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International Journal of Wildland Fire, 2007, 16, 619632

Modelling the effects of landscape fuel treatments on re growth and behaviour in a Mediterranean landscape (eastern Spain)
Beatriz DuguyA,C , Jos Antonio AllozaA , Achim RderB , Ramn VallejoA and Francisco PastorA
A Centro

de Estudios Ambientales del Mediterrneo (CEAM), Charles Darwin 14, E-46980 Paterna, Valencia, Spain. B University of Trier, Remote Sensing Department, Campus II, D-54286 Trier, Germany. C Corresponding author. Email: beatriz.duguy@gmail.com

Abstract. The number of large fires increased in the 1970s in the Valencia region (eastern Spain), as in most northern Mediterranean countries, owing to the fuel accumulation that affected large areas as a consequence of an intensive land abandonment. The Ayora site (Valencia province) was affected by a large fire in July 1979. We parameterised the fire growth model FARSITE for the 1979 fire conditions using remote sensing-derived fuel cartography. We simulated different fuel scenarios to study the interactions between fuel spatial distribution and fire characteristics (area burned, rate of spread and fireline intensity). We then tested the effectiveness of several firebreak networks on fire spread control. Simulations showed that fire propagation and behaviour were greatly influenced by fuel spatial distribution. The fragmentation of large dense shrubland areas through the introduction of wooded patches strongly reduced fire size, generally slowing fire and limiting fireline intensity. Both the introduction of forest corridors connecting woodlands and the promotion of complex shapes for wooded patches decreased the area burned. Firebreak networks were always very effective in reducing fire size and their effect was enhanced in appropriate fuel-altered scenarios. Most firebreak alternatives, however, did not reduce either rate of fire spread or fireline intensity. Additional keywords: FARSITE, fire modelling, firebreak network, fuel spatial distribution, landscape diversity, resilience to fire, spatial technologies.

Introduction In most northern Mediterranean countries, a strong rural exodus affected large areas throughout the 20th century, resulting in intensive land abandonment and undergrazing. In the Valencia region (eastern Spain), large cultivated areas reverted to semi-natural vegetation (shrublands, woodlands) after the 1950s and reforestation actions, fundamentally based on conifers, were extensively implemented (Vallejo and Alloza 1998). The resulting fuel accumulation over large areas caused a dramatic increase in the number of large fires in the 1970s, leading to very high fire frequencies in some locations, up to one fire every 4 or 5 years (Duguy 2003). Because of the increasing fuel loads, the risk of very intense fires causing large damage to the affected ecosystems has also increased. Fire, thereby, has become a major environmental concern for the local forest administration. Several fire management plans have been launched in the last three decades, but an integrated approach considering also the promotion of landscape diversity and resilience to fire has not yet been successfully implemented. Indeed, the design of new strategies for Mediterranean silviculture, integrating development, conservation and restoration objectives, incorporating fire hazard considerations and considering the multifunctional role
IAWF 2007

of forests and shrublands, in agreement with recent social demands, is still a challenge (Vlez 1990; Corona and Zeide 1999). The objective of fuel treatments for fire hazard reduction is to reduce fuel loads or change the spatial arrangement of fuels (i.e. the landscape structure), so that when a wildfire ignites in a treated landscape, it spreads more slowly, burns with less intensity and smaller severity (effects of fire on the ecosystem), and is less costly to suppress. An optimal design of landscapelevel fuel treatments requires, therefore, a further understanding of the functional relationships between landscape structure and associated ecological processes, such as fire. Landscape-scale fire patterns are considered to result from complex interactions among topography, weather and vegetation (fuel type, moisture content and spatial distribution) (Turner and Romme 1994; Hargrove et al. 2000). It is generally accepted that greater landscape heterogeneity retards fire propagation (Minnich 1983; Knight 1987), although landscape pattern may have little influence on fire growth and behaviour when weather conditions are extreme, that is very dry and windy (Turner et al. 1994; Hargrove et al. 2000). No universal correlation has been found yet between fire propagation rate and landscape heterogeneity (Morvan et al. 1995).
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The use of spatial technologies, such as remote sensing and geographical information systems (GIS), has greatly contributed to increase our knowledge of the relationships between fire and landscape-scale heterogeneity of fuels (Minnich 1983; Turner and Romme 1994; Turner et al. 1994; Lloret et al. 2002). In recent years, the combination of spatial technologies with fire modelling has improved the fundamental understanding of fire behaviour (Hargrove et al. 2000; Andrews and Queen 2001). Spatially explicit fire growth models, in particular, are a powerful tool for simulating spatial characteristics of fire spread and behaviour and are playing an increasing supporting role in the assessment of landscapes and the evaluation of fuel management options in relation to fire control (Andrews and Queen 2001; Gollberg et al. 2001). A spatially explicit fire model, such as FARSITE (Finney 1994, 1998), has been widely calibrated in the USA, proving to be efficient for producing spatial maps of fire growth and intensity (Finney and Ryan 1995; Finney 1998), but also for testing the effectiveness of silvicultural and fuel treatment options (Van Wagtendonk 1996; Stephens 1998; Finney 2001; Stratton 2004). In some northern Mediterranean regions, the local administration is using FARSITE as a tool for improving wildland fire analysis and prospecting consequences of fuel management options on fire growth (Molina and Castellnou 2002). More validations of the model in Mediterranean conditions and for real fires are still needed, though (Arca et al. 2007). With these matters in mind, the main objectives of the present study were: (1) to parameterise the FARSITE model for the fuel and weather conditions of a real fire; (2) to explore the effect of fuel spatial distribution on fire spread and behaviour; and (3) to test the effectiveness of different firebreak alternatives for controlling fire propagation and moderating fire behaviour. Study area The Ayora study site is located 60 km south-west of the city of Valencia (eastern Spain) and is defined by a frame corresponding to 39 20 15.13 N/1 10 33 W (ULX/ULY) and 38 49 53.19 N/0 32 3.53 W (LRX/LRY) (Rder et al. in press; Fig. 1). In July 1979, it was partly affected by a very large fire (31 700 ha), which had important repercussions at socioeconomic and environmental levels. In most of the study area, the potential vegetation is a Quercus ilex forest (Bupleuro rigidi-Quercetum rotundifoliae, Rivas Martnez 1987). The 1979 fire mainly burned planted mixedconifer stands (Pinus halepensis Miller and Pinus pinaster Ait.), though. The site is currently covered by dense shrublands of Rosmarino-Ericion Br.-Bl. 1931, generally dominated by the resprouter grass Brachypodium retusum (Pers.) Beauv. and the shrubs Ulex parviflorus Pourr., Rosmarinus officinalis L. and Quercus coccifera L. Sometimes a sparse Pinus halepensis tree layer is present. In some locations, small stands of Pinus halepensis and Pinus pinaster remain. The study site pertains mainly to the dry meso-Mediterranean bioclimatic stage (Rivas Martnez 1987): along a west-east gradient, the mean annual temperature varies between 13 and 18 C and the mean annual precipitation varies between 350 and 700 mm. The soil map (GVA 1997) indicates that the most common soils are Chromic Luvisol, Rendsic Leptosol (both are

