space within the fuel bed, with more pore space relating to more dramatic treatment effects. In the treatment “0” P. halepensis and C. silique exhibited opposing fire behavior, but showed no significant differences in the treatment “60”. The measured effects show that short-term alterations in the fuel bed structure and fire behavior can be substantial, making it an issue that should be addressed in future research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Multipollutant Smoke Emissions Sensing and Sampling Instrument Package for Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Development and Testing
Fire 2019, 2(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020032 - 07 Jun 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1823
Abstract
Poor air quality arising from prescribed and wildfire smoke emissions poses threats to human health and therefore must be taken into account for the planning and implementation of prescribed burns for reducing contemporary fuel loading and other management goals. To better understand how [...] Read more.
Poor air quality arising from prescribed and wildfire smoke emissions poses threats to human health and therefore must be taken into account for the planning and implementation of prescribed burns for reducing contemporary fuel loading and other management goals. To better understand how smoke properties vary as a function of fuel beds and environmental conditions, we developed and tested a compact portable instrument package that integrates direct air sampling with air quality and meteorology sensing, suitable for in situ data collection within burn units and as a payload on multi-rotor small unmanned aircraft systems (sUASs). Co-located sensors collect carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter data at a sampling rate of ~0.5 Hz with a microcontroller-based system that includes independent data logging, power systems, radio telemetry, and global positioning system data. Sensor data facilitates precise remote canister collection of air samples suitable for laboratory analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other major and trace gases. Instrument package specifications are compatible with common protocols for ground-based and airborne measurements. We present and discuss design specifications for the system and preliminary data collected in controlled burns at Tall Timbers Research Station, FL, USA and Sycan Marsh Preserve, OR, USA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unmanned Aircraft in Fire Research and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Pre-Columbian Fire Management Linked to Refractory Black Carbon Emissions in the Amazon
Fire 2019, 2(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020031 - 29 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1759
Abstract
Anthropogenic climate change—combined with increased human-caused ignitions—is leading to increased wildfire frequency, carbon dioxide emissions, and refractory black carbon (rBC) aerosol emissions. This is particularly evident in the Amazon rainforest, where fire activity has been complicated by the synchronicity of natural and anthropogenic [...] Read more.
Anthropogenic climate change—combined with increased human-caused ignitions—is leading to increased wildfire frequency, carbon dioxide emissions, and refractory black carbon (rBC) aerosol emissions. This is particularly evident in the Amazon rainforest, where fire activity has been complicated by the synchronicity of natural and anthropogenic drivers of ecological change, coupled with spatial and temporal heterogeneity in past and present land use. One approach to elucidating these factors is through long-term regional fire histories. Using a novel method for rBC determinations, we measured an approximately 3500-year sediment core record from Lake Caranã in the eastern Amazon for rBC influx, a proxy of biomass burning and fossil fuel combustion. Through comparisons with previously published records from Lake Caranã and regional evidence, we distinguished between local and regional rBC emission sources demonstrating increased local emissions of rBC from ~1250 to 500 calendar years before present (cal yr BP), coinciding with increased local-scale fire management during the apex of pre-Columbian activity. This was followed by a regional decline in biomass burning coincident with European contact, pre-Columbian population decline, and regional fire suppression associated with the rubber boom (1850–1910 CE), supporting the minimal influence of climate on regional burning at this time. During the past century, rBC influx has rapidly increased. Our results can serve to validate rBC modeling results, aiding with future predictions of rBC emissions and associated impacts to the climate system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land-Use and Fire around the World from the Past to the Present)
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Open AccessArticle
We’re Not Doing Enough Prescribed Fire in the Western United States to Mitigate Wildfire Risk
Fire 2019, 2(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020030 - 29 May 2019
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 6176
Abstract
Prescribed fire is one of the most widely advocated management practices for reducing wildfire hazard and has a long and rich tradition rooted in indigenous and local ecological knowledge. The scientific literature has repeatedly reported that prescribed fire is often the most effective [...] Read more.
