Modeling Earth Systems and Environment

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 71–84 | Cite as

A GIS based method for indexing the broad-leaved forest surfaces by their wildfire ignition probability and wildfire spreading capacity

  • Artan HysaEmail author
  • Fatma Ayçim Türer Başkaya
Original Article


This article presents a method useful for indexing the broad-leaved forest surfaces by their wildfire ignition probability and wildfire spreading capacity at a coarse spatial scale. The framework consists of three phases; inventory, analysis, and indexing. First, the study utilizes a multi-criteria inventory procedure investigating the existing broad-leaved forest areas of the landscape based on a variety of social, environmental, and physical parameters. Beyond the statistical inventory records, the research brings forward a division between ignition probability and spreading capacities of wildfire events during the analysis phase. At this stage, particular criteria figures out to have higher impact in either ignition or spreading phases of wildfire event. At the final phase, the model is aiming to generate indexing maps categorizing the broad-leaved forest surfaces by their Wildfire Ignition Probability Index and Wildfire Spread Capacity Index. Broad-leaved forest landscape patch as derived via CORINE Land Cover data, is converted into a raster data with a pixel size of 500 m (25 ha). The centroid of each pixel act as the reference point for all measurements during all phases of the study. The presented method is aimed to be of assistance in decision making and management processes of Disaster Risk Management and Fire Safety (DRMFS) agendas at landscape scale.


CORINE Land Cover Wildfire ignition Wildfire spread GIS Disaster risk management 



The authors are grateful to the EEA, for providing the open source CLC data utilized as the raw material of this study. Further on, the authors are grateful to Doğanay Tolunay for his valuable comments and suggestions in the initial phase of this study. This research study has been made in support of the Ph.D. thesis of the contact author in the Graduate School of Science, Engineering, and Technology at Istanbul Technical University.