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Fig. 1. Ayora study area. The perimeter of the 1979 fire is shown by a dotted line. The outline of the six sheets of the National Topographic Map (1 : 50 000) representing the area is shown by a dashed line.

shallow soils developed over limestone), Calcaric Regosol (moderately deep soils developed over marls) and Calcaric Phaeozem (FAO-UNESCO 2003). From many points of view, this area can be considered very representative of the large marginal lands affected by wildfires in the northern Mediterranean basin. Methods We first parameterised the FARSITE model for the fuel and weather conditions of the 1979 fire and then simulated a set of alternative fuel scenarios, maintaining the same high fire hazard conditions. Five raster data themes are required to run the model: elevation, slope, aspect, fuel models and canopy cover. The topographical layers were obtained in the GIS ArcGIS after the Digital Elevation Model. They were maintained for all the simulations. The spatial resolution was 30 by 30 m. We combined remote sensing and extensive field work to obtain spatially accurate fuel data. A vegetation map characterising the situation before the 1979 fire was derived from a Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS) image, which formed part of an extensive time series of Landsat data. Spectral Mixture Analysis was used for a pixel-wise characterisation of fractions of photosynthetic active vegetation, lithological background and shade based on spectral reference surface types (endmembers) (Smith et al. 1990). The results were validated for a recent date with field data, before the endmember model was applied to older dates. Subsequently, major vegetation types were mapped by combining the individual fractions in a rule-based classification approach (Rder et al. 2005). The classification model was calibrated using the most updated digital vegetation map, that is the Spanish Forest Map (MAPA 1993), and then applied to other dates. The accuracy of the 1979 vegetation map used in the present study was checked with aerial photographs from 1977. This map was reclassified in ArcGis into a fuel model map assigning to each vegetation type one of the 13 standard fire behaviour fuel models (FM hereafter) described by Anderson (1982) (Table 1). We used the photographical identification key of the Spanish ForestAdministration (MAPA-ICONA 1990), which assigns one of these 13 fuel models to each of the main vegetation structural types found in eastern Spain. Following the same process, we reclassified the 1993 vegetation map of

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Table 1. Reclassification of the existing vegetation types into Andersons standard fuel models Land use/vegetation type Urban area Water body Bare soil (recently burned area) Crop Medium-density shrubland (1-m height) dominated by (B ) Dense shrubland (2-m height) dominated by (B ), sometimes with young pines Open pine forest with dense shrub layer Dense pine forest (Pinus halepensis, Pinus pinaster), with very little or no shrub layer
A Non-fuel B Ulex

Fuel model (dry fuel load) 0A 98A 1 (12 t ha1 ) 2 (510 t ha1 ) 5 (58 t ha1 ) 4 (2535 t ha1 ) 7 (1015 t ha1 ) 8 (1012 t ha1 )

Original description of fuel model (Anderson 1982) Short grass (herbaceous fuels, very little shrub) Grass with open shrub (sometimes with timber overstory) Young short green shrubs with little or no dead woody material Mature flammable tall shrubs with abundant dead material (nearly continuous secondary overstorey) Flammable dense shrub layer under conifer stand Closed short-needle conifer or hardwood stands with light surface fuel loadings

areas were assigned an arbitrary value in ArcGIS. parviflorus, Rosmarinus officinalis, Quercus coccifera and Brachypodium retusum.

the area (MAPA 1993) into a second fuel model map, named the reference scenario hereafter. Crown fires, embers from torching trees and spot fire growth were all enabled during the simulations. FARSITE distinguishes three fire types: surface, passive crown or active crown. Some form of crown fire occurs when the surface fireline intensity meets or exceeds an intensity threshold that is critical to involving the overlying crown fuels. The crown involvement may be limited to torching trees (passive crown fire) or become an active crown fire (Van Wagner 1977). Crown fuel variability was assumed to be small across the area and constant values were estimated for the required crown fuel parameters on the basis of available quantitative data (MAPA 1993; Burriel et al. 20002004) and local forest managers knowledge: stand height (7 m), height-to-live crown base (1.8 m) and crown bulk density (0.18 kg m3 ). The weather information was introduced with a combination of files. Temperature, precipitation and humidity data were indicated in a standard FARSITE weather file (.WTR). Wind-related data (wind speed, wind direction and cloud cover) were introduced through a file (.ATM) associated to a set of gridded files (2-km resolution), which were obtained with the Regional Atmospheric Modelling System (RAMS), a mesoscale meteorological model (Pielke et al. 1992). The parameterisation process was evaluated in terms of the degree of spatial coincidence between the real and the simulated 1979 fire, considering first the former and then the latter as the reference image. The simulation process was repeated several times and, for each run, we calculated both the percentage of the simulated burned area that really burned in the 1979 fire and the percentage of the 1979 real fire that burned during the simulation, aiming to maximise both variables. We progressively tuned the parameterisation simulations to the real 1979 fire perimeter testing different adjustment files, that is, changing the rate of

fire spread for the existing fuel models without affecting other fire behaviour outputs (Stratton 2004). Once the FARSITE model was calibrated, the reference scenario and a set of derived scenarios were tested and reshaped in an iterative process. At each step, the information provided by the previous simulations about the interactions between fire behaviour and fuel spatial configuration determined the main guidelines to be followed in further steps for modifying the landscape in relation to the objectives of minimising fire propagation risk, promoting landscape diversity and favouring the extension of mature ecosystems (Montero de Burgos and Alcanda 1993). In this sense, the fragmentation of large areas of highly fireprone fuel models through the introduction of patches of less fire-prone vegetation types was a major landscape-level fuel management strategy that we tested. We introduced two types of patch shapes: large strips with simple perimeters, resulting in the Strip-type scenarios, and irregular patches with more convoluted perimeters, resulting in the Patch-type scenarios. In some cases, narrow forest corridors were also introduced for interconnecting these patches, leading to the Stripcor- and the Patcor-type scenarios, respectively. All the simulations had the same duration, starting on 17 July at 0830 hours and ending on 21 July at 2400 hours. In all cases, we used the same fire ignition points, which were located after the 1979 fire reports. In the parameterisation simulations, we also started a second fire on 19 July and several induced fires on 21 July, following the indications found in these fire reports. A set of firebreak network alternatives was also simulated. The term firebreak that we use in the current study includes both the firelineand the firebreakterms, as described in Green (1977), and describes a line from which all vegetation has been removed down to mineral soil. The current firebreak network of the area (Fig. 2c), which did not exist at the time of the 1979 fire, includes 1st, 2nd and 3rd order firebreaks (FB hereafter),

