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Assessing the influence of roads on fire ignition: does land cover matter?

Carlo Ricotta, Sofia Bajocco, Daniela Guglietta, Marco Conedera

In human-affected fire environments, assessing the influence of human activities on the spatial distribution of wildfire ignitions is of paramount importance for fire management planning. Previous studies have shown that roads have significant effects on fire ignition. However, since different land cover classes are subject to different levels of ignition risk, roads in different land cover classes may differently affect fire ignition. The aim of this paper is thus to assess the influence of roads on fire ignition in selected land cover classes subjected to different levels of anthropogenic pressure in Sardinia (Italy). Our results show that fires are preferentially ignited close to roads in all land cover classes. However, the influence of roads is much stronger in less impacted land uses, where the availability of human-induced ignitions highly depends on the accessibility networks. Our approach represents a first step towards the systematic integration of interacting fire ignition drivers such as roads and land cover into fire risk analysis.


Fire, Vol. 1, No. 2. (09 July 2018), 24, https://doi.org/10.3390/fire1020024 
Key: INRMM:14614293

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