FIRE MODELLING TO ASSESS SPATIAL PATTERNS OF WILDFIRE EXPOSURE IN ARDABIL, NW IRAN
Keywords: Risk assessment, Fire Exposure, MTT Algorithm, Historical Ignition, Burn Probability
Abstract. Fire exposure describes the spatial juxtaposition of values with fire behaviour in terms of likelihood and intensity. Wildfire exposure analysis is based on the estimation of the potential wildfire intensity and on the burn probability. Fire modelling can produce spatially explicit information on fire spread and behaviour, and offers a feasible method to simulate, map, and analyse fire exposure. FlamMap Minimum Travel Time (MTT) algorithm (Finney, 2006) was used to conduct wildfire simulations considering historical data of fuel moisture conditions and winds, as well as the most frequent wind directions and historical ignition locations (2005-2018). Analysis was conducted on spatial and quantitative variations in selected fire hazard and exposure factors, namely Burn Probability (BP), Conditional Flame Length (CFL) and Fire Size (F). We observed pronounced spatial variations among and between municipalities in the factors, especially for those in the northern and southern parts of Ardabil. The variations across the burnable area of the municipalities can be fundamentally related to a number of factors, including spatial variation in ignition locations, fuel moisture and load, weather conditions, and topography of the terrain. The findings can provide information and support in wildfire management planning and fire risk mitigation activities.