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Low density: 1st order

Medium density: 1st + 2nd order

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Firebreak network density (the types of firebreaks present in each network are indicated).

which limit areas from 2000 to 6000 ha, from 500 to 1500 ha and from 100 to 300 ha, respectively, depending on the type of the potentially affected ecosystems (Velasco 2000). It is a mixed-width network, with the FB width ranging from 1 to 70 m. In the present study, we could only test homogeneous FB networks because our version of FARSITE did not allow attribution of different widths to different parts of a given network. We therefore tested three network densities (high, medium, low) and three FB widths for each density: 30, 50 and 80 m. The high-density network corresponds to the complete current FB network (Fig. 2c), the medium-density network includes only the 1st and 2nd order FBs (Fig. 2b) and the low-density network includes only the 1st order FBs (Fig. 2a). Although the high-density networks with the largest FB widths (80 or 50 m) are rather unrealistic alternatives, we also tested them as these simulations provided interesting information about the effects of major FB network design characteristics on fire growth and behaviour. We selected three FARSITE outputs for comparing the simulated scenarios: the area burned (ha), the rate of fire spread in m min1 (ROS hereafter) and the fireline intensity in kW m1 (FLI hereafter). Results are presented as means with their standard errors. The latter variable, which describes the energy release per unit length of flame front, has been described as the best fire behaviour descriptor for correlations with aboveground fire effects (Andrews and Rothermel 1982). Moreover, simple approaches linking fireline intensity to firefighter effectiveness and safety have been described (Stubbs 2005). Finally, we analysed whether crown fires had occurred during the simulations. The correlation among all variables was explored using the Spearman coefficient () for non-parametric data, because homogeneity of variances could not be attained in most cases. Results Parameterisation of the FARSITE model A good spatial coincidence between the real and the simulated 1979 fire was only obtained after increasing the ROS adjustment factor from 1.0 to 1.5 for FM4 and FM5. Previous FARSITE calibrations carried out for Mediterranean landscapes in northeastern Spain also showed the need to increase the ROS factor up

to the value of 1.5 for plant communities classified as FM4, FM5 or FM6 in order to tune the fire growth during the simulations to what is observed for real fires (M. Castellnou, Catalan Agency for Forest Management Actions-GRAF, pers. comm.). The use of the FARSITE model was finally considered trustworthy in our site: 67.9% of the area burned by the simulated fire was really burned in 1979 and 92.4% of the 1979 real fire was also burned during the simulation. Effects of fuel spatial conguration on re spread and behaviour The reference scenario (Fig. 3a) was characterised by large interconnected areas of shrub-type fuel models as described in Anderson (1982): FM4, FM5 and FM7. The total area covered by these three fuel models represented 44.2% of the reference landscape (14.4, 16.3 and 13.5, respectively) but reached 73.2% of the area burned during the reference simulation (35.8, 22.2 and 15.2%, respectively) (Fig. 3b). The grass-type fuel models as described in Anderson (1982), that is FM1 and FM2, represented 54.3% of the reference landscape (15.4 and 38.9%, respectively), but only 26.4% of the area burned during the reference simulation (12.9 and 13.5%, respectively). The reference simulation showed that after the fire ignited in an FM1 area, it spread fast across both this fuel model and the adjacent large FM4 patch, but was effectively stopped by large cropped areas (FM2) (Fig. 3b). Analysing the behaviour of fire in each fuel model, we observed that the largest mean and maximum values for ROS and FLI were reached in the FM4 area (Table 2; Fig. 3c,d). Mean ROS was almost three times larger for FM4 (3.1 m min1 ) than for FM5 (1.2 m min1 ). Mean FLI in FM4 (547.2 kW m1 ) was almost 22 times larger and 23 times larger than in FM5 (25.1 kW m1 ) or FM7 (23.6 kW m1 ), respectively. According to the fire behaviour characteristics chart (Rothermel 1983) and the adjective ratings for fire behaviour (Stubbs 2005), fire behaviour during the reference simulation could be described as globally Very Active (mean FLI between 606.2 and 1299 kW m1 ) and Extreme (max. FLI >1299 kW m1 ) in some locations. It was generally Active (mean FLI between 259.8 and 606.2 kW m1 ) in the FM4 areas and Extreme in some locations (Table 2; Fig. 4d). In the FM5

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(a)

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Fig. 3. (a) Reference landscape; the 1979 fire perimeter and the initial ignition zone are indicated. Legend numbers correspond to fuel models. (b) Reference simulation (stippled area) over the reference landscape; spatial distribution of (c) the rate of spread (m min1 ); and (d) the fireline intensity (kW m1 ).

Table 2. Results for the whole reference simulation (1st row) and by fuel model s.e., standard error; FM, fuel model; P, passive crown fire; A, active crown fire Area burned (ha) Rate of spread (m min1 ) Mean (s.e.) Total FM 1 FM 2 FM 4 FM 5 FM 7 40 733.6 5271.3 5503.1 14 582.3 9025.2 6187.4 1.8 (2.4) 2.3 1.8 3.1 1.2 1.5 Max. 28 22 18 28 17 21 Fireline intensity (kW m1 ) Mean (s.e.) 632.4 (111.4) 6.6 26.0 547.2 25.1 23.6 Max. 13 556 7455 8186 13 556 8343 10 010 Fire type (% of the area burned) Surface 67.2 99.1 99.7 12.8 96.0 96.4 P 32.8 0.9 0.3 87.2 4.0 0.6 A 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

and FM7 areas, fire behaviour was generally Low (mean FLI <86.6 kW m1 ), although it could be Extreme in some locations (Table 2; Fig. 3d). Extreme, Very Active and Active fires all spread very rapidly (Stubbs 2005). The latter type presents a substantial resistance to control, whereas the two former types present an extreme resistance to control (Stubbs 2005). Low fires present very little resistance to control and can be directly attacked by firefighters. Fire spread faster through FM1 and FM2 than through FM5 or FM7, as could be expected (Anderson 1982). In the FM1 areas, characterised by a lack of surface fuels (fine herbaceous fuels dominate, very little shrub is present), we registered the smallest mean value of FLI (6.6 kW m1 ). In both the FM1 and the FM2

areas, fire behaviour was generally rated as Low, although an Extreme behaviour was reached in some locations (Table 2). Almost a third (32.8%) of the total area burned was affected by a passive crown fire, which mainly occurred in FM4 areas (Table 2). Passive crown fires rarely occurred in the other fuel models and active crown fires were never observed. The conversion of FM4 surfaces into other shrub- or timbertype fuel models as described inAnderson (1982) always reduced fire size very strongly in relation to the reference simulation (Table 3; Fig. 4). For most of these scenarios, burning conditions were much more moderate than during the reference simulation: mean and maximum values for both ROS and FLI substantially decreased.

