WIT Press


Rekindle Dynamics: Validating The Pressure On Wildland Fire Suppression Resources And Implications For Fire Management In Portugal

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/FIVA120191

Volume

158

Pages

12

Page Range

225 - 236

Published

2012

Size

795 kb

Author(s)

A. P. Pacheco, J. Claro & T. Oliveira

Abstract

Rekindles can represent a high burden on wildland fire suppression resources, but despite the relevance of this phenomenon in Portugal, related research is still scarce. Seeking to contribute to address this gap, the purpose of this study was to organize and provide an overview of the problem of rekindles in Portugal, and to verify whether evidence exists that the high proportion of rekindles in Portugal is related to the double duty of Portuguese firefighters to perform initial attack and mop-up operations. Our study included informal meetings, formal recorded interviews, dispatch centre visits, actual rekindle observation, and an analysis of the National Forest Authority database. From the study of genealogies of rekindles, we concluded that 17.2% additional forest fires (rekindles in successive generations) had their origin in only 7.4% of primary fires. Through linear regression analysis, we found that their proportions increase in days with more occurrences, preliminarily supporting the hypothesis of premature abandonment of mop-up operations, as a result from the pressure to immediately attack starting fires by the same crews. A more detailed analysis of two representative districts highlighted specific organizational and natural challenges to successful mop-up efforts and provided further evidence of the hazardousness of rekindles. Keywords: wildfire, rekindle, mop-up operations, reburn, initial attack, suppression.

Keywords

wildfire, rekindle, mop-up operations, reburn, initial attack, suppression.