Integrating geospatial information into fire risk assessment

E. Chuvieco*, I. Aguado, S. Jurdao, M. L. Pettinari, M. Yebra, J. Salas, S. Hantson, J. De La Riva, P. Ibarra, M. Rodrigues, M. Echeverría, D. Azqueta, M. V. Román, A. Bastarrika, S. Martínez, C. Recondo, E. Zapico, F. J. Martínez-Vega

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Citations (Scopus)


Fire risk assessment should take into account the most relevant components associated to fire occurrence. To estimate when and where the fire will produce undesired effects, we need to model both (a) fire ignition and propagation potential and (b) fire vulnerability. Following these ideas, a comprehensive fire risk assessment system is proposed in this paper, which makes extensive use of geographic information technologies to offer a spatially explicit evaluation of fire risk conditions. The paper first describes the conceptual model, then the methods to generate the different input variables, the approaches to merge those variables into synthetic risk indices and finally the validation of the outputs. The model has been applied at a national level for the whole Spanish Iberian territory at 1-km2 spatial resolution. Fire danger included human factors, lightning probability, fuel moisture content of both dead and live fuels and propagation potential. Fire vulnerability was assessed by analysing values-at-risk and landscape resilience. Each input variable included a particular accuracy assessment, whereas the synthetic indices were validated using the most recent fire statistics available. Significant relations (P<0.001) with fire occurrence were found for the main synthetic danger indices, particularly for those associated to fuel moisture content conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-619
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Wildland Fire
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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