Wildland fire potential outlooks for Portugal usingmeteorological indices of fire danger

Sílvia A. Nunes, Carlos C. DaCamara, Kamil F. Turkman, Teresa J. Calado, Ricardo M. Trigo and Maria A. A. Turkman
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 1459–1470, 2019,

Download PDF


Portugal is recurrently affected by large wildfireevents that have serious impacts at the socio-economic andenvironmental levels and dramatic consequences associatedwith the loss of lives and the destruction of the landscape. Ac-cordingly, seasonal forecasts are required to assist fire man-agers, thus contributing to alter the historically based purelyreactive response. In this context, we present and discussa statistical model to estimate the probability that the totalburned area during summer will exceed a given threshold.The statistical model uses meteorological information thatrates the accumulation of thermal and vegetation stress. Out-looks for the 39-year study period (1980–2018) show that,when the statistical model is applied from 26 May to 30 June,out of the six severe years, only one year is not anticipatedas potentially severe and, out of the six weak years, onlyone is not anticipated as potentially weak. The availabilityof outlooks of wildfire potential with an anticipation of upto 1 month before the starting of the fire season, such as theone proposed here, may serve to provide clear directions forthe fire community when planning prevention and combatingfire events.