Prescribed fire is one of the most widely advocated management practices for reducing wildfire hazard and has a long and rich tradition rooted in indigenous and local ecological knowledge. The scientific literature has repeatedly reported that prescribed fire is often the most effective means of achieving such goals by reducing fuels and wildfire hazard and restoring ecological function to fire-adapted ecosystems in the United States (US) following a century of fire exclusion. This has translated into calls from scientists and policy experts for more prescribed fire, particularly in the Western US, where fire activity has escalated in recent decades. The annual extent of prescribed burning in the Western US remained stable or decreased from 1998 to 2018, while 70% of all prescribed fire was completed primarily by non-federal entities in the Southeastern US. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) was the only federal agency to substantially increase prescribed fire use, potentially associated with increased tribal self-governance. This suggests that the best available science is not being adopted into management practices, thereby further compounding the fire deficit in the Western US and the potential for more wildfire disasters. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Prototype Downscaling Algorithm for MODIS Satellite 1 km Daytime Active Fire Detections
Fire 2019, 2(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020029 - 23 May 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2057
Abstract
This work presents development of an algorithm to reduce the spatial uncertainty of active fire locations within the 1 km MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS Aqua and Terra) daytime detection footprint. The algorithm is developed using the finer 500 m reflective bands by [...] Read more.
This work presents development of an algorithm to reduce the spatial uncertainty of active fire locations within the 1 km MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS Aqua and Terra) daytime detection footprint. The algorithm is developed using the finer 500 m reflective bands by leveraging on the increase in 2.13 μm shortwave infrared reflectance due to the burning components as compared to the non-burning neighborhood components. Active fire presence probability class for each of the 500 m pixels within the 1 km footprint is assigned by locally adaptive contextual tests against its surrounding neighborhood pixels. Accuracy is assessed using gas flares and wildfires in conjunction with available high-resolution imagery. Proof of concept results using MODIS observations over two sites show that under clear sky conditions, over 84% of the 500 m locations that had active fires were correctly assigned to high to medium probabilities, and correspondingly low to poor probabilities were assigned to locations with no visible flaming fronts. Factors limiting the algorithm performance include fire size/temperature distributions, cloud and smoke obscuration, sensor point spread functions, and geolocation errors. Despite these limitations, the resulting finer spatial scale of active fire detections will not only help first responders and managers to locate actively burning fire fronts more precisely but will also be useful for the fire science community. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Ecophysiological Traits on Live Fuel Moisture Content
Fire 2019, 2(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020028 - 22 May 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1259
Abstract
Live fuel moisture content (LFMC) is an important metric for fire danger ratings. However, there is limited understanding of the physiological control of LFMC or how it varies among co-occurring species. This is a problem for biodiverse yet fire-prone regions such [...] Read more.
Live fuel moisture content (LFMC) is an important metric for fire danger ratings. However, there is limited understanding of the physiological control of LFMC or how it varies among co-occurring species. This is a problem for biodiverse yet fire-prone regions such as southern California. We monitored LFMC and water potential for 11 native woody species, and measured ecophysiological traits related to access to water, plant water status, water use regulation, and drought adaptation to answer: (1) What are the physiological mechanisms associated with changes in LFMC? and (2) How do seasonal patterns of LFMC differ among a variety of shrub species? We found that LFMC varied widely among species during the wet winter months, but converged during the dry summer months. Traits associated with LFMC patterns were those related to access to water, such as predawn and minimum seasonal water potentials (Ψ), and water use regulation, such as transpiration. The relationship between LFMC and Ψ displayed a distinct inflection point. For most species, this inflection point was also associated with the turgor loss point, an important drought-adaptation trait. Other systems will benefit from studies that incorporate physiological mechanisms into determining critical LFMC thresholds to expand the discipline of pyro-ecophysiology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Assessment of Fire Refugia Importance Criteria Ranked by Land Managers
Fire 2019, 2(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020027 - 22 May 2019
Viewed by 1109
Abstract
There is evidence that forest resiliency is declining in the western US due to recent increases in both areas burned by wildfire and the number of large fires. Fire refugia may increase forest resiliency; however, for land managers to incorporate fire refugia into [...] Read more.
