Arca, Bachisio and Duce, Pierpaolo and Laconi, Maurizio and Pellizzaro, Grazia and Salis, Michele and Spano, Donatella Emma Ignazia (2007) Evaluation of FARSITE simulator in Mediterranean maquis. International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 16 (5), p. 563-572. eISSN 1448-5516. Article.
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In the last two decades, several models were developed to provide temporal and spatial variations of fire spread and behaviour. The most common models (i.e. BEHAVE and FARSITE) are based on Rothermel's original fire spread equation and describe fire spread and behaviour taking into account the influences of fuels, terrain and weather conditions. The use of FARSITE on areas different from those where the simulator was originally developed requires a local calibration to produce reliable results. This is particularly true for Mediterranean ecosystems, where plant communities are characterised by high specific and structural heterogeneity and complexity. To perform FARSITE calibration, an appropriate fuel model or the development of a specific custom fuel model is needed. In this study, FARSITE was employed to simulate three fire events in Mediterranean areas using different fuel models and meteorological input data, and the accuracy of results was analysed. A custom fuel model designed and developed for shrubland vegetation (maquis) provided realistic values of rate of spread, when compared with estimated values obtained using standard fuel models. Our results confirm that the use of both wind field data and appropriate custom fuel models are crucial to obtain reasonable simulations of wildfire events occurring on Mediterranean vegetation during the drought season.
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