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Selection: with tag fire-weather-index [34 articles] 


Sensitivity and evaluation of current fire risk and future projections due to climate change: the case study of Greece

Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, Vol. 14, No. 1. (23 January 2014), pp. 143-153,


Current trends in the Mediterranean climate, and more specifically in Greece, indicate longer and more intense summer droughts that even extend out of season. In connection to this, the frequency of forest fire occurrence and intensity is on the rise. In the present study, the Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI) is used in order to investigate the relationship between fire risk and meteorological conditions in Greece. FWI is a meteorologically based index designed in Canada and used worldwide, including the Mediterranean ...


Robust projections of Fire Weather Index in the Mediterranean using statistical downscaling

Climatic Change, Vol. 120, No. 1-2. (2013), pp. 229-247,


The effect of climate change on wildfires constitutes a serious concern in fire-prone regions with complex fire behavior such as the Mediterranean. The coarse resolution of future climate projections produced by General Circulation Models (GCMs) prevents their direct use in local climate change studies. Statistical downscaling techniques bridge this gap using empirical models that link the synoptic-scale variables from GCMs to the local variables of interest (using e.g. data from meteorological stations). In this paper, we investigate the application of statistical ...


Projecting future drought in Mediterranean forests: bias correction of climate models matters!

Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Vol. 117, No. 1-2. (2014), pp. 113-122,


Global and regional climate models (GCM and RCM) are generally biased and cannot be used as forcing variables in ecological impact models without some form of prior bias correction. In this study, we investigated the influence of the bias correction method on drought projections in Mediterranean forests in southern France for the end of the twenty-first century (2071–2100). We used a water balance model with two different atmospheric climate forcings built from the same RCM simulations but using two different correction ...


Modeling the impacts of climate change on forest fire danger in Europe: sectorial results of the PESETA II Project



This constitutes a sectorial analysis of the PESETA II project of the European Commission Joint Research Center in the area of wildfires. [\n] Wildfires are a serious threat to European forests, and climate is the most important driving factor affecting wildfire potential over time (Flannigan et al., 2000). Wildfires are an environmental, economic and social problem particularly in the southern European countries, where wildfires regularly burn thousands of hectares of forests and other lands. Changes in wildfire regimes may have strong impacts on natural resources and ecosystems stability, ...


Calibration and evaluation of the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI) System for improved wildland fire danger rating in the United Kingdom

Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 16, No. 5. (30 May 2016), pp. 1217-1237,


Wildfires in the United Kingdom (UK) pose a threat to people, infrastructure and the natural environment. During periods of particularly fire-prone weather, wildfires can occur simultaneously across large areas, placing considerable stress upon the resources of fire and rescue services. Fire danger rating systems (FDRSs) attempt to anticipate periods of heightened fire risk, primarily for early-warning and preparedness purposes. The UK FDRS, termed the Met Office Fire Severity Index (MOFSI), is based on the Fire Weather Index (FWI) component of the ...


Regional variation in fire weather controls the reported occurrence of Scottish wildfires

PeerJ, Vol. 4 (02 November 2016), e2649,


Fire is widely used as a traditional habitat management tool in Scotland, but wildfires pose a significant and growing threat. The financial costs of fighting wildfires are significant and severe wildfires can have substantial environmental impacts. Due to the intermittent occurrence of severe fire seasons, Scotland, and the UK as a whole, remain somewhat unprepared. Scotland currently lacks any form of Fire Danger Rating system that could inform managers and the Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) of periods when there is ...


Risk of large-scale fires in boreal forests of Finland under changing climate

Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 16, No. 1. (21 January 2016), pp. 239-253,


The target of this work was to assess the impact of projected climate change on forest-fire activity in Finland with special emphasis on large-scale fires. In addition, we were particularly interested to examine the inter-model variability of the projected change of fire danger. For this purpose, we utilized fire statistics covering the period 1996–2014 and consisting of almost 20 000 forest fires, as well as daily meteorological data from five global climate models under representative concentration pathway RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios. The ...


Multi-variable bias correction: application of forest fire risk in present and future climate in Sweden

Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, Vol. 15, No. 9. (11 September 2015), pp. 2037-2057,


As the risk of a forest fire is largely influenced by weather, evaluating its tendency under a changing climate becomes important for management and decision making. Currently, biases in climate models make it difficult to realistically estimate the future climate and consequent impact on fire risk. A distribution-based scaling (DBS) approach was developed as a post-processing tool that intends to correct systematic biases in climate modelling outputs. In this study, we used two projections, one driven by historical reanalysis (ERA40) and ...


