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Fire danger rating over Mediterranean Europe based on fire radiative power derived from Meteosat

Pinto MM, Da Camara CC, Trigo IF, Trigo RM, Turkman KF
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., Volume 18 Issue 2

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Abstract

We present a procedure that allows the operational generation of daily forecasts of fire danger over Mediterranean Europe. The procedure combines historical information about radiative energy released by fire events with daily meteorological forecasts, as provided by the Satellite Application Facility for Land Surface Analysis (LSA SAF) and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). Fire danger is estimated based on daily probabilities of exceedance of daily energy released by fires occurring at the pixel level. Daily probability considers meteorological factors by means of the Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI) and is estimated using a daily model based on a generalized Pareto distribution. Five classes of fire danger are then associated with daily probability estimated by the daily model. The model is calibrated using 13 years of data (2004–2016) and validated against the period of January–September 2017. Results obtained show that about 72% of events releasing daily energy above 10000GJ belong to the “extreme” class of fire danger, a considerably high fraction that is more than 1.5 times the values obtained when using the currently operational Fire Danger Forecast module of the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) or the Fire Risk Map (FRM) product disseminated by the LSA SAF. Besides assisting in wildfire management, the procedure is expected to help in decision making on prescribed burning within the framework of agricultural and forest management practices.