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0 1 2 4 5 7 8 98

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Fig. 4. Simulations (stippled areas) with (a) scenario A and (b) scenario C from Table 3. Legend numbers correspond to fuel models. The 1979 fire perimeter is indicated. In some cases, fuel models are indicated on the image. Table 3. Results for the conversion simulations Scenarios are the result of conversion from fuel model (x to y) as indicated in parentheses. s.e., standard error; P, passive crown fire; A, active crown fire Scenario Area burned (ha) Rate of spread (m min1 ) Mean (s.e.) A (4 to 5) B (4 to 7) C (4 to 8) D (4 to 10) Reference 9159.3 18 110.5 5686.7 19 599.0 40 733.6 1.2 (1.8) 1.4 (1.8) 1.7 (2.1) 1.2 (1.6) 1.8 (2.4) Max. 18 19 20 18 28 Fireline intensity (kW m1 ) Mean (s.e.) 47.2 (54.2) 109.9 (124.7) 35.4 (36.9) 241.5 (311.5) 632.4 (111.4) Max. 791 1057 448 3015 13 556 Fire type (% of the area burned) Surface 100.0 96.4 100.0 80.7 67.2 P 0.0 3.6 0.0 19.3 32.8 A 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Scenario C, obtained through the conversion of FM4 into FM8, minimised the area burned as well as the mean and maximum intensities (Table 3; Fig. 4b). In relation to the reference simulation, the burned area decreased 86%, the mean FLI dropped from 632.4 (111.4) to 35.4 (36.9) kW m1 , values in parentheses being standard errors hereafter. The maximum FLI was reduced from 13 556 to 448 kW m1 . Fire behaviour rating could be, therefore, changed from Very Active and sometimes Extreme to Low and sometimes Active. The mean rate of fire spread, however, was only slightly reduced (from 1.8 (2.4) to 1.7 (2.1) m min1 ). Scenario A, obtained through the conversion of FM4 into FM5, was the second-best scenario for minimising fire size and reducing the mean and maximum fireline intensity (Table 3; Fig. 4a). Mean ROS dropped from 1.8 (2.4) to 1.2 (1.8) m min1 . Fire could be rated as Low and sometimes Very Active. Although being very different, scenarios A and C were both very successful for reducing fire size and intensity and both led to rather similar fire spread patterns (Fig. 4). No form of crown fire occurred during either of these two simulations, whereas passive crown fires were observed in the remaining scenarios of Table 3. In relation to our objectives of minimising fire spread and promoting mature ecosystems, the previous results led us to test the fragmentation of the highly fire-prone largest FM4 patch through the introduction of dense wooded areas (FM8) in various spatial configurations. We simulated nine scenarios (Table 4).

Fire size always decreased in relation to the reference simulation, although there was a high variability among scenarios. The area burned ranged from 11 712 ha in Stripcor2 to 22 316 ha in Patch2. No clear pattern appeared as being the most suitable for minimising fire spread, as the three scenarios leading to the smallest fires (<13 000 ha), that is Stripcor2, Patcor2 and Patch3, were quite different: the former resulted from the introduction of large FM8 strips connected by FM8 corridors, whereas the two latter were obtained after introducing more irregular FM8 patches (also connected by FM8 corridors in the case of Patcor2). These three scenarios, however, were characterised by the three largest areas of FM8: 5.3, 9 and 5.4% of the simulated landscape, respectively. Fire size decreased 71, 70.1 and 69.6%, respectively, in relation to the reference simulation. In Patch 2, the scenario of Table 4 leading to the largest fire, the area of FM8 was only 3.5% of the landscape. The decrease of fire size in relation to the reference simulation was much smaller (45.2%). As for fire behaviour, the mean and maximum values of ROS and FLI always decreased in relation to the reference fire, except with Stripcor1, for which the mean FLI slightly increased (Table 4). The scenarios minimising fire size (Stripcor2, Patcor2 and Patch3) also led to the smallest mean values of ROS: 1.3 (1.8), 1.3 (1.8) and 1.4 (2) m min1 , respectively (Table 4). The variability of ROS and FLI among scenarios was much lower

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Table 4. Simulation results for the scenarios derived from the introduction of FM8 patches in the reference landscape and for the reference simulation Stripx, FM8 strips; Patchx, irregular FM8 patches; Stripcorx, FM8 strips connected by FM8 corridors; Patcorx, irregular FM8 patches connected by FM8 corridors. s.e., standard error; P, passive crown fire; A, active crown fire Scenario Area burned (ha) Rate of spread (m min1 ) Mean (s.e.) Strip1 Strip2 Patch1 Patch2 Patch3 Stripcor1 Stripcor2 Patcor1 Patcor2 Reference 18 049.2 13 144.1 16 090.4 22 316.0 12 398.4 17 587.5 11 712.0 13 335.6 12 190.1 40 733.6 1.6 (2.3) 1.4 (2.0) 1.5 (1.9) 1.5 (2.3) 1.4 (2.0) 1.7 (2.4) 1.3 (1.8) 1.5 (2.0) 1.3 (1.8) 1.8 (2.4) Max. 23 19 23 26 20 23 20 22 21 28 Fireline intensity (kW m1 ) Mean (s.e.) 616.5 (1081) 542.5 (917) 458.7 (825.4) 528.5 (1051.9) 544.2 (941.4) 643 (1106.9) 496.8 (878.9) 490.2 (878.6) 483.8 (835.4) 632.4 (111.4) Max. 11 262 8981 10 354 11 438 9327 9529 10 402 10 696 8248 13 556 Fire type (% of the area burned) Surface 67.6 68.9 71.4 71.1 72.0 67.0 66.0 68.8 67.4 67.2 P 31.1 29.2 27.9 28.7 28.0 33.0 34.0 31.2 32.6 32.8 A 1.3 1.9 0.8 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

