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Publication Information

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Title: A methodology for determining operational priorities for prevention and suppression of wildland fires

Author: Rodríguez y Silva, F.; Molina Martínez, J.R.; González-Cabán, Armando;

Date: 2014

Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire 24(3): 544-554

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Traditional uses of the forest (timber, forage) have been giving way to other uses more in demand (recreation, ecosystem services). An observable consequence of this process of forest land use conversion is an increase in more difficult and extreme wildfires. Wildland forest management and protection program budgets are limited, and managers are requesting help in finding ways to objectively assign their limited protection resources based on the intrinsic environmental characteristics of a site and the site's interrelationship with available firefighting resources and existing infrastructure. A Fire Suppression Priority Index, integrating information on both the potential fire behaviour risk (Potential Fire Behaviour Index# and the fire suppression difficulty #Suppression Difficulty Index), provides managers with fundamental information for strategic planning and development of tactical operations to protect the natural environment. Results in the Cordoba Province, Andalusia's autonomous region, Spain, showed a statistically significant relationship between wildfire size and all three indices, demonstrating the utility of the methodology to identify and prioritize forest areas for strategic and tactical fire management operations. In addition, the methodology was tested and validated by trained and qualified wildfire management personnel in Chile and Israel, obtaining similar results as in Spain.

Keywords: strategic fire management planning, wildfire behaviour, wildfire risk, wildfire suppression difficulty.

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Rodríguez y Silva, F.; Molina Martínez, J.R.; González-Cabán, A. 2014. A methodology for determining operational priorities for prevention and suppression of wildland fires. International Journal of Wildland Fire 24(3): 544-554.


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