  1. Abatzoglou JT, Kolden CA (2013) Relationships between climate and macroscale area burned in the western United States. Int J Wildl Fire 22(7):1003–1020Google Scholar
  2. Ager A, Preisler H, Arca B, Spano D, Salis M (2014) Wildfire risk estimation in the Mediterranean area. Environmetrics 25:384–396Google Scholar
  3. Badia A, Saur´i D, Cerdan R, Llurde´s J (2002) Causality and management of forest fires in Mediterranean environments: an example from Catalonia. Glob Environ Change Part B Environ Hazards 4:23–32Google Scholar
  4. Badia A, Serra P, Modugno S (2011) Identifying dynamics of fire ignition probabilities in two representative Mediterranean wildland–urban interface areas. Appl Geogr 31:930e940Google Scholar
  5. Bellia L, Pedace A, Fragliasso F (2015) The role of weather data files in climate-based daylight modeling. Sol Energy 112:169–182Google Scholar
  6. Bessie W, Johnson E (1995) The relative importance of fuels and weather on fire behavior in subalpine forests. Ecology 76(3):747–762Google Scholar
  7. Bossard M, Feranec J, Otahel J (2000) CORINE Land Cover technical guide: addendum 2000. European Environment Agency Copenhagen, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  8. Bowman DM, Balch JK, Artaxo P, Bond WJ, Carlson JM, Cochrane MA, Pyne SJ (2009) Fire in the Earth system. Science 324(5926):481–484. Google Scholar
  9. Büttner G, Kosztra B (2017) CLC2018 technical guidelines. European Environment Agency, WienGoogle Scholar
  10. Cardille J, Ventura S, Turner M (2001) Environmental and social factors influencing wildfires in the Upper Midwest, United States. Ecol Appl 11:111–127Google Scholar
  11. Catry F, Rego F, Bac¸a˜o F, Moreira F (2009) Modeling and mapping wildfire ignition risk in Portugal. Int J Wildl Fire 18:921–931Google Scholar
  12. Chuvieco E, Aguado I, Jurdao S, Pettinari M, Yebra M, Salas J, Martínez-Vega F (2014) Integrating geospatial information into fire riskassessment. Int J Wildl Fire 23(5):606–619Google Scholar
  13. Cohen J (2000) Preventing disaster: home ignitability in the wildland–urban interface. J For 98:15–21Google Scholar
  14. de Souza FT, Koerner TC, Chlad R (2015) A data-based model for predicting wildfires in Chapada das Mesas National Park in the State of Maranhão. Environ Earth Sci 74:3603–3611. Google Scholar
  15. Díaz-Delgado R, Lloret F, Pons X (2004) Spatial patterns of fire occurrence in Catalonia, NE, Spain. Landsc Ecol 19:731–745Google Scholar
  16. Dillon G, Holden Z, Morgan P, Crimmins M, Heyerdahl E, Luce C (2011) Both topography and climate affected forest and woodland burn severity in two regions of the western US, 1984–2006. Ecosphere 3:art130Google Scholar
  17. Fernandes PM, Barros AM, Pinto A, Santos JA (2016) Characteristics and controls of extremely large wildfires in the western Mediterranean Basin. J Geophys Res Biogeosci 121(8):2141–2157Google Scholar
  18. Finney M (2005) The challenge of quantitative risk analysis for wildland fire. For Ecol Manag 211(1):97–108Google Scholar
  19. Finney M, Cohen J, Grenfell I, Yedinak K (2010) An examination of fire spread thresholds in discontinuous fuel beds. Int J Wildl Fire 19(2):163–170Google Scholar
  20. Finney MA, McHugh CW, Grenfell IC, Riley KL, Short KC (2011) A simulation of probabilistic wildfire risk components for the continental United States. Stoch Environ Res Risk Assess 25(7):973–1000Google Scholar
  21. Garcia C, Woodard P, Titus S, Adamowicz W, Lee B (1995) A logit model for predicting the daily occurrence of human caused forest-fires. Int J Wildl Fire 5:101–111Google Scholar
  22. Gasull V, Larios D, Barbancho J, Leon C, Obaidat M (2011) Computational intelligence applied to wildfire prediction using wireless sensor networks. In: IEEE 2011 Proceedings of the international conference on data communication networking (DCNET). IEEE, Seville, pp 1–8Google Scholar
  23. González J, Pukkala T (2007) Characterization of forest fires in Catalonia (north-east Spain). Eur J For Res 126:421–429Google Scholar
  24. Haire S, McGarigal K (2009) Changes in fire severity across gradients of climate, fire size, and topography: a landscape perspective. Fire Ecol 5:86–103Google Scholar
  25. Hoxhaj G (2008) Republic of Albania—fire report 2007. international forest fire news, vol 37, pp 32–40. Accessed 23 Feb 2018
  26. Hysa A, Zeka E, Dervishi S (2017) Multi-criteria inventory of burned areas in landscape scale; case of Albania. In: K-FORCE first symposium. K-FORCE, Novi SadGoogle Scholar
