The timing of vegetation fire occurrence in a human landscape

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Ecology and Biodiversity
Fire Behaviour
Fire Weather
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TitleThe timing of vegetation fire occurrence in a human landscape
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsPlucinksi, M
JournalFire Safety Journal
Start Page42
AbstractVegetation fires in urban and peri-urban(human) landscapes damage property and infrastructure, threaten live sand incur considerable suppression costs. This study investigated the timing of fires burning in vegetation within and around the city of Perth, Western Australia. The timing of fires from 16 different cause types were investigated at hourly, daily, monthly and annual scales, and using fire danger indices and fuel moisture. Ignitions from most causes were shown to have hourly and monthly profiles that reflect fire danger and fuel availability. Some causes with low heat outputs, such as cigarettes and sparks from cutting and welding, were more sensitive to fire danger and fuel availability than others. Causes related to arson and recreational activities, such as camp fires, were more likely to occur on weekends and public holidays. Arson prevention measures appear to have reduced the incidence of deliberately lit fires, and may have reduced the number of fires occurring on days of total fire ban, although these days have much higher rates of ignition than other days. High profile fire events also increase public awareness and reduce ignition rates. Lessons learned from analyses of fire occurrence can help fire agencies more effectively apply prevention and mitigation programs.