There is evidence that forest resiliency is declining in the western US due to recent increases in both areas burned by wildfire and the number of large fires. Fire refugia may increase forest resiliency; however, for land managers to incorporate fire refugia into their management plans, methods need to be developed to identify and rank criteria for what make fire refugia important. As part of a larger effort to build a spatially explicit ranking model for unburned islands in the inland northwestern US, we investigated the perceived importance of criteria used to inform a ranking model to identify high-value fire refugia. We developed a survey targeting land managers within the inland northwestern US. Participants were asked to score a predetermined list of criteria by their importance for determining the value of fire refugia. These scores were analyzed to identify trends among respondents that could be used to develop a fire refugia ranking model. The results indicate that respondents generally organized criteria into two groups: Human infrastructure and wildlife habitat. However, there was little consensus among respondents in their scoring of fire refugia importance criteria, suggesting that a single region-wide fire refugia ranking model may not be feasible. More research with a larger sample size is needed to develop targeted ranking models. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Influence of Local Social Context on Strategies for Achieving Fire Adapted Communities
Fire 2019, 2(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020026 - 17 May 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1807
Abstract
There is a growing recognition that the social diversity of communities at risk from wildland fire may necessitate divergent combinations of policies, programs and incentives that allow diverse populations to promote fire adapted communities (FACs). However, there have been few coordinated research efforts [...] Read more.
There is a growing recognition that the social diversity of communities at risk from wildland fire may necessitate divergent combinations of policies, programs and incentives that allow diverse populations to promote fire adapted communities (FACs). However, there have been few coordinated research efforts to explore the perceived utility and effectiveness of various options for FACs among residents, professionals, and local officials in disparate communities with different social contexts. The research presented here attempts to systematically explore the combination of local social factors that influence support for coordinated wildfire risk management across locations. We conducted 19 interactive focus groups across five communities spanning five Western U.S. states using a mixed-method design that allowed for the collection of quantitative and qualitative data. Results indicate a number of significant differences in effectiveness ratings for adaptation approaches across communities, including requirement of vegetation mitigations on private properties, fostering Firewise communities, and zoning efforts in fire-prone areas. We used qualitative data to help explain the differences between communities as a function of unique local social context operating in each location. We also compare our results with existing frameworks promoting community “archetypes” to evaluate their continued use in wildfire management planning or response. Full article
Open AccessCase Report
Tree Mortality Following Mixed-Severity Prescribed Fire Dramatically Alters the Structure of a Developing Pinus taeda Forest on the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain
Fire 2019, 2(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020025 - 17 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1007
Abstract
This case study documents the aftermath of a mixed-severity prescribed fire conducted during the growing season in a young loblolly pine forest. The specific management objective involved killing a substantial proportion of the overstory trees and creating an open-canopy habitat. The burn generated [...] Read more.
This case study documents the aftermath of a mixed-severity prescribed fire conducted during the growing season in a young loblolly pine forest. The specific management objective involved killing a substantial proportion of the overstory trees and creating an open-canopy habitat. The burn generated canopy openings across 26% of the 25-ha burn block, substantially altering the horizontal structure. Mortality of pines was high and stems throughout the size distribution were impacted; stem density was reduced by 60% and basal area and aboveground biomass (AGB) by ~30% at the end of the first growing season. A nonlinear regression model fit to plot data portrays a positive relationship between high stocking (i.e., relative density > 0.60) and postburn mortality. Survival of individual trees was reliably modeled with logistic regression, including variables describing the relative reduction in the size of tree crowns following the burn. Total AGB recovered rapidly, on average exceeding levels at the time of the burn by 23% after six growing seasons. Intentional mixed-severity burning effectively created persistent canopy openings in a young fire-tolerant precommercial-sized pine forest, meeting our objectives of structural alteration for habitat restoration. Full article
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Open AccessViewpoint
High Risk of Post-Earthquake Fire Hazard in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Fire 2019, 2(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020024 - 17 May 2019
Viewed by 882
Abstract
According to a recent survey conducted by the Fire Service and Civil Defense in Dhaka, Bangladesh, more than 400 hospitals and clinics are facing a dreadful risk of fire hazard [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Survival of Pinus ponderosa Saplings Subjected to Increasing Levels of Fire Behavior and Impacts on Post-Fire Growth
Fire 2019, 2(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020023 - 09 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1612
Abstract
Improved predictions of tree species mortality and growth metrics following fires are important to assess fire impacts on forest succession, and ultimately forest growth and yield. Recent studies have shown that North American conifers exhibit a ‘toxicological dose-response’ relationship between fire behavior and [...] Read more.
