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Fire Behavior Pathways under Climate Change and Management Scenarios †

Lauma Elza Miezīte
Aitor Ameztegui
2 and
Marcos Rodrigues
Department of Forest Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
Department of Agricultural and Forest Engineering, University of Lleida, 25003 Lleida, Spain
Department of Geography and Land Management, University of Zaragoza, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
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), 87;
Published: 17 August 2022
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The Third International Conference on Fire Behavior and Risk)
Mediterranean forests are strongly influenced by forest fires; however, global change is threatening the provision of ecosystem services by altering forest dynamics. The FIREPATHS project aims to assess future wildfire danger by coupling forest dynamics, climate modeling and wildfire behavior simulation. The project explores different forest management scenarios based on several EU forest policies (promotion of carbon stocks, water vulnerability reduction, biomass production and business-as-usual) under the RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 climate pathways in the period 2020–2100.
We evaluated fire behavior changes in Pinus nigra forests in central Catalonia (NE Spain). Forest dynamics were simulated using data from the 3rd National Forest Inventory at stand level using the software SORTIE-nd. Simulations were conducted using climate projections under RCPs 4.5 and 8.5 (meteoland R-package), which also allow us to estimate fuel moisture content (dead and alive) and wind speed. Then, fuel parameters and fire behavior were simulated (medfate R-package), analyzing crown fire initiation potential and rate of crown fire spread to understand potential interactions.
The preliminary results revealed interesting trade-offs between ecosystem dynamics and wildfire hazard. Continuation of the business-as-usual scenario would result in the highest values of crown ROS, while management for vulnerability reduction would have the lowest rates. However, the results suggest sensitivity to climate. Crown fire initiation potential and crown fire spread rate are strongly influenced by forest dynamics, especially under RCP 8.5, which foresees a clear decline in FMC. Forest management influences the potential fire behavior, experiencing different trends depending on the climate pathway, and being particularly threatening under the increasingly hazardous conditions of RCP 8.5. This trajectory is difficult to override without a specific fire mitigation scenario. Altogether, the results indicate that climate and forest management influence fire behavior differently, highlighting the importance of taking both into account towards risk mitigation.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, M.R. and A.A.; methodology, L.E.M., A.A. and M.R.; software, A.A.; formal analysis, L.E.M.; investigation, L.E.M., A.A. and M.R.; data curation, L.E.M.; writing—original draft preparation, L.E.M., A.A. and M.R.; writing—review and editing, L.E.M., A.A. and M.R.; visualization, M.R.; supervision, M.R.; project administration, M.R; funding acquisition, M.R. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This work was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation [grant numbers FIREPATHS (PID2020-116556RA-I00) and UMBRACLIM (PID2019-111781RB-I00)], and by the ERANET FORESTERRA project INFORMED (grant number: 29183). LEM was funded with a scholarship by the MSc in European Forestry Programme at the University of Lleida. This work was also funded by project FirEUrisk—DEVELOPING A HOLISTIC, RISK-WISE STRATEGY FOR EUROPEAN WILDFIRE MANAGEMENT, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101003890.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

Forest inventory data can be freely downloaded from the website of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge ( Climate prediction data were based on the EU-CORDEX project (available at Earth System Grid Federation; The original weather data is available at the Spanish Meteorological Agency upon request.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Miezīte, L.E.; Ameztegui, A.; Rodrigues, M. Fire Behavior Pathways under Climate Change and Management Scenarios. Environ. Sci. Proc. 2022, 17, 87.

AMA Style

Miezīte LE, Ameztegui A, Rodrigues M. Fire Behavior Pathways under Climate Change and Management Scenarios. Environmental Sciences Proceedings. 2022; 17(1):87.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Miezīte, Lauma Elza, Aitor Ameztegui, and Marcos Rodrigues. 2022. "Fire Behavior Pathways under Climate Change and Management Scenarios" Environmental Sciences Proceedings 17, no. 1: 87.

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