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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Nicholas Wilson; Marta Yebra
Publication Date: 2022

The early detection of unplanned fires can improve the chances of successful containment and suppression, thus reducing the risk of large and destructive fires. However, detecting fires can be difficult, particularly over large landscapes with variable topography and land use. Information on where and when unplanned fire ignitions are most likely to occur can assist in the strategic deployment of fire-detection resources. The Australian Capital Territory, in temperate southeastern Australia, consists of a large urban centre surrounded by fire-prone forests and grasslands. Conditions expected to influence ignition risk, such as human presence, climate, and fuel type, vary considerably across the region, however climate is the main condition that will vary across the entire region from year to year. Ignitions in the remote and mountainous area to the southwest are likely to be limited by high fuel moisture and fewer ignition sources. While the drier and more populated area in the northeast may support more frequent ignitions. Consequently, ignition occurrence is expected to vary considerably across the region and over time. Here, we present an analysis of unplanned fire ignition patterns across the Australian Capital Territory from 2013 to 2021. Specifically, we ask how annual ignition frequency varies across the region and whether these patterns vary with annual climatic fluctuations. These results are discussed within the context of improving early fire detection and resource deployment.

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Citation: Wilson, Nicholas; Yebra, Marta. 2022. Understanding unplanned fire ignition patterns to improve early fire detection and resource deployment. Environmental Sciences Proceedings 17(1):30.

Cataloging Information

  • Australia
  • fire detection
  • ignition detection
  • resource allocation
  • wildfire ignition
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Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 66850