Quantifying the Prevalence and Practice of Suppression Firing with Operational Data from Large Fires in Victoria, Australia
1.2. Issues with the Practice
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Selected Fires and Data
2.2. Suppression Firing Reconstruction
2.3. Quantitative Analysis
3.1. Proportion of Large Fires that Have Suppression Firing in Total and by Fuel Type
3.2. Proportion of External Perimeter Contained by Suppression Firing
3.3. Extent of Burn Area Attibutable to Suppression Firing
3.4. The Practice of Suppression Firing in Vicotria, Australia: Backburns and Burnouts
Institutional Review Board Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Suppression Firing 1||The intentional application of fire for containment or control purposes during an unplanned fire event. Suppression firing used as an overarching term to encompass all firing operations (e.g., backburns, burnouts, and counter-fires).|
|Backburn 2||“A fire started intentionally from a prepared line or other barrier to burn an area of flammable material in the path of an advancing fire in order to control that fire.”|
|Burnout 2||“A fire set to consume islands of unburnt fuel inside the fire perimeter and between the fire edge and fireline.”|
|Counter-fire 1||Suppression fire that:|
(a) occurs in the path, or near the projected path of a rapidly spreading fire, and;
(b) results in a purposeful interaction to draw the counter-fire into the primary fire, or;
(c) causes a significant interaction that changes the primary fire’s direction of spread.
|Australia ||Backburn||“1. A fire started intentionally along the inner edge of a fireline during indirect attack operations to consume fuel in the path of a bushfire (Australia).”|
2. “A counterfire commenced from within continuous fuel for the purpose of fighting a fire (New Zealand).”
|Back burn||“A fire started intentionally from a prepared line or other barrier to burn an area of flammable material in the path of an advancing fire in order to control that fire.”|
|Burn out||“1. A fire set to consume islands of unburnt fuel inside the fire perimeter and between the fire edge and fireline (Australia).|
2. A counterfire commenced from a natural or previously constructed firebreak for the purpose of fighting a fire (New Zealand).”
|USA  (current)||Suppression firing||“The intentional application of fire to speed or strengthen control action on free-burning fires. Types of suppression firing include burning out, counter firing, and strip burning.”|
|Burning out||“Setting fire inside a control line to consume fuel between the edge of the fire and the control line.”|
|Counter fire||“(1) Fire set between main fire and backfire to hasten spread of backfire.|
(2) Emergency firing to stop, delay, or split a fire front, or to steer a fire.”
|Strip burning||“Burning by means of strip firing.”|
|Strip firing||“Setting fire to more than one strip of fuel and providing for the strips to burn together. Frequently done in burning out against a wind where inner strips are fired first to create drafts which pull flames and sparks away from the control line.”|
|Backfire||“A fire set along the inner edge of a fireline to consume the fuel in the path of a fire or change the direction of force of the fire’s convection column.”|
|Backfiring||“A tactic associated with indirect attack, intentionally setting fire to fuels inside the control line to slow, knock down, or contain a rapidly spreading fire. Backfiring provides a wide defense perimeter and may be further employed to change the force of the convection column.”|
|USA  (p. 1) (1969)||Suppression firing||“The intentional application of fire to speed or strengthen control action on free-burning fires, suppression firing includes the following classifications: (1) counter firing, (2) burning out, (3) mopup burning.”|
|Counter firing||“Emergency firing in or near the projected path of a steady, high-intensity fire for the purpose of splitting or delaying the fire front, or to steer the fire in a desired direction.”|
|Burning out||“The use of fire to widen control lines and to remove islands or wide strips of unburned fuel within control lines.”|
|Mop-up burning||“The use of fire during the final stages of control efforts to remove islands of unburned fuel or extend the ‘black line’ of control.”|
|Activity||SitRep Excerpt||Fire Name|
|Preparation||“Machines tasked to brush up control lines to the north and south of fire ahead of expected backburning operations .”||Powelltown|
|Status||“Crews continuing to patrol and black out, Several hot spots are showing up around the area, with the main fire becoming more active—though not threatening lines—backburn and main fire are yet to converge—they should meet during today .”||Timbarra|
|Progress||“Crews have burnt out along the Eustace Gap Tk to the north to keep in front of active edge. Burning continued to approx. EV667442. South along Eustace Gap Tk burning extended to EV652411 .”||Corryong|
|Extent||“Cobboboonee Division Indirect attack involves completion of a backburn along Inkpot Rd, Heath Rd and South Kentbruck Tk a distance of approximately 20 km .”||Kentbruck|
|Category||Count||Min (ha)||Max (ha)||Mean (ha)||Median (ha)||StdDev (ha)||Sum (ha)|
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Simpson, H.; Bradstock, R.; Price, O. Quantifying the Prevalence and Practice of Suppression Firing with Operational Data from Large Fires in Victoria, Australia. Fire 2021, 4, 63. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire4040063
Simpson H, Bradstock R, Price O. Quantifying the Prevalence and Practice of Suppression Firing with Operational Data from Large Fires in Victoria, Australia. Fire. 2021; 4(4):63. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire4040063Chicago/Turabian Style
Simpson, Heather, Ross Bradstock, and Owen Price. 2021. "Quantifying the Prevalence and Practice of Suppression Firing with Operational Data from Large Fires in Victoria, Australia" Fire 4, no. 4: 63. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire4040063