than for the area burned. Mean ROS ranged from 1.3 (1.8) to 1.7 (2.4) m min1 and the larger decrease in relation to the reference simulation was 27.8%. The mean fireline intensity ranged from 458.7 (825.4) to 643 (1106.9) kW m1 and we observed decreases from 2.5 to 27.5% (for Strip1 and Patch1 respectively) in relation to the reference fire. Most fires were globally Active and Extreme in some locations, although in Strip1 and Stripcor1 fires were Very Active and Extreme in some locations. In most scenarios, we observed a surface fire in more than two thirds of the area burned (Table 4). The area affected by a passive crown fire ranged from 27.9 to 33% of the area burned (it was 32.8% for the reference simulation) and was mostly observed on FM4 areas. Active crown fires never represented more than 2% of the area burned. No pattern appeared as being the most efficient for limiting either the ROS, or the FLI. For both variables, however, the largest mean values were obtained in scenarios Strip1 and Stripcor1, which were also characterised by some of the smallest initial presences of FM8: 3.2 and 4.1%, respectively. This latter variable was negatively correlated with the area burned ( = 0.923, P < 0.01), with the mean ROS ( = 0.794, P < 0.01) and with the mean FLI ( = 0.622, P < 0.05). No significant correlation was found either between ROS and FLI, or between any of them and the area burned. The introduction of narrow FM8 corridors between FM8 patches always resulted in a reduction of the area burned, but did not always lead to more moderate burning conditions (Table 4); e.g. comparisons between Strip2 and Stripcor2 and between Patch1 and Patcor1. We also simulated the fragmentation of the FM4 matrix with wooded patches of different successional stages (FM7 and FM8). The introduction of FM7 patches scattered throughout a FM8 matrix (Table 5) was generally more effective for reducing fire size than the introduction of scattered FM8 patches in a FM7 matrix (Table 6). The FM8 matrix acted as an effective barrier against fire propagation, whereas the FM7 matrix did not (Fig. 5).

The scenarios in Table 5 led, therefore, to larger decreases of fire size in relation to the reference simulation (from 46 to 69.7%), Patcor17 and Patcor27 being the most efficient scenarios. Both scenarios were obtained after introducing large irregular FM8 patches connected by FM8 corridors in the FM4 matrix and smaller FM7 patches within these FM8 areas. Scenario Patcor27 was characterised by the largest initial presence of FM8 (6.5%) and the smallest value for the FM7 area : FM8 area ratio (2.4) (Table 5b, Fig. 5). In scenario Patcor17, these two variables reached values of 3.9% and 3.8, respectively, but the total perimeter length of the FM8 patches reached the second largest value among all scenarios and the mean value for the ratio perimeter : area among FM8 patches was the largest among all scenarios (Table 5b). Considering all scenarios in Table 5, we found a significant positive correlation between the FM7 area : FM8 area ratio and the area burned ( = 0.829, P < 0.05). The comparisons between Strip27 and Stripcor27, on the one hand, and between Patch17 and Patcor17, on the other hand, showed again that introducing FM8 corridors between the FM8 patches reduced fire size, but generally did not result in more moderate fires (Table 5a). The comparison of each scenario in Table 5 with the corresponding scenario in Table 4 showed that the introduction of both FM7 patches and FM8 patches could be sometimes more effective than the sole introduction of the latter. In 50% of the cases, fire size was smaller in the Table 5 scenario and in 66.7% of the cases, fire was less intense. In Patcor17, for instance, we observed a smaller, slower and less intense fire than in Patcor1. Comparing each scenario in Table 6 with the corresponding scenario in Table 5 (e.g. Strip28 in 7 with Strip27), we observed that fire size was always larger in the former, whereas mean ROS generally remained very similar, and mean FLI was smaller in the former in 67% of the cases. Considering all scenarios in Table 5 and Table 6, the FM7 area : FM8 area ratio was significantly correlated with the area burned ( = 0.727, P < 0.01), the mean ROS ( = 0.628, P < 0.05), the maximum

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Table 5. Simulation results for scenarios derived from the introduction of scattered FM7 patches throughout an FM8 matrix Strip27, Strip2 from Table 4 with FM7 patches; Stripcor27, Stripcor2 from Table 4 with FM7 patches; Patchx7, Patchx from Table 4 with FM7 patches; Patcorx7, Patcorx from Table 4 with FM7 patches. s.e., standard error; P, passive crown fire; A, active crown fire (a) Simulation results Scenario Area burned (ha) Rate of spread (m min1 ) Mean Strip27 Stripcor27 Patch17 Patch27 Patcor17 Patcor27 17 306.9 16 354.4 15 990.2 21 982.8 12 946 12 347 1.4 (2.2) 1.4 (2.1) 1.5 (1.9) 1.5 (2.4) 1.4 (1.8) 1.4 (1.9) Max. 21 24 22 31 20 19 Fireline intensity (kW m1 ) Mean 493.3 (953.9) 489.8 (928.9) 463.7 (841.2) 491.6 (1039.3) 464.1 (835) 488.5 (875.9) Max. 10 543 11 621 10 811 14 854 8834 9352 Fire type (% of the area burned) Surface 68.6 68.4 71.0 72.2 69.2 68.0 P 31.3 31.6 29.0 27.8 30.8 32.0 A 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

(b) Characteristics of the landscape before simulation Scenario Area burned (ha) 17 306.9 16 354.4 15 990.2 21 982.8 12 946 12 347 Presence FM7 15.2 14.9 14.2 14.8 15.0 15.6 FM8 3.6 4.0 3.6 2.8 3.9 6.5 4.22 3.70 3.96 5.27 3.80 2.41 FM7 area : FM8 area FM8 total perimeter (m) 201 000 238 200 189 720 233 640 238 860 368 640 Mean FM8 perimeter : area 0.0089 0.0023 0.0021 0.0031 0.0219 0.0032