Estimating future burned areas under changing climate in the EU-Mediterranean countries

Science of The Total Environment, Vol. 450-451 (April 2013), pp. 209-222,


The impacts of climate change on forest fires have received increased attention in recent years at both continental and local scales. It is widely recognized that weather plays a key role in extreme fire situations. It is therefore of great interest to analyze projected changes in fire danger under climate change scenarios and to assess the consequent impacts of forest fires. In this study we estimated burned areas in the European Mediterranean (EU-Med) countries under past and future climate conditions. Historical ...


Landscape - wildfire interactions in southern Europe: Implications for landscape management

Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 92, No. 10. (October 2011), pp. 2389-2402,


[Abstract] Every year approximately half a million hectares of land are burned by wildfires in southern Europe, causing large ecological and socio-economic impacts. Climate and land use changes in the last decades have increased fire risk and danger. In this paper we review the available scientific knowledge on the relationships between landscape and wildfires in the Mediterranean region, with a focus on its application for defining landscape management guidelines and policies that could be adopted in order to promote landscapes with ...


Hydrological impact of forest fires and climate change in a Mediterranean basin

Natural Hazards, Vol. 66, No. 2. (2013), pp. 609-628,


Forest fire can modify and accelerate the hydrological response of Mediterranean basins submitted to intense rainfall: during the years following a fire, the effects on the hydrological response may be similar to those produced by the growth of impervious areas. Moreover, climate change and global warming in Mediterranean areas can imply consequences on both flash flood and fire hazards, by amplifying these phenomena. Based on historical events and post-fire experience, a methodology to interpret the impacts of forest fire in terms ...


Evaluation of the Canadian fire weather index system in an eastern Mediterranean environment

Meteorological Applications, Vol. 18, No. 1. (March 2011), pp. 83-93,


The Fire Weather Index module of the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System (CFFDRS) was evaluated during two consecutive fire seasons in the Mediterranean environment of Crete, Greece. The Duff Moisture Code (DMC), the Drought Code (DC), the Buildup Index (BUI) and the Fire Weather Index (FWI) were highly correlated to fire occurrence but only moderately to area burned. Logistic regression was applied in order to classify the FWI values into fire danger classes appropriate for the Mediterranean environments, as follows: ...


Current methods to assess fire danger potential

In Wildland Fire Danger Estimation and Mapping, Vol. 4 (1 September 2003), pp. 21-61,


Abstract A review of the main operational systems for fire risk/danger rating is presented in this chapter. The systems included in the revision are a European proposal based on the Fire Potential Index and a structural risk index, the US National Fire Danger Rating System, the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System, the Australian and the New Zealand systems. The basis and different components of these danger rating methods are presented and commented. ...


Interpreting the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI) System

In Fourth Central Regional Fire Weather Committee Scientific and Technical Seminar, Proceedings (1987), pp. 3-14


[Excerpt] [::] A presentation made at the Fourth Central Region Fire Weather Committee Scientific and Technical Seminar, April 2, 1987, Winnipeg, Manitoba. [\n] Fire danger is defined by the Canadian Committee on Forest Fire Management (Merrill and Alexander 1987) as: [::] A general term used to express an assessment of both fixed and variable factors of the fire environment which determine the ease of ignition, rate of spread, difficulty of control and fire impact. [\n] The Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System (CFFDRS) is the national system for ...


Characteristics and controls of extremely large wildfires in the western Mediterranean Basin

Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Vol. 121, No. 8. (August 2016), pp. 2141-2157,


Large fires account for a disproportionally high percentage of area burned with potentially severe environmental and socioeconomic impacts. This study characterizes extremely large fires (ELFs; 2500–24,843 ha) in Portugal (1998–2013) and the concomitant fuel and weather conditions, analyzing the response of ELF size to their variation. ELF burned less shrubland-grassland (33% of the total ELF area) than forest (59% of total), the latter primarily composed by pine and pine-eucalypt. High fuel hazard was the norm, as indicated by median values of 0.98 ...


Ground-truthing the Drought Code: field verification of overwinter recharge of forest floor moisture

Vol. 268 (1996)


[Excerpt:Executive summary] Users of the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index System are required to precede computation of the Drought Code (DC) component each spring by first calculating a mathematical model of overwinter recharge of moisture in the forest floor. Practical limitations of the mathematical model, required for operational simplicity, have resulted in requests from users for a field sampling procedure that can be used to verify the model, where, and when desired. [\n] This report describes a standard procedure for destructively sampling ...


Relating changes in duff moisture to the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index System in Populus tremuloides stands in Elk Island National Park

Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 37, No. 10. (1 October 2007), pp. 1987-1998


The manner in which trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) forest duff moisture changes during the growing season was investigated in Elk Island National Park, Alberta, Canada. A calibration–validation procedure incorporating one calibration site with moisture sampling across three topographic positions was used to develop predictive models, which were subsequently compared with 12 validation sites across three vegetation types throughout the Park. Duff moisture was modelled against the Duff Moisture Code and Drought Code components of the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index ...