  27. Islami B, Kamberi M, Bruci ED, Fida E (2009) Albania’s second national communication to the conference of parties under the united nations framework convention on climate change. Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration, Tirana. Accessed 23 Feb 2018
  28. Kasischke E, Turetsky M (2006) Recent changes in the fire regime across the North American boreal region—spatial and temporal patterns of burning across Canada and Alaska. Geophys Res Lett 33(9):L09703. Google Scholar
  29. Keeley J, Fotheringham C, Morais M (1999) Reexamining fire suppression impacts on brushland fire regimes. Science 284:1829–1832Google Scholar
  30. Koutsias N, Arianoutsou M, Kallimanis AS, Mallinis G, Halley JM, Dimopoulos P (2012) Where did the fires burn in Peloponnisos, Greece the summer of 2007? Evidence for a synergy of fuel and weather. Agric For Meteorol 156:41–53Google Scholar
  31. Koutsias N, Xanthopoulos G, Founda D, Xystrakis F, Nioti F, Pleniou M, Mallinis G, Arianoutsou M (2013) On the relationships between forest fires and weather conditions in Greece from long-term national observations (1894–2010). Int J Wildland Fire 22(4):493–507Google Scholar
  32. Krawchuk MA, Moritz MA, Parisien MA, Van Dorn J, Hayhoe K (2009) Global pyrogeography: the current and future distribution of wildfire. PLoS One 4(4):e5102Google Scholar
  33. Kutiel H (2012) Weather conditions and forest fire propagation—the case of the carmel fire, December 2010. Isr J Ecol Evol 58:113–122Google Scholar
  34. Kutiel H, Kutiel P (1991) The distribution of autumnal easterly wind spells favoring rapid spread of forest wildfires on Mount Carmel. Isr GeoJ 23:147–152Google Scholar
  35. Levin N, Heimowitz A (2012) Mapping spatial and temporal patterns of Mediterranean wildfires from MODIS. Remote Sens Environ 126:12–26Google Scholar
  36. Levin N, Saaroni H (1999) Fire weather in Israel—synoptic climatological analysis. GeoJournal 47:523–538Google Scholar
  37. Levin N, Tessler N, Smith A, McAlpine C (2016) The human and physical determinants of wildfires and burnt areas in Israel. J Environ Manag 58:549–562Google Scholar
  38. Martı´nez J, Vega-Garcia C, Chuvieco E (2009) Human-caused wildfire risk rating for prevention planning in Spain. J Environ Manag 90:1241–1252Google Scholar
  39. McMaster R, McMaster S (2002) A history of twentieth-century American academic cartography. Cartogr Geogr Inf Sci 29(3):312–315Google Scholar
  40. Meta M, Hoxhaj G, Dule S, Lacej F, Zorba P (2003) Albania—update on the forest fire situation. In: International forest fire news, vol 28, pp 73–81. Accessed 2 Feb 2018
  41. Moreira F, Catry F, Rego F, Bacao F (2010) Size-dependent pattern of wildfire ignitions in Portugal: when do ignitions turn into big fires? Landsc Ecol 25:1405–1417Google Scholar
  42. Moreno J, Vazquez A, Velez R (1998) Recent history of forest fires in Spain. In: Moreno M (ed) Large forest fires. Backuys Publishers, Leiden, pp 159–186Google Scholar
  43. Mu E, Pereyra-Rojas M (2017) Understanding the analytic hierarchy process. In: Mu E, Pereyra-Rojas M (eds) Practical decision making: an introduction to the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) using super decisions V2. Springer International Publishing, New York, pp 7–22. Google Scholar
  44. Naka K, Hammett A, Stuart WB (2000) Constraints and opportunities to forest policy implementation in Albania. For Policy Econ 1:153–163Google Scholar
  45. Naveh Z (1975) The evolutionary significance of fire in the Mediterranean region. Vegatatio 29(3):199–208. Google Scholar
  46. Oliveira S, Oehler F, San-Miguel-Ayanz J, Camia A, Pereira J (2012) Modeling spatial patterns of fire occurrence in Mediterranean Europe using multiple regression and random forest. For Ecol Manag 275:117–129Google Scholar
  47. OMNR (1982) Fire behaviour for fire managers (M-100). Sault Ste. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Aviation Fire Management Centre, MarieGoogle Scholar
  48. Pausas J (2004) Changes in fire and climate in the eastern Iberian Peninsula (Mediterranean basin). Clim Change 63:337–350Google Scholar
  49. Pausas J, Keeley J (2009) A burning story: the role of fire in the history of life. Bioscience 59:593–601Google Scholar
  50. Pausas J, Keeley J (2014) Abrupt climate independent fire regime changes. Ecosystems 17:1109–1120Google Scholar
  51. Pausas J, Vallejo V (1999) The role of fire in European Mediterranean ecosystems. In: Chuvieco E (ed) Remote sensing of large wildfires in the European Mediterranean Basin. Springer, Berlin, pp 3–16Google Scholar