Strip27 Stripcor27 Patch17 Patch27 Patcor17 Patcor27

Table 6. Simulation results for scenarios derived from the introduction of scattered FM8 patches throughout an FM7 matrix All scenarios were derived from the corresponding scenario in Table 5 after replacing the FM8 matrix by an FM7 matrix and introducing FM8 patches (instead of FM7 patches) in this matrix. s.e., standard error; P, passive crown fire; A, active crown fire Scenario Area burned (ha) Rate of spread (m min1 ) Mean (s.e.) Strip28 in 7 Stripcor28 in 7 Patch18 in 7 Patch28 in 7 Patcor18 in 7 Patcor28 in 7 33 336.8 26 775.8 20 088.5 26 358.9 23 148.8 21 367.8 2.0 (3.2) 1.4 (1.9) 1.5 (2.3) 1.5 (2.2) 1.4 (1.8) 1.7 (2.3) Max. 25 26 34 26 20 38 Fireline intensity (kW m1 ) Mean (s.e.) 638.6 (1346.4) 395 (760.6) 481.9 (1005.1) 454.2 (927.9) 345.4 (661.9) 470.3 (954.6) Max. 11 454 12 108 16 434 12 903 9905 18 375 Fire type (% of the area burned) Surface 72.0 74.9 72.6 73.6 73.3 72.5 P 28.0 25.1 27.4 26.4 26.7 27.5 A 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

ROS ( = 0.754, P < 0.01) and the maximum FLI ( = 0.713, P < 0.01). For both sets of scenarios (Tables 5 and 6), surface fires occurred in almost three quarters of the area burned, as happened for scenarios in Table 4, but when we compared a scenario in Table 6 with the corresponding one in Table 5, the occurrence of passive crown fires was always smaller in the former. No active crown fire was observed. Considering all scenarios in Table 4, Table 5 and Table 6, the FM7 area : FM8 area ratio was also significantly correlated with the area burned ( = 0.858, P < 0.01), the mean ROS ( = 0.521, P < 0.05), the maximum ROS ( = 0.711, P < 0.01) and the maximum FLI ( = 0.775, P < 0.01). The initial presence of FM8 was negatively correlated with the

area burned ( = 0.693, P < 0.01), the mean ROS ( = 0.48, P < 0.05), the maximum ROS ( = 0.587, P < 0.01) and the maximum FLI ( = 0.622, P < 0.01). The effectiveness of rebreak networks All the tested FB network alternatives resulted in a strong fire size reduction in relation to the reference simulation (Table 7). This decrease ranged from 85.6% with the FB80a network (highdensity network and 80-m wide firebreaks) to 48.3% with the FB30c network (low-density network and 30-m wide firebreaks). For any network density, the wider the FBs, the smaller the fire, and, for a given FB width, the denser the FB network, the smaller the fire, as could be expected. Nevertheless, the most effective alternatives, FB80a and FB50a, have to be

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0 1 2 4 5 7 8 98

0 1 2 4 5 7 8 98

0 1 2 4 5 7 8 98

0 1 2 4 5 7 8 98

Fig. 5. Simulations (stippled areas) with scenarios Stripcor27 (upper left) and Patcor27 (lower left) from Table 5 and scenarios Stripcor28 in 7 (upper right) and Patcor28 in 7 (lower right) from Table 6. Legend numbers correspond to fuel models. In some cases, fuel models are indicated on the image.

Table 7. Simulation results for the reference landscape combined with different firebreak (FB) networks P, passive crown fire; A, active crown fire; NO FB: no firebreaks. For a given FB network density, each alternative is named as: FB + FB-width in m FB network Area burned (ha) Rate of spread (m min1 ) Mean (s.e.) High density FB80a FB50a FB30a Medium density FB80b FB50b FB30b Low density FB80c FB50c FB30c NO FB 5879.3 5920.7 13 070.1 9633.5 14 179.7 19 571.9 13 925.2 16 151.7 21 068.6 40 733.6 2.0 (2.2) 1.9 (2.1) 1.9 (2.2) 2.4 (3.2) 2.3 (3.0) 2.1 (2.4) 2.3 (2.8) 2.1 (2.7) 1.9 (2.4) 1.8 (2.4) Max. 23 19 23 23 19 20 25 23 22 28 Fireline intensity (kW m1 ) Mean (s.e.) 552.2 (974.8) 534.9 (960.2) 725.9 (1098.5) 950 (1553.7) 906.2 (1457.9) 793.1 (1157.6) 920.5 (1339.0) 858.3 (1312.2) 771.7 (1179.9) 632.4 (111.4) Max. 8949 8885 11 511 10 670 9215 9850 9978 11 135 10 334 13 556 Fire type (% of the area burned) Surface 69.5 67.2 67.5 64.0 62.5 62.0 49.4 54.0 54.0 67.2 P 30.5 32.8 32.5 36.0 37.5 38.0 50.6 46.0 46.0 32.8 A 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

considered rather unrealistic and not even suitable, because they would cause high ecological and visual impacts on the landscape. FB30a appears to be a good alternative, allowing a strong reduction of fire size, while limiting the increase of mean ROS

and mean FLI (Table 7). It is interesting to note that FB30a led to a smaller, slower and less intense fire than mediumor low-density networks with wider firebreaks, such as FB50b or FB80c.

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Table 8. Area burned (ha) for the reference landscape and for several fuel-altered scenarios from Tables 4 and 5 combined with a firebreak (FB) network NO FB, no firebreaks. For a given FB network density, each alternative is named as: FB + FB-width in m FB network High density FB80a FB50a FB30a Medium density FB80b FB50b FB30b Low density FB80c FB50c FB30c NO FB Reference 5879.3 5920.7 13 070.1 9633.5 14 179.7 19 571.9 13 925.2 16 151.7 21 068.6 40 733.6 Strip2 5334.5 5360.5 6129.3 7639.4 8169.4 8243.5 7576.9 7608.0 9903.0 13 144.1 Stripcor2 5353.5 5368.0 6539.9 7633.0 7652.8 9203.7 7813.8 7728.2 9242.0 11 712 Patcor2 5422.7 5467.9 5466.1 6755.3 6913.8 9284.9 7710.5 9292.0 9973.7 12 190.1 Patcor17 4410.0 4694.4 4602.2 8017.5 8010.5 10204.0 8063.1 8121.7 11053.7 12 946 Patcor27 5431.1 5565.3 5470.9 7744.1 8726.9 9717.0 7762.2 9813.1 8710.1 12 347