A study of the relation of meteorological variables to monthly provincial area burned by wildfire in Canada (1953-80)

Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, Vol. 27, No. 4. (1 April 1988), pp. 441-452,<0441:asotro>;2


The relation between meteorological variables and the monthly area burned by wildfire from May to August 1953–80 in nine Canadian “provinces” was investigated. A purely statistical approach to estimating the monthly provincial area burned, using meteorological variables as predictors, succeeded in explaining 30% of the variance west of Lake Nipigon and about 11% east of Lake Nipigon. [\n] Long sequences of days with less than 1.5 mm of rain or days with relative humidities less than 60% proved to have the highest ...


Climate, weather, and area burned

In Forest fires - Behavior and ecological effects (2001), pp. 351-373


[Excerpt: Introduction] Forest fires are strongly linked to weather and climate (Flannigan and Harrington, 1988; Johnson, 1992; Swetnam, 1993). Fire has been an integral ecological process since the arrival of vegetation on the landscape. For the purposes of this chapter, we will define weather as short-term processes that result in variations in the atmospheric conditions ranging from minutes to a fire season. Processes that influence the atmosphere over time periods longer than a fire season will be defined as climate. There are several factors that control the ...


Future wildfire in circumboreal forests in relation to global warming

Journal of Vegetation Science, Vol. 9, No. 4. (August 1998), pp. 469-476,


Despite increasing temperatures since the end of the Little Ice Age (ca. 1850), wildfire frequency has decreased as shown in many field studies from North America and Europe. We believe that global warming since 1850 may have triggered decreases in fire frequency in some regions and future warming may even lead to further decreases in fire frequency. Simulations of present and future fire regimes, using daily outputs from the General Circulation Model (GCM), were in good agreement with recent trends observed ...


Climate change and wildfire in Canada

Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 21, No. 1. (1 January 1991), pp. 66-72,


This study investigates the impact of postulated greenhouse warming on the severity of the forest fire season in Canada. Using CO2 levels that are double those of the present (2 × CO2), simulation results from three general circulation models (Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and Oregon State University) were used to calculate the seasonal severity ratings for six stations across Canada. Monthly anomalies from the 2 × CO2 simulation results were superimposed over historical sequences of daily weather. Then, seasonal severity ...


Development and structure of the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index System

Vol. 35 (1987)


The Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI) System was first issued in 1970 after several years' work by a number of fire researchers in the Canadian Forestry Service. The best features of the former fire danger index were incorporated in the FWI, and a link was preserved between old and new. The FWI is based on the moisture content of three classes of forest fuel plus the effect of wind on fire behavior. The system consists of six components: three primary ...


Increasing daily wildfire risk in the Acadian Forest Region of Nova Scotia, Canada, under future climate change

Regional Environmental Change, Vol. 15, No. 7. (2015), pp. 1447-1459,


A conceptual system dynamic model of the impact of future climate change on fire risk in the Nova Scotian Acadian Forest Region (NS AFR) was developed, clarifying the influence of positive and negative drivers of future fire risk. Weights of relative importance for seven wildfire risk drivers identified in the conceptual model were elicited through an analytical hierarchy process. Expert participants identified precipitation, temperature, and local tree species composition as the most important determinants of future fire risk. Fire weather variables ...


Climate change presents increased potential for very large fires in the contiguous United States

International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 24, No. 7. (2015), pp. 892-899,


Very large fires (VLFs) have important implications for communities, ecosystems, air quality and fire suppression expenditures. VLFs over the contiguous US have been strongly linked with meteorological and climatological variability. Building on prior modelling of VLFs (>5000 ha), an ensemble of 17 global climate models were statistically downscaled over the US for climate experiments covering the historic and mid-21st-century periods to estimate potential changes in VLF occurrence arising from anthropogenic climate change. Increased VLF potential was projected across most historically fire-prone ...


Forest fire danger projections in the Mediterranean using ENSEMBLES regional climate change scenarios

Climatic Change, Vol. 122, No. 1-2. (2014), pp. 185-199,


We present future fire danger scenarios for the countries bordering the Mediterranean areas of Europe and north Africa building on a multi-model ensemble of state-of-the-art regional climate projections from the EU-funded project ENSEMBLES. Fire danger is estimated using the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI) System and a related set of indices. To overcome some of the limitations of ENSEMBLES data for their application on the FWI System—recently highlighted in a previous study by Herrera et al. (Clim Chang 118:827–840, 2013)—we ...


Estimating live fine fuels moisture content using meteorologically-based indices

International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 10, No. 2. (2001), pp. 223-240,


Field measurements of moisture content of several fine fuels (shrub vegetation and live foliage) were performed in Central Portugal and in Catalunya (NE Spain) for 1–10 years. Seasonal and interannual variation of live fine fuels of several species in two regions of the Iberian Peninsula are analysed. The species were grouped in three sets according to their relatively high, intermediate or low seasonal variability. Meteorological data from nearby stations were collected in each study area and used in the evaluation of ...


