University of Twente Student Theses


Fire Spread Modelling in Majella National Park, Italy

Nyatondo, Upenyu Naume (2010) Fire Spread Modelling in Majella National Park, Italy.

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Abstract:Fire behaviour modelling has not been done in montane conditions. This study was aimed at testing the applicability of FARSITE (Fire Area Simulator) simulation model in montane conditions using a fire event of July 2007 in Majella National Park, Italy. The following questions were raised: (1) Does the simulated fire extent approximate the observed fire scar by at least 75%? (2) How is simulated fireline intensity distributed within the simulated fire scar? (3) Can fire modelling be useful in identifying the ignition points? (4) Does the incorporation of spatially varying wind information improve the accuracy of the accuracy of the model? The land cover types within the area were mapped by supervised classification of ALOS satellite imagery into grass, beech, pine forest, mixed broadleaf-deciduous forest and bare area. The fire behaviour simulation in FARSITE model was based on fuel, topography and weather conditions. The model also utilizes an ignition point for the fire. The fuel information was provided in the form of fuel models describing the vegetation physical properties in the study area. Topography data (elevation, slope, aspect) was acquired from a digital elevation model. Weather data (temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed, wind direction) was acquired from ‘‘Punta dell’est’’ Roccacaramanico weather station. The simulation in FARSITE using this information resulted in fire perimeter and fireline intensity maps. The effect of incorporating spatially uniform and spatially varying wind data was tested. For each scenario the effect of adjusting the rate of fire spread was tested on the fuel models for pine and grass. The spatial variation of wind was simulated in the WindNinja model to include the effect of terrain on wind behaviour. The simulations were compared with the mapped fire scar (observed fire scar). The percentage agreement between the simulated and observed fire scars was calculated. Sorensen’s and Kappa Coefficients were used as measures of the accuracy of the simulation. Simulations including spatially uniform wind underestimated the extent of the fire spread. Incorporation of the spatially varying wind increased the similarity between the simulated and the observed fire scars. Fuel model adjustment also increased the similarity between the simulated and observed fire scars. Fireline intensity was highest in the pine forest whilst in the grass, beech and mixed forest the intensity was low. The comparison between simulation using a hypothetical and observed ignition points indicates that the model is useful in identifying ignition points. The study results indicate that FARSITE fire model can only be applied well in montane conditions if the spatial variation of wind is included in the simulation. Key words- FARSITE, Fire spread behaviour, Wind Ninja
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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