Improved predictions of tree species mortality and growth metrics following fires are important to assess fire impacts on forest succession, and ultimately forest growth and yield. Recent studies have shown that North American conifers exhibit a ‘toxicological dose-response’ relationship between fire behavior and the resultant mortality or recovery of the trees. Prior studies have not been conclusive due to potential pseudo-replication in the experimental design and time-limited observations. We explored whether dose-response relationships are observed in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) saplings exposed to surface fires of increasing fire behavior (as quantified by Fire Radiative Energy—FRE). We confirmed equivalent dose-response relationships to the prior studies that were focused on other conifer species. The post-fire growth in the saplings that survived the fires decreased with increasing FRE dosages, while the percentage mortality in the sapling dosage groups increased with the amount of FRE applied. Furthermore, as with lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), a low FRE dosage could be applied that did not yield mortality in any of the replicates (r = 10). These results suggest that land management agencies could use planned burns to reduce fire hazard while still maintaining a crop of young saplings. Incorporation of these results into earth-system models and growth and yield models could help reduce uncertainties associated with the impacts of fire on timber growth, forest resilience, carbon dynamics, and ecosystem economics. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Comparing Modeled Emissions from Wildfire and Prescribed Burning of Post-Thinning Fuel: A Case Study of the 2016 Pioneer Fire
Fire 2019, 2(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020022 - 09 May 2019
Viewed by 1100
Abstract
Prescribed fire is often used by land managers as an effective means of implementing fuel treatments to achieve a variety of goals. Smoke generated from these activities can put them at odds with air quality regulations. We set out to characterize the emission [...] Read more.
Prescribed fire is often used by land managers as an effective means of implementing fuel treatments to achieve a variety of goals. Smoke generated from these activities can put them at odds with air quality regulations. We set out to characterize the emission tradeoff between wildfire and prescribed fire in activity fuels from thinning in a case study of mixed conifer forest within the Boise National Forest in central Idaho. Custom fuelbeds were developed using information from the forest and emissions were modeled and compared for four scenarios, as follows: Untreated fuels burned in wildfire (UNW), prescribed fire in activity fuels left from thinning (TRX), a wildfire ignited on the post-treatment landscape (PTW), and the combined emissions from TRX followed by PTW (COM). The modeled mean total emissions from TRX were approximately 5% lower, compared to UNW, and between 2–46% lower for individual pollutants. The modeled emissions from PTW were approximately 70% lower than UNW. For the COM scenario, emissions were not significantly different from the UNW scenario for any pollutants, but for CO2. However, for the COM scenario, cumulative emissions would have been comprised of two events occurring at separate times, each with lower emissions than if they occurred at once. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring ISO31000 Risk Management during Dynamic Fire and Emergency Operations in Western Australia
Fire 2019, 2(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020021 - 24 Apr 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1548
Abstract
Firefighting remains an inherently dangerous occupation with serious injuries and fatalities reported globally. The Australasian Fire Authorities Council adopt ISO31000 as the standard of risk management for all firefighting and mitigation operations. However, previous studies have reported that decisions made by incident controllers [...] Read more.
Firefighting remains an inherently dangerous occupation with serious injuries and fatalities reported globally. The Australasian Fire Authorities Council adopt ISO31000 as the standard of risk management for all firefighting and mitigation operations. However, previous studies have reported that decisions made by incident controllers during dynamic emergencies are typically reactionary and only partially compliant with the ISO31000 process. This paper describes research using new qualitative and quantitative data that support incident controllers in managing risk during dynamic fire and emergency situations, in accordance with ISO31000. The research was completed through two studies. The first study explored risk attitudes of serving fire service officers through semistructured interviews and in-depth structured surveys. The second study identified the severity of firefighting consequences and likelihood through analysis of Western Australian fire service safety and incident reports between January 1st, 2001 and January 1st, 2015. The overall and conditional probability of specific injuries during the various tasks undertaken during emergency incidents was calculated using Bayesian statistical analysis. The findings indicate that whilst current practices are arguably effective in preventing worst case consequences being realised, improvements in operational risk management can be made in accordance with ISO31000 during emergencies and in pre-incident planning. Full article
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Open AccessViewpoint
Notre Dame Cathedral: Another Case in a Growing List of Heritage Landmarks Destroyed by Fire
Fire 2019, 2(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020020 - 24 Apr 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1610
Abstract
16 April 2019 [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Fire Temperature Based on the Time and Resistance of Buildings—Predicting the Adoption of Fire Safety Measures
Fire 2019, 2(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020019 - 10 Apr 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1118
Abstract
During a fire in enclosed spaces, having structures with a good level of resistance is very important. The post flashover fire time interval, during which rescue squads operate, is important to verify if the structure can still resist fire for an acceptable time [...] Read more.