  52. Pereira MG, Calado TJ, Camara D, C. C., & Calheiros T (2013) Effects of regional climate change on rural fires in Portugal. Clim Res 57:187–200Google Scholar
  53. Radke J (1995) Modeling urban/wildland interface fire hazards within a geographic information system. Geogr Inf Sci 1:9–21Google Scholar
  54. Remund J, Müller SC (2014) Solar radiation and uncertainty information of metornorm 7. Meteonorm web site. Accessed 15 Mar 2018
  55. Ricotta C, Di Vito S (2014) Modeling the landscape drivers of fire recurrence in Sardinia (Italy). Environ Manag 53:1077–1084Google Scholar
  56. Rodrigues M, San Miguel J, Oliveira S, Moreira F, Camia A (2013) An insight into spatial-temporal trends of fire ignitions and burned areas in the European Mediterranean countries. J Earth Sci Eng 3:497–505Google Scholar
  57. Romero-Calcerrada R, Novillo C, Millington J, Gomez-Jimenez I (2008) GIS analysis of spatial patterns of human-caused wildfire ignition risk in the SW of Madrid (Central Spain). Landsc Ecol 23:341–354Google Scholar
  58. Sá AC, Turkman MA, Pereira JM (2018) Exploring fire incidence in Portugal using generalized additive models for location, scale and shape (GAMLSS). Model Earth Syst Environ 4(1):199–220. Google Scholar
  59. San-Miguel-Ayanz J, Moreno J, Camia A (2013) Analysis of large fires in European Mediterranean landscapes: lessons learned and perspectives. For Ecol Manag 294:11–22Google Scholar
  60. Sikder IU, Sarkar SM, Mal TK (2006) Knowledge-based risk assessment under uncertainty for species invasion. Risk Anal 26(1):239–252. Google Scholar
  61. Sirca C, Casula F, Bouillon C, García B, Ramiro M, Molina BV, Spano D (2017) A wildfire risk oriented GIS tool for mapping rural–urban interfaces. Environ Model Softw 94:36–47Google Scholar
  62. Syphard A, Radeloff V, Keeley J, Hawbaker T, Clayton M, Stewart S, Hammer R (2007) Human influence on California fire regimes. Ecol Appl 17(5):1388–1402Google Scholar
  63. Thompson JR, Spies TA (2009) Vegetation and weather explain variation in crown damage within a large mixed-severity wildfire. For Ecol Manag 258:1684–1694Google Scholar
  64. Thompson MP, Calkin DE, Day JW, Ager AA (2011) Advancing effects analysis for integrated large-scale wildfire risk assessment. Environ Monit Assess 179:217–239. Google Scholar
  65. Turco M, Llasat M, von Hardenberg J, Provenzale A (2014) Climate change impacts on wildfires in a Mediterranean environment. Clim Change 125:369–380Google Scholar
  66. Vannière B, Colombaroli D, Chapron E, Leroux A, Tinner W, Magnya M (2008) Climate versus human-driven fire regimes in Mediterranean landscapes: the Holocene record of Lago dell’Accesa (Tuscany, Italy). Quatern Sci Rev 27:1181–1196. Google Scholar
  67. Vasconcelos MP, Silva S, Tome M, Alvim M, Pereira JC (2001) Spatial prediction of fire ignition probabilities: comparing logistic regression and neural networks. Photogram Eng Remote Sens 67(1):73–81Google Scholar
  68. Weiland S (2010) Sustainability transitions in transition countries: forest policy reforms in South-eastern Europe. Environ Policy Gov 20:397–407Google Scholar
  69. Westerling A, Hidalgo H, Cayan D, Swetnam T (2006) Warming and earlier spring increase western US forest wildfire activity. Science 313:940–943Google Scholar
  70. Whitlock C, Shafer S, Marlon J (2003) The role of climate and vegetation change in shaping past and future fire regimes in the northwestern US and the implications for ecosystem management. For Ecol Manag 178:5–21Google Scholar
  71. Wu Z, He H, Yang J, Liang Y (2015) Defining fire environment zones in the boreal forests of northeastern China. Sci Total Environ 518:106–116Google Scholar
  72. Xystrakis F, Kallimanis AS, Dimopoulos P, Halley JM, Koutsias N (2014) Precipitation dominates fire occurrence in Greece (1900–2010): its dual role in fuel build-up and dryness. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci. Google Scholar
  73. You W, Lin L, Wu L, Ji Z, Yu J, Zhu J, He D (2017) Geographical information system-based forest fire risk assessment integrating national forest inventory data and analysis of its spatiotemporal variability. Ecol Ind 77:176–184Google Scholar
  74. Zerubavel Y (1996) The forest as a national icon: literature, politics, and the archaeology of memory. Isr Stud 1:60–99Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Science Engineering and TechnologyIstanbul Technical UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Landscape ArchitectureIstanbul Technical UniversityIstanbulTurkey

Personalised recommendations