The introduction of an FB network always reduced the maximum values of ROS and FLI in relation to the reference simulation (Table 7), but never reduced the mean ROS and only reduced the mean FLI in the case of FB80a and FB50a (12.7 and 15.4%, respectively). For most simulations, the fire behaviour was rated as for the reference simulation, that is Very Active and sometimes Extreme. The occurrence of passive crown fires tended to decrease as the FB network density increased (Table 7). The percentage of area burned affected by this type of fire ranged from 30.5 (in the case of FB80a) to 50.6% (in the case of FB80c). The same FB networks were tested in combination with a set of scenarios from Tables 4 and 5, which had proved to minimise fire propagation (Table 8). For a given combination of FB network and fuel-altered scenario, the area burned always decreased both in relation to the same FB network combined with the reference landscape (column Reference in Table 8) and to the same fuel-altered scenario tested without any firebreak network (row NO FB in Table 8). Only in the case of FB80a, FB50a and FB80b, the combination of an FB network with the reference landscape led to a smaller fire than an appropriate fuel-altered scenario tested alone (Table 8). Coupling any of the remaining FB networks with one of the fuel-altered scenarios resulted in a strong reduction of the area burned; up to 58.7% in the case of FB30c combined with Patcor27 (8710.1 ha) in relation to the combination with the reference scenario (21 068.6 ha). As for burning conditions, fires were generally slower and less intense when the FB network was combined with a fuelaltered scenario than with the reference one (Table 9). The largest reductions of the mean ROS were observed for the combinations (FB80c + Patcor17) and (FB80b + Patcor27): from 2.3 to 1.3 m min1 and from 2.4 to 1.4 m min1 , respectively (Table 9). The largest reductions of the mean FLI were found for the same two combinations: from 920.5 to 416.1 kW m1 and from 950 to 460 kW m1 , respectively. Indeed, for most FB networks, the less intense fire (mean FLI < 500 kW m1 ) was observed for the combination with Patcor27 or with Patcor17.

We observed that most fuel-altered scenarios applied alone (row NO FB in Table 9) were more effective in reducing both mean ROS and mean FLI than any FB network alternative tested alone (column Reference in Table 9). The replacement of the reference landscape by one of the fuelaltered scenarios changed the fire behaviour rating from Very Active and Extreme in some locations to Active and Extreme in some locations for all FB networks, except FB80a and FB50a (which already led to the latter rating when combined with the reference scenario). Discussion Effects of fuel spatial conguration on re spread and behaviour The results obtained show that fuel spatial distribution was a key parameter influencing fire propagation and behaviour across the studied landscape, which is in agreement with other studies (Minnich 1983; Turner and Romme 1994). In particular, we observed that large areas of heavy surface fuel types, classified as FM4-type shrublands, favoured the quick spread of intense fires, as could be expected (Anderson 1982). In our study area, these areas mostly corresponded to dense mature shrublands dominated by the grass Brachypodium retusum and seeder shrubs, such as Ulex parviflorus and Rosmarinus officinalis, or the resprouter shrub Quercus coccifera. These plant communities were characterised by a very flammable foliage and a nearly continuous secondary overstorey favouring fastspreading fires. The abundant dead woody material in the stands contributed significantly to the fire intensity. High surface FLIs combined with the presence of a sparse tree layer of Pinus halepensis in some locations led to the initiation of passive crown fires. The rather small constant value that was attributed to the height-to-live crown base in the model inputs probably favoured the occurrence of such fires. Fire behaviour (fire intensity, in particular) depends, among other factors, on the characteristics of the vegetation (Debano et al. 1998). Large fuel loads with an important presence of dead fuels tend to promote high-intensity fires, specially under

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Table 9. Mean rate of spread (ROS, in m min1 ) and fireline intensity (FLI, in kW m1 ) for the reference landscape and for several fuel-altered scenarios from Tables 4 and 5 combined with a firebreak (FB) network NO FB, no firebreaks. For a given FB network density, each alternative is named as: FB + FB-width in m FB network Reference ROS High density FB80a FB50a FB30a Medium density FB80b FB50b FB30b Low density FB80c FB50c FB30c NO FB 2.0 1.9 1.9 2.4 2.3 2.1 2.3 2.1 1.9 1.8 FLI 552.2 534.9 725.9 950 906.2 793.1 920.5 858.3 771.7 632.4 Strip2 ROS 1.9 1.8 1.8 1.6 1.5 1.5 1.6 1.6 1.5 1.4 FLI 582.3 569.5 579.0 573.2 564.3 555.5 572.8 574.6 543.3 542.5 Stripcor2 ROS 1.9 1.8 1.9 1.6 1.5 1.4 1.4 1.5 1.3 1.3 FLI 574.6 584.4 671.9 572.2 557.2 548.8 512.3 565.3 506.6 496.8 Patcor2 ROS 1.7 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.2 1.3 FLI 473.7 453.9 429.6 562.5 507.4 535.4 502.2 543.7 432.8 483.8 Patcor17 ROS 1.8 1.8 1.6 1.5 1.5 1.6 1.3 1.3 1.5 1.4 FLI 499.3 521.4 465.7 461.1 439.3 549.7 416.1 413 503 464.1 Patcor27 ROS 1.7 1.4 1.6 1.4 1.6 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.3 1.4 FLI 471.4 388.9 437 460.0 585.6 457.6 485.1 519.8 464.2 488.5

extremely dry and windy conditions, resulting in very low fuel moistures (Turner et al. 1994). This type of fire generally causes heavy damages to the aboveground vegetation as well as large nutrient losses in the whole system. If recurrent, such events may even result in persistent structural changes in the ecosystems (Moreno and Oechel 1994). The landscape-level fuel management actions are, therefore, often focussed on reducing surface fuel loads so that the size of potential fires may be reduced, burning conditions become more moderate and potential fire-caused damages per unit area are minimised (Agee et al. 2000). In this sense, we simulated an extensive hazardous fuel removal, replacing the FM4 matrix by an FM5 matrix. This treatment was very effective for strongly reducing fire size and intensity. The replacement of the FM4 matrix by an FM8 matrix was, however, the most effective landscape-level fuel alteration for minimising these two variables. Fuel model 8, which corresponds primarily to closed-canopy stands with light surface fuel loadings, has been previously described to favour slow burning ground fires with moderate intensities (Anderson 1982). These results showed that two very different fuel scenarios may be equally successful in relation to fire size control. Considering other management objectives, such as the promotion of biodiversity, the extension of FM8 appears to be more suitable, though. In any case, the total disappearance of FM4 areas that we simulated with such scenarios is quite unrealistic and rather unsuitable. The resulting coarse-grained landscapes as described in Forman (1995) might limit site diversity and enhance fire hazard. In such landscapes, characterised by the dominance of large patches, the dispersion of multihabitat species would be rather costly as considerable distance exists between different fuel types (Forman 1995). It is generally considered that a certain degree of heterogeneity and fragmentation, associating the word fragmentation with the vegetation structural diversity (Agee et al. 2000), provides for a wider range of environmental resources and conditions, and, thereby, favours a higher

