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The Impact on Structures of the Pedrógão Grande Fire Complex in June 2017 (Portugal)

1
Forest Fire Research Centre (CEIF/ADAI), University of Coimbra, Rua Pedro Hispano 12, 3030-289 Coimbra, Portugal
2
Military Firefighters of Minas Gerais, 31630-901 Minas Gerais, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 September 2020 / Revised: 24 September 2020 / Accepted: 26 September 2020 / Published: 29 September 2020
On 17 June 2017, one of the most dramatic and destructive wildfires in Portugal’s History started, formed by a complex of at least five wildfires that merged together burning more than 45,000 hectares. In its aftermath, 66 persons lost their lives, most of them trying to run away from the fire, more than 250 were injured, and over 1000 structures (including 263 residential homes) were damaged or destroyed, with direct losses estimated at around 200 million euros. Shortly after the fire was extinguished, and as part of a larger analysis, the authors performed exhaustive field work to assess the fire impact on all manmade structures in the area of the Pedrógão Grande fire. A specific geodatabase was built, accounting for an extensive set of parameters aimed at characterizing: (i) The structure, (ii) the surroundings of the structure, and (iii) the arrival and impact of the fire. A total of 1043 structures were considered for the analysis, mostly support structures, like sheds or storage (38.6%), but also around 25% of dwellings (13.3% primary and 11.9% secondary). Regarding the ignitions, more than 60% of the structures were ignited due to the deposition of firebrands in different weak points. In addition, more than 60% of these ignitions occurred on the roofs, mainly because of the vulnerability associated with the structures and materials supporting them. Despite these results, and from what we observed on the structures that were not destroyed, we still consider that for the Portuguese reality houses are a good refuge, providing that they and their surroundings are managed and kept in good conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: wildland urban interface; large wildfire; structure ignition; wildfire impact wildland urban interface; large wildfire; structure ignition; wildfire impact
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ribeiro, L.M.; Rodrigues, A.; Lucas, D.; Viegas, D.X. The Impact on Structures of the Pedrógão Grande Fire Complex in June 2017 (Portugal). Fire 2020, 3, 57. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire3040057

AMA Style

Ribeiro LM, Rodrigues A, Lucas D, Viegas DX. The Impact on Structures of the Pedrógão Grande Fire Complex in June 2017 (Portugal). Fire. 2020; 3(4):57. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire3040057

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ribeiro, Luís M., André Rodrigues, Davi Lucas, and Domingos X. Viegas. 2020. "The Impact on Structures of the Pedrógão Grande Fire Complex in June 2017 (Portugal)" Fire 3, no. 4: 57. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire3040057

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