Forest road and fuelbreak siting with respect to reference fire intensities
Forest roads and permanent fuelbreaks are an important part of fire suppression infrastructure, but due to maintenance and environmental costs many forest agencies seek to reduce the extent of these networks. The question of which roads should be retained or where fuelbreaks should be established is contentious, and few quantified methods exist to aid management decisions. This study uses GIS procedures and develops a metric for road network vulnerability, which may be used to determine the relative effectiveness of a road network or a particular fuelbreak as a fire control line. The method constructs ‘reference fire’ intensities, and compares the fire intensity at roadsides or fuelbreaks with the overall forest average. In the case study area in Victoria’s Central Highlands (southeast Australia), average fire intensities on the forest road network are found to closely match the forest average, indicating that roads in their current locations are not skewed towards more dangerous parts of the forest. The fuelbreak network however is likely to face fire intensities substantially greater than those in the average forest area.
Allgöwer B., Stähli M., Bur M., Koutsias N., Koetz B., Morsdorf F., Finsinger W., Tinner W., Haller R., 2006. Long-term fire history and high-resolution remote sensing based fuel assessment: Key elements for fire and landscape management in nature conservation areas. Forest Ecology and Management 234(Sup.1), S212-S212.
Anderson H.E., 1982. Aids to determining fuel models for estimating fire behavior. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report INT-122, lntermountain Forest and Range Experimental Station, Ogden, Utah. 22 pp.
Bom, (2009) Lake Eildon, Victoria February 2009 Daily Weather Observations. Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne. [on line]. Available in http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/dwo/200902/html/IDCJDW3040.200902.shtml [17 May 2009].
Bush Fire Front Incorporated, 2007. Glossary of Bushfire Terms. Bush Fire Front Incorporated. [online]. Available in http://bushfirefront.com.au/glossary-bushfire-terms [17 May 2009].
Castellnou M., Larrañaga A., Miralles M., Molina D.M., 2010. Improving Wildfire Scenarios: Learning from Experience. In: EFI Research Report no. 23.“Fire Paradox”, Project no. FP6-018505, European Commission, pp. 121-133.
Cheney P., 2008. Can forestry manage bushfires in the future? Australian Forestry 71 (1), 1-2.
DSE, 2007. Significant fire years. [online]. Available in http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/DSE/nrenfoe.nsf/childdocs/-D79E4 FB0C437E1B6CA256DA60008B9EF?open [18 May 2009].
DSE, 2008. Forest Explorer. Department of Sustainability and Environment. [online]. Available in http://nremap-sc.nre.vic.gov.au/MapShare.v2/imf.jsp?site=forestexplorer [16 May 2009].
DSE, 2009. Strategic Fuelbreaks - Protecting Melbourne’s Water Catchments. Department of Sustainability and Environment. [online]. Available in http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/DSE/nrenfoe. nsf/LinkView/4D206C6380DB36C1CA257313000B4 922F64FFCC9CD5F38734A256DEA00140C30 [16 May 2009].
DSE, 2010. Ecological Vegetation Class (EVC) benchmarks for each bioregion. [online]. Available in http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/dse/nrence.nsf/linkview/43fe7df24a1447d9ca 256ee6007ea8788062d358172e420c4a256dea0012f71c [07 December 2010].
Eastaugh C.S., 2009. Optimising forest road networks for fire suppression. Masters Thesis. University of Lleida, Spain and the University of Joensuu, Finland. 50 pp.
Eastaugh C.S., Molina D., 2011. Forest road networks: Metrics for coverage, efficiency and convenience. Australian Forestry 74, 54-61.
Finney M.A., 1995. FARSITE: A Fire Area Simulator for Fire Managers. USDA Forest Service Gen Tech Rep PSWGTR- 158. United States Forest Service, Albany.
Finney M.A., 2002. Fire growth using minimum travel time methods. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 32(8), 1420-1424. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/x02-068
Finney M.A., 2006. An Overview of FlamMap Fire Modeling Capabilities. USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMPSP- 412.
Forthofer J.M., 2007. Modeling wind in complex terrain for use in fire spread prediction. Masters thesis. Colorado State University, USA. 123 pp.
Gill A.M., 2008. Fire and adaptive management. Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne. 82 pp.
Gould J.S., Mccaw W.L., Cheney N.P., Ellis P.F., Knight I.K., Sullivan A.L., 2007. Project Vesta - Fire in Dry Eucalypt Forest: Fuel structure, fuel dynamics and fire behaviour. Ensis-CSIRO, Canberra ACT and Department of Environment and Conservation, Perth WA. 218 pp.
Lindenmayer D.B., Possingham H.P., 1995. The conservation of arboreal marsupials in the montane ash forest of the Central Highlands of Victoria, south-eastern Australia, VII. Modelling the persistence of Leadbeater’s possum in response to modified timber harvesting praqctices, Biological Conservation 73(3), 239-257. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0006-3207(94)00121-6
Lyne H.J., 1918. Forest fires in coastal areas. Australian Forestry Journal 1 (3), 28.
Marsden-Smedley J.B., Slijepcevic A., 2001. Fuel characteristics and low intensity burning in Eucalyptus obliqua wet forest at the Warra LTER Site. Tasforests 13 (2), 261- 279.
Martínez-López E.R., 2002. Gestion de grandes incendios forestales en el valle del Rialb y la Sierra de Aubenc. Masters thesis. University of Lleida, Spain.
Molina D.M., Blanco J., Galan M., Pous E., García J.B., García D., 2009. Incendios Forestales: Fundamentos, Lecciones Aprendidas y Retos de Futuro. Editorial AIFEMA, Granada, Spain. 256 pp.
Morsdorf F., Meier E., Koetz B., Itten K., Allgöwer B., 2003. High Resolution Airborne Laser Scanning for Forest Fuel Type Mapping. EARSEL - 4th International Workshop: Remote Sensing and GIS applications for Forest Fire Management.
Mutlu M., Popescu S.C., Stripling C., Spencer T., 2008. Mapping surface fuel models using lidar and multispectral data fusion for fire behavior. Remote Sensing of Environment 112(1), 274-285. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2007.05.005
Paul K.I., Polglase P.J., 2004. Prediction of decomposition of litter under eucalypts and pines using the FullCAM model. Forest Ecology and Management 191, 73-93. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2003.11.007
Ripley B., 2009. Package ‘KernSmooth’. [online] http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/KernSmooth/KernSmooth.pdf [23 Mar 2011].
Rothermel R.C., 1972. A mathematical model for predicting fire spread in wildland fuels. Res. Pap. INT-115. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station.
Stratton D., 2004. Assessing the Effectiveness of Landscape Fuel Treatments on Fire Growth and Behavior. Journal of Forestry Oct/Nov 2004, 32-40.
Stretton L.B., 1939. The report of the Royal Commission to inquire into the causes of and measures taken to prevent the bushfires of January, 1939, and to protect life and property. Government Printer, Melbourne 36 pp.
Teague B., Mcleod R., Pascoe S., (2010) 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission final report volume 1: The fires and the fire-related deaths. Parliament of Victoria, Melbourne. 361 pp.
Tolhurst K.G., Flinn D.W., Loyn R.H., Wilson A.A.G., Foletta I., 1992. Ecological Effects of Fuel Reduction Burning in a Dry Sclerophyll Forest. Department of Conservation and Environment, Melbourne. 56 pp.
Wand M.P., Jones M.C., 1995. Kernel Smoothing. Chapman and Hall, London. 212 pp.