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Assessing the Potential Impacts of the Vaia Storm on Wildfire Spread and Behavior in the Veneto Region †

Regione del Veneto—Direzione Protezione Civile, Sicurezza e Polizia Locale, 34-30175 Venezia, Italy
Institute of BioEconomy (CNR-IBE), National Research Council, 10-50019 Sassari, Italy
Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil 56199-11367, Iran
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the Third International Conference on Fire Behavior and Risk, Sardinia, Italy, 3–6 May 2022.
Environ. Sci. Proc. 2022, 17(1), 1;
Published: 5 August 2022
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The Third International Conference on Fire Behavior and Risk)


On 29 October 2018, the Vaia storm hit the Alpine forests of Italy with winds at 200 km h−1. The forest areas totally or partially damaged by the storm were about 41,000 ha, of which about 12,000 ha were in the Veneto Region. Large areas and stands of spruce and beech forests, usually not very prone to wildfires, were blown down. Only limited portions of areas with downed trees were harvested in the first year after the storm. Due to the changes in surface fuel conditions, timber understory fuel models in the area affected by the storm were converted to slash-blowdown models, which results in significant short-term changes in potential wildfire behavior. To investigate how wildfire behavior and spread were affected by the above changes, we applied wildfire simulation modeling to assess the variations in wildfire exposure characteristics (such as burn probability and conditional flame length) before and after the storm in the three Veneto provinces (Belluno, Treviso, and Vicenza) where the blown down trees were concentrated. We simulated 50,000 fire events using the MTT algorithm as implemented in Randig, and considering the historical wildfire occurrence data in the study area. Regarding fuel input data for the simulations, we modified the existing fuel map (pre-storm) of the Veneto Region and modified the fuel models of the damaged forest areas considering different standard models of slash, according to the percentage of downed trees. The results highlighted spatial variation in wildfire exposure before and after the storm, with an overall increase of wildfire risk conditions in those areas characterized by both significant levels of blowdown and high historical likelihood of fire ignitions. The methodology proposed and the findings of this study can be useful to inform future wildfire risk and land management in the areas affected by the storm.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, R.R. and M.S.; methodology, R.R., L.D.G. and M.S.; software, M.S. and L.D.G.; validation, L.D.G. and R.J.; investigation, R.R.; resources, R.R.; data curation, R.R. and L.D.G.; writing—original draft preparation, R.R., L.D.G., M.S. and R.J.; writing—review and editing, R.R., L.D.G., M.S. and R.J. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research received no external funding.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

Not applicable.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rizzolo, R.; Giudice, L.D.; Jahdi, R.; Salis, M. Assessing the Potential Impacts of the Vaia Storm on Wildfire Spread and Behavior in the Veneto Region. Environ. Sci. Proc. 2022, 17, 1.

AMA Style

Rizzolo R, Giudice LD, Jahdi R, Salis M. Assessing the Potential Impacts of the Vaia Storm on Wildfire Spread and Behavior in the Veneto Region. Environmental Sciences Proceedings. 2022; 17(1):1.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rizzolo, Rolando, Liliana Del Giudice, Roghayeh Jahdi, and Michele Salis. 2022. "Assessing the Potential Impacts of the Vaia Storm on Wildfire Spread and Behavior in the Veneto Region" Environmental Sciences Proceedings 17, no. 1: 1.

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