During a fire in enclosed spaces, having structures with a good level of resistance is very important. The post flashover fire time interval, during which rescue squads operate, is important to verify if the structure can still resist fire for an acceptable time interval. This can be determined through the REI value. Hence, the way the fire develops must be examined together with the trend of the temperature that might guarantee that the structure will resist the heat flux released during the combustion. This article examines and compares, through a case study, the most important methods for analysis of the fire risk: the prescriptive approach and the simplified performance-based approach. The performance-based method (more suitable for the actual planning demand with respect to the more cautious prescriptive approach) is affected by the parameters influencing its development. The goal of this article is to provide a graph (based on parameters like the type of building, opening factor “O” and fire load “q”) that might be used by designers and architects to carry out the planning phase and adopt fire prevention systems before dealing with the assessments required by the engineering field for the fire risk analysis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial, Temporal and Electrical Characteristics of Lightning in Reported Lightning-Initiated Wildfire Events
Fire 2019, 2(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020018 - 03 Apr 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2679
Abstract
Analysis was performed to determine whether a lightning flash could be associated with every reported lightning-initiated wildfire that grew to at least 4 km2. In total, 905 lightning-initiated wildfires within the Continental United States (CONUS) between 2012 and 2015 were analyzed. [...] Read more.
Analysis was performed to determine whether a lightning flash could be associated with every reported lightning-initiated wildfire that grew to at least 4 km2. In total, 905 lightning-initiated wildfires within the Continental United States (CONUS) between 2012 and 2015 were analyzed. Fixed and fire radius search methods showed that 81–88% of wildfires had a corresponding lightning flash within a 14 day period prior to the report date. The two methods showed that 52–60% of lightning-initiated wildfires were reported on the same day as the closest lightning flash. The fire radius method indicated the most promising spatial results, where the median distance between the closest lightning and the wildfire start location was 0.83 km, followed by a 75th percentile of 1.6 km and a 95th percentile of 5.86 km. Ninety percent of the closest lightning flashes to wildfires were negative polarity. Maximum flash densities were less than 0.41 flashes km2 for the 24 h period at the fire start location. The majority of lightning-initiated holdover events were observed in the Western CONUS, with a peak density in north-central Idaho. A twelve day holdover event in New Mexico was also discussed, outlining the opportunities and limitations of using lightning data to characterize wildfires. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Fire and Forest Management in Montane Forests of the Northwestern States and California, USA
Fire 2019, 2(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire2020017 - 03 Apr 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1416
Abstract
We reviewed forest management in the mountainous regions of several northwestern states and California in the United States and how it has impacted current issues facing these forests. We focused on the large-scale activities like fire suppression and logging which resulted in landscape [...] Read more.
We reviewed forest management in the mountainous regions of several northwestern states and California in the United States and how it has impacted current issues facing these forests. We focused on the large-scale activities like fire suppression and logging which resulted in landscape level changes. We divided the region into two main forests types; wet, like the forests in the Pacific Northwest, and dry, like the forests in the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges. In the wet forests, the history of intensive logging shaped the current forest structure, while fire suppression played a more major role in the dry forests. Next, we looked at how historical management has influenced new forest management challenges, like catastrophic fires, decreased heterogeneity, and climate change. We then synthesized what current management actions are performed to address these issues, like thinning to reduce fuels or improve structural heterogeneity, and restoration after large-scale disturbances. Lastly, we touch on some major policies that have influenced changes in management. We note a trend towards ecosystem management that considers a forest’s historical disturbance regime. With expected climate induced changes in fire frequency, it is suggested that fuel treatments be implemented in dry forests to ensure an understory fire regime is restored in these forest systems. With respect to wet forests in this region, it is suggested that there is still a place for stand-replacing fire regimes. However, these forests will require structural changes incorporating heterogeneity to improve their resiliency and health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land-Use and Fire around the World from the Past to the Present)
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