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Predicting sustained fire spread in Tasmanian native grasslands


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Leonard, S 2009 , 'Predicting sustained fire spread in Tasmanian native grasslands' , Environmental Management, vol. 44 , pp. 430-440 , doi: 10.1007/s00267-009-9340-6.

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Fire is widely used in conservation management
of native grasslands. Burning is often carried out
under conditions that are marginal for sustained fire spread,
and therefore it would be useful to be able to predict fire
sustainability. There is currently no model allowing such
prediction in temperate grasslands. This study aims to
identify the environmental variables that determine whether
fires will sustain in native grasslands in Tasmania,
Australia, and develop a model for predicting fire sustainability
in this vegetation. Fuel characteristics and
weather conditions were recorded for 111 test fires.
Logistic regression modeling identified dead fuel moisture
content, fuel load, and percentage dead fuel as predictors of
fire sustainability. Classification tree modeling identified
dead fuel moisture and fuel load threshold values for sustaining
fires. There was also evidence indicating a percentage
dead fuel threshold. The logistic regression model
and a model combining the results of the classification tree
and the percentage dead fuel threshold accurately predicted
the outcomes of a small set of experimental fires. These
models are likely to have utility in predicting fire sustainability
in Tasmanian grasslands and are also likely to be
applicable to similar grasslands elsewhere.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Leonard, S
Keywords: Grassfires, Fire modeling, Fire behavior, Ignition thresholds, Logistic regression, Classification tree
Journal or Publication Title: Environmental Management
ISSN: 0364-152X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1007/s00267-009-9340-6
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