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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-263
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 21 Sep 2018

Research article | 21 Sep 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Contrasting large fire regimes in the French Mediterranean

Anne Ganteaume and Renaud Barbero Anne Ganteaume and Renaud Barbero
  • RECOVER-EMR, Irstea, Aix-en-Provence, France

Abstract. In the French Mediterranean, large fires have significant socio-economic and environmental impacts. We used a long-term geo-referenced fire time series (1958–2017) to analyze spatio-temporal variations of large fires (LF; ≥100ha) throughout a fire-prone area of this region. This area was impacted in some locations up to 5 or 6 times by recurrent LF and 21% of the total area burned by LF occurred on a surface that previously burned in the past. We found distinct patterns between the East and the West of the study area, the former experiencing fewer LF but of a larger extent compared to the latter, with an average time of occurrence between LF exceeding 4000ha<7 years and >50 years, respectively. This longitudinal gradient in LF extent contrasts with what was expected from mean fire weather conditions strongly decreasing eastwards but is consistent with larger fuel cover in the East. The temporal variation of LF, featuring a sharp decrease in both frequency and burned area in the early 1990s, highlighted the efficiency of fire suppression and prevention, reinforced at that time. However, the LF outbreak in 2003 due to the exceptional heat wave remains of major concern in the context of climate change.

Anne Ganteaume and Renaud Barbero
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Status: open (until 16 Nov 2018)
Status: open (until 16 Nov 2018)
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Anne Ganteaume and Renaud Barbero
Anne Ganteaume and Renaud Barbero
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Long-term geo-referenced time series showed spatio-temporal variations of large fires (LF ≥ 100 ha) throughout the French Mediterranean with 21 % of the total LF burned area occurring on a surface previously burned. The region was impacted up to 5–6 times by recurrent LF, the East experiencing fewer but larger LF despite fire weather conditions decreasing eastwards. The efficiency of fire management emerged in early 1990s but LF outbreak during extreme weather conditions remains of major concern.
Long-term geo-referenced time series showed spatio-temporal variations of large fires...
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