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Open AccessArticle

PROPAGATOR: An Operational Cellular-Automata Based Wildfire Simulator

CIMA Research Foundation, I-17100 Savona, Italy
Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Genova, I-16126 Genova, Italy
Italian Department of Civil Protection, Presidency of the Council of Ministers, I-00189 Rome, Italy
Civil Protection Agency of Regione Lazio, I-00145 Rome, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 April 2020 / Revised: 19 June 2020 / Accepted: 23 June 2020 / Published: 6 July 2020
PROPAGATOR is a stochastic cellular automaton model for forest fire spread simulation, conceived as a rapid method for fire risk assessment. The model uses high-resolution information such as topography and vegetation cover considering different types of vegetation. Input parameters are wind speed and direction and the ignition point. Dead fine fuel moisture content and firebreaks—fire fighting strategies can also be considered. The fire spread probability depends on vegetation type, slope, wind direction and speed, and fuel moisture content. The fire-propagation speed is determined through the adoption of a Rate of Spread model. PROPAGATOR simulates independent realizations of one stochastic fire propagation process, and at each time-step gives as output a map representing the probability of each cell of the domain to be affected by the fire. These probabilities are obtained computing the relative frequency of ignition of each cell. The model capabilities are assessed by reproducing a set of past Mediterranean fires occurred in different countries (Italy and Spain), using when available the real fire fighting patterns. PROPAGATOR simulated such scenarios with affordable computational resources and with short CPU-times. The outputs show a good agreement with the real burned areas, demonstrating that the PROPAGATOR can be useful for supporting decisions in Civil Protection and fire management activities. View Full-Text
Keywords: wildfire; cellular automata; stochastic simulators wildfire; cellular automata; stochastic simulators
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Trucchia, A.; D’Andrea, M.; Baghino, F.; Fiorucci, P.; Ferraris, L.; Negro, D.; Gollini, A.; Severino, M. PROPAGATOR: An Operational Cellular-Automata Based Wildfire Simulator. Fire 2020, 3, 26.

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