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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-60
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-60
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 25 Mar 2019

Research article | 25 Mar 2019

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

Wildland fire potential outlooks for Portugal using meteorological indices of fire danger

Sílvia A. Nunes1, Carlos C. DaCamara1, Kamil F. Turkman2, Teresa J. Calado1, and Ricardo M. Trigo1 Sílvia A. Nunes et al.
  • 1Instituto Dom Luiz (IDL), Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
  • 2DEIO-CEAUL, Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal

Abstract. Portugal is recurrently affected by large wildfire events that have serious impacts at the socio-economic and environmental levels and dramatic consequences associated with the loss of lives and the destruction of the landscape. Accordingly, seasonal forecasts are required to assist fire managers, thus contributing to alter the historically-based purely reactive response. In this context, we present and discuss a statistical model to estimate the probability that the total burned area during summer will exceed a given threshold. The statistical model uses meteorological information that rates the accumulation of thermal and vegetation stress. Outlooks for the 39-year study period (1980–2018) show that, when the statistical model is applied from May 26 to June 30, out of the six severe years, only one year is not anticipated as potentially severe and, out of the six weak years, only one is not anticipated as potentially weak. The availability of outlooks of wildfire potential with an anticipation of up to one month before the starting of the fire season, such as the one proposed here, may serve to provide clear directions for the fire community when planning prevention and combating fire events.

Sílvia A. Nunes et al.
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Sílvia A. Nunes et al.
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Short summary
Portugal is recurrently affected by large wildfire events. We present a statistical model to estimate the probability that the summer burned area exceeds a given threshold. The model allows making outlooks of wildfire potential with up to one month in advance of the fire season. When applied to the 39-year period 1980–2018, only one severe (one weak) year is not anticipated as potentially severe (weak). The model will assist the fire community when planning prevention and combating fire events.
Portugal is recurrently affected by large wildfire events. We present a statistical model to...
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