Spatiotemporal patterns of changes in fire regime and climate: defining the pyroclimates of south-eastern France (Mediterranean Basin)

Climatic Change, Vol. 129, No. 1-2. (2015), pp. 239-251,


The impacts of climate change on fires are expected to be highly variable spatially and temporally. In heavily anthropized landscapes, the great number of factors affecting fire regimes further limits our ability to predict future fire activity caused by climate. To address this, we develop a new framework for analysing regional changes in fire regimes from specific spatiotemporal patterns of fires and climate, so-called pyroclimates. We aim to test the trends of fire activity and climate (1973–2009) across the Mediterranean and ...


Fire activity in Portugal and its relationship to weather and the Canadian Fire Weather Index System

International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 17, No. 3. (2008), 328,


The relationships among the weather, the Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI) System components, the monthly area burned, and the number of fire occurrences from 1980 to 2004 were investigated in 11 Portuguese districts that represent respectively 66% and 61% of the total area burned and number of fires in Portugal. A statistical approach was used to estimate the monthly area burned and the monthly number of fires per district, using meteorological variables and FWI System components as predictors. The approach succeeded ...


The potential predictability of fire danger provided by numerical weather prediction

Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology (5 August 2016),


A global fire danger rating system driven by atmospheric model forcing has been developed with the aim of providing early warning information to civil protection authorities. The daily predictions of fire danger conditions are based on the US Forest Service National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS), the Canadian forest service Fire Weather Index Rating System (FWI) and the Australian McArthur (MARK-5) rating systems. Weather forcings are provided in real time by the European Centre for Medium range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) forecasting ...


Equations and FORTRAN program for the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index System

Vol. 33 (1985)


Improved official equations are presented for the 1984 version of the Canadian Forest Fires Weather Index System. The most recent mathematical refinements serve to further rationalize the Fine Fuel Moisture Code and render it more compatible with other developments in the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System. The effect of these changes is so slight that no problems are anticipated in converting from the previous version to this new one. Also given is a FORTRAN program intended as a standard for ...


Updated source code for calculating fire danger indices in the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index System

Vol. NOR-X-424 (2015)


This report presents updated versions of the FORTRAN 77 program originally published by the Canadian Forest Service in 1985 and used to calculate the Canadian forest fire weather indices from daily weather observations. The updated program is presented here in FORTRAN 95, C, C++, Python, Java and SAS/IML programming languages to meet the needs of various users. The updated versions are easier to understand and use than the original source code. The updated source codes were written in a modular programming style, consisting of a main program and ...


  1. Canadian Forestry Service. 1984. Tables for the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index System. (4th ed.) Environ. Can., Can. For. Serv., Ottawa, ON. For. Tech. Rep. 25. Also available at .
  2. Chapman, S. J. 2004. FORTRAN 90/95 for scientists and engineers. McGraw Hill Higher Education, Toronto, ON. Also available at .
  3. De Groot, W.J.; Field, R.D.; Brady, M.A.; Roswintiarti, O.; Mohamad, M. 2006. Development of the

Weather in the Canadian forest fire danger rating system. A user guide to national standards and practices

No. BC-X-177. (1978)


Weather elements affecting the calculation of the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI) are described. How to choose an adequate weather station site for fire danger rating observations, how to expose each weather instrument correctly, and the consequences of errors in weather data on the FWI are outlined. Weather instrument standards of accuracy and required precision in taking fire weather readings are described. Adjustment procedures are provided to users for such things as anemometers exposed in clearings too small to give representative ...


Multi-disciplinary forest fire danger assessment in Europe: the potential to integrate long-term drought information

International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructures Research, Vol. 7 (2012), pp. 300-322,


A key motivation for multi-disciplinary collaborations is the inclusion of data and knowledge from contributing disciplines for the further development of existing models. The objective of this research is to evaluate the potential of using drought information from the European Drought Observatory (EDO) to complement the forest fire danger assessment of the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS). Drought conditions are provided through the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), which is a spatially invariant and probabilistic year-round index based on precipitation alone. ...


Teaming drought with wildfires: EU researchers suggest new data for Forest Weather Index

IEEE Earthzine, Vol. 5, No. 2. (2012), 379533


[Excerpt] In the summer of 2003, 18 people died and more than 500,000 acres of forests and farmland were destroyed in fires in Portugal, marking the country’s worst fire season on record. These fires raged on the heels of an extreme heat wave – one meteorologists called a 500-year event – that swept over Europe and took the lives of more than 70,000. [\n] Forest fires in the European Union (EU) kill up to 20 people a year on average, including firefighters and ...

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