biodiversity in the landscape, while making it quite resistant to the propagation of fire. It has been proposed that in fragmented landscapes, disturbances require a higher boundary-crossing frequency and a more convoluted route and, therefore, spread less easily (Turner and Romme 1994; Forman 1995). FARSITE simulations confirmed that the creation of a more fine-grained landscape through the fragmentation of a fireprone matrix with woodlands in different successional stages, the introduction of narrow forest corridors between wooded patches and the promotion of more convoluted perimeters for patches can be very effective for reducing fire size and, in most cases, burning conditions. The landscape structure that would result from the combination of these treatments would probably facilitate tree colonisation and, thus, enhance the extension of woodlands on the medium-to-long term, in the absence of fire. Results also showed that landscapes with similar degrees of overall fragmentation might lead to different fire propagation patterns, depending on the precise spatial arrangement of fuel model types. In our case, the relative area covered by each woodland successional stage (FM7 and FM8), the precise spatial configuration of these fuel models relative to each other and the shape of patches appeared to be crucial parameters in relation to fire growth and behaviour. Results suggest, for instance, that above a critical threshold for the FM7 area : FM8 arearatio, fire propagation can be strongly enhanced. An identification of such ratios and of their crtitical values in relation to fire behaviour seems to be crucial for better predicting the risk of serious fire events (very large and very intense). It has to be kept in mind that this risk is also a function of changing weather conditions (Hargrove et al. 2000). An appropriate fuel spatial configuration for reducing fire size did not always lead to more moderate fire behaviours. The parameters describing fire behaviour (ROS, FLI) dont seem to be, indeed, as strongly altered through fuel management actions as fire size can be. Neither FARSITE nor any single model considers, however, the necessary combination of all factors

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for accurately simulating fire behaviour in heterogeneous landscapes (Hargrove et al. 2000). In the case of FLI, in particular, it is known that large fires usually produce a complex spatial mosaic of intensities (Albini and Anderson 1982; Turner et al. 1994), resulting in a heterogeneous pattern of burn severities that will affect subsequent vegetation recovery (Moreno and Oechel 1994; Turner and Romme 1994). During a fire, at each location, the various surface fuel categories interact with one another and with other factors (topography, weather, microclimatic changes. . .) to determine site-level fire intensity (Agee et al. 2000). This variable is characterised, therefore, by a high degree of spatial variability in natural systems, which makes fire behaviour extremely difficult to predict. A further understanding of the impacts of different fuel treatments on potential fire behaviour is, therefore, currently constrained by fire behaviour model assumptions and uncertainties. Our simulations allow us, however, to propose potential target landscapes selected among the most effective tested fuel scenarios: Patcor17 and Patcor27. It is interesting to note that these two scenarios fit into the aggregate-with-outliersspatial model (Forman and Collinge 1996), which is expected to promote landscape biodiversity and resilience to large severe disturbances (Turner 1989; Forman 1995). The effectiveness of rebreak networks The introduction of a firebreak network was always very effective for reducing fire size, although changes in the network density or the FB width led to quite different results. Fire spread was better controlled by a dense network with medium-width FBs than by a less dense network with wider FBs. On the contrary, our results showed that burning conditions were generally not more moderate after the compartmentalisation of fires by FBs. In most cases, fires were even faster and more intense. Damage per unit of area burned outside the FBs themselves were, therefore, not reduced, which is in agreement with other studies (Agee et al. 2000). The combination of an FB network with appropriate landscape-level fuel treatments always enhanced the efficacy of both individual strategies for reducing fire size, while generally improving the effectiveness of FB networks in limiting ROS and FLI. Most fuel-altered scenarios tested alone led to slower and less intense fires than any FB network alternative tested on the reference landscape. These results confirm that the effectiveness of an FB network depends not only on its design characteristics but also on the behaviour of fires approaching it, as highlighted by other authors (Agee et al. 2000). Such behaviour is strongly determined by fuel spatial pattern in the adjacent areas. Our results indicate that coupling an appropriate fuel spatial configuration with a soft FB network (moderate network density and FB width) allows a strong reduction in fire size, while limiting FLI. This combined strategy would minimise the negative impacts (ecological, visual, economical) that may be associated with the creation and maintenance of high-density FB networks. Moreover, appropriate landscape-level fuel treatments aiming to favour the extension of late-successional plant communities (e.g. the introduction of woody resprouters, the plantation of small canopy stands) are expected to promote a higher biodiversity and to confer to ecosystems and to the whole

landscape a larger resistance and resilience towards fire. It is important, thus, to understand the tradeoffs of implementing any of these individual strategies, or a combination of strategies, on a landscape level. Conclusions The results obtained indicate that fuel spatial distribution strongly determines fire propagation patterns and burning conditions. Large interconnected areas of heavy surface fuels favour fast and intense fires. In the studied landscape, the fragmentation of such areas, mostly FM4-type shrublands, through the introduction of both dense and open woodlands was an effective way to strongly reduce fire size and limit FLI, while promoting a higher biodiversity and landscape resilience towards fires. The relative area occupied by the various woodland successional stages, the precise spatial arrangement of these patches and their shape were all key factors influencing fire spread and behaviour. Both the increase of connectivity between woodlands and the promotion of complex patch shapes among them contributed to reduce the propagation of fire. Most FB networks proved to be very effective for controlling fire size, but not for strongly reducing fire behaviour. The efficacy of FB networks was always enhanced when combined with an appropriate fuel scenario. Coupling low-impact FB networks (moderate density and FB widths) with appropriate landscape-level fuel treatments seems to be, indeed, a good strategy for limiting the occurrence of large, high-intensity fires, while avoiding the negative impacts of very dense FB networks. Further research is needed, though, to understand the tradeoffs of such combined approaches. Although uncertainties remain in relation to the simulation of fire behaviour, the FARSITE model appears to be a good tool for prospecting the consequences of fuel management actions on fire spread and behaviour in Mediterranean landscapes, for designing target landscape structures and, therefore, for supporting the design of sustainable landscape management strategies. Acknowledgements
The present work was carried out within the scope of the project Geomatics in the Assessment and Sustainable Management of Mediterranean Rangelands-GEORANGE (EVK2-CT200000091). CEAM is funded by the Valencia Government (Generalitat Valenciana) and the Fundacin Bancaixa. We thank Jorge Surez (Conselleria Territori i Habitatge, Valencia Government) for providing us with valuable information about the FARSITE-required crown fuel parameters. We are also grateful to Mark A. Finney, developer of the FARSITE model, for his kindness in discussing with us some aspects of the model. We thank several members of the Catalan Agency for Forest Management Actions-GRAF for sharing with us information about their calibrations of FARSITE in several areas of Catalonia.

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Manuscript received 29 June 2006, accepted 11 April 2007

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