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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Fermín J. Alcasena; Marcos Rodrígues; Pere J. Gelabert; Cristina Vega-García
Publication Date: 2022

As large fires threaten human assets in Mediterranean areas, creating fire-adapted communities became a core long-term goal to cope with extreme wildfires. In addition to early detection and risk-monitoring tools, preemptive efforts are essential to reduce wildfire spread, prevent catastrophic losses, and help minimize casualties. However, despite extensive scientific development to predict potential fire impacts, the poor risk communication with landscape and urban planners is often a barrier to translating primary outcomes into operational projects. Comprehensive solutions for creating fire-adapted communities indeed require not only fuel reduction treatments but also civil protection and fire suppression considerations to facilitate a safe and effective response. In this study, we assembled modeled fire footprints and fire intensity grids with asset locations to generate a set of risk mitigation maps in a large fire-prone Mediterranean area. Previous modeling works showed strong capabilities for predicting future catastrophic fires, as well as containment probabilities, but the integration of landscape-scale management efforts, community protection plans, and strategic fire suppression opportunities is still incipient. First, we used observed ignitions and past fire perimeters to model initial attack success and containment probability. We then calibrated and implemented a fire modeling approach to replicate thousands of years or iterations assuming wildfire season extreme weather conditions. Finally, the results were merged and summarized to provide a set of maps to inform large-scale ongoing risk reduction programs. We present new ideas and geospatial data processing techniques that may facilitate the assimilation of modeled predictions within fire management plans to adapt faster to changing fire regimes. The methods developed in this study could be replicated in southern European Union countries and other wildland–urban interface areas elsewhere.

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Citation: Alcasena, Fermín J.; Rodrigues, Marcos; Gelabert, Pere J.; Vega-García, Cristina. 2022. Advancing new methods for creating fire-resilient communities in Mediterranean areas. Environmental Sciences Proceedings 17(1):70.

Cataloging Information

  • FAC - fire adapted communities
  • fire management
  • resilient community
  • risk communication
  • risk mitigation
  • urban planning
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Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 67449