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Marino E.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacin Y Tecnologa Agraria Y Alimentaria Inia | Madrigal J.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacin Y Tecnologa Agraria Y Alimentaria Inia | Guijarro M.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacin Y Tecnologa Agraria Y Alimentaria Inia | Hernando C.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacin Y Tecnologa Agraria Y Alimentaria Inia | Dez C.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacin Y Tecnologa Agraria Y Alimentaria Inia
International Journal of Wildland Fire | Year: 2010

Mechanical treatments are traditionally used to modify the fuel complex in shrubland, but information about their actual effectiveness in reducing the risk of wildfire initiation is scarce. The effects of two mechanical fuel treatments (shrub clearing with crushing and manual removal) on flammability in a shrubland community in north-western Spain were compared. Three months after treatment, laboratory tests using a point-ignition source were conducted on the fine dead fuels to analyse the effect of type of treatment and fuel moisture content (FMC) under two conditions: (1) flaming; or (2) glowing+wind ignition source. Fuel load effect within each treatment was also studied. Time-to-ignition, flaming duration, number of burnt sides of the sample and fuel consumption ratio were assessed. Logistic models were developed to assess ignition and sustained combustion probabilities. Type of treatment and FMC significantly affected flammability under both experimental conditions tested. Slow smouldering was observed in fuels subjected to shrub clearing and removal, whereas crushing fuels were rapidly burnt with flaming phase combustion. In general, shrub clearing and removal appeared to be more effective in reducing wildfire hazard in these shrubland communities. © 2010 IAWF. Source


Marino E.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacin Y Tecnologa Agraria Y Alimentaria Inia | Hernando C.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacin Y Tecnologa Agraria Y Alimentaria Inia | Madrigal J.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacin Y Tecnologa Agraria Y Alimentaria Inia | Dez C.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacin Y Tecnologa Agraria Y Alimentaria Inia | Guijarro M.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacin Y Tecnologa Agraria Y Alimentaria Inia
International Journal of Wildland Fire | Year: 2012

Fuel management is commonly used to reduce fire risk in fire-prone shrubland, but information about the real efficacy of the different techniques is scarce. In this study, we assessed in the laboratory the effects of different treatment types on fire initiation risk in a mixed heathland. The effects of two mechanical treatments and of prescribed burning were compared with untreated vegetation. Flammability tests were performed in samples of the regenerated shrubs and fine ground fuels present 2 years after treatments. Results indicate that all treatments were effective in reducing fire initiation risk in regenerated shrubs, but not in fine ground fuels. Recovery of vegetation differed between treatments, and treatment type had a significant effect on flammability, mainly affecting fire sustainability. Wind speed had a minor effect on shrub fuel flammability, whereas fuel moisture had a significant effect. The flammability of fine ground fuels differed significantly depending on fuel moisture content, even at the low levels tested. Logistic models were fitted to predict successful fire sustainability, and the probability of initial propagation was obtained as a function of treatment type, fuel moisture content and fuel structural characteristics. This study provides new insights into wildfire prevention in shrubland, and compares the effectiveness of different fuel treatment techniques. Journal compilation © IAWF 2012. Source

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