Spatial and temporal patterns of wildfires: models, theory, and reality
Convener: Joana ParenteECSECS | Co-conveners: Marj Tonini, Andrea TrucchiaECSECS, Mário Pereira, Nikos Koutsias

Wildfires represent a hazardous and harmful phenomenon to people and the environment, especially in populated areas where the primary cause of ignition is related to human activities. This has motivated governments to develop spatio-temporal datasets and to produce risk and prognostic maps. A key tool in this respect is to investigate the spatial and temporal distribution of wildfires and to understand its relationships with the surrounding environmental, climatological and socio-economic factors.
Innovative algorithms and methodologies have been developed in recent years to analyze spatially distributed natural hazards and ongoing phenomena such as wildfires. Considering the fast growing availability of high quality digital geo-referenced databases, it is important to promote methods and new tools for their study, especially for large-scale analysis. A new exciting challenge is to convert available datasets into meaningful and valuable information.
This session will bring together wildfire hazard scientists and researchers of various geo-environmental disciplines, economists, managers and people responsible for territorial and urban defense and planning policies. The main goal is to improve the understanding of the fire regime and to discuss new strategies to mitigate the disastrous effects of wildfires. We will examine empirical studies, new and innovative technologies, theories, models and strategies for wildfire research, seeking especially to identify and characterize spatial and temporal variability patterns of wildfires.

Research topics include, but are not limited, to the following:
• development of methodologies based on expert knowledge or data driven approaches, for the recognition, modelling and prediction of structured patterns in wildfires;
• pre- and post-fire assessment: fire incidence mapping and variability, fire severity and damage, including fire-planning and risk management;
• long-term trend patterns: relation between wildfires and global changes such as climate and land use/land cover changes;
• fire impacts on the environment, in particular on the atmosphere, human health and natural/anthropogenic environment;
• fire spread models, ranging from case studies to long-term climatological assessments;
• post-fire vegetation recovery and vegetation phenology.