Characterization of wildland-urban interfaces for fire prevention in the province of Valencia (Spain)


<p class="Default"><em>Aim of study</em>. The present study is the first attempt to characterize and map wildland-urban interfaces (WUIs) in eastern Spain (province of Valencia) and its relationship with wildfire occurrence. </p><p class="Default"><em>Area of study</em>. The study area is located in eastern Spain in the province of Valencia. The area covers 246,426 ha and includes four administrative departments<em> </em>comprising 86 municipalities.</p><p class="Default"><em>Material and methods</em>. The methodology integrates housing density and vegetation aggregation for large-scale fire prevention using the WUImap ® ARC GIS tool. A PLS model was developed to relate wildfire occurrence and WUI typologies.</p><p class="Default"><em>Main results</em>. The results show that 21% of housing can be considered as WUIs, highlighting the high degree of fire hazard in the study area. The PLS model shows that the 4 typologies outside of WUI present lower significance than most of WUI typologies. The types of WUI most related to fire occurrence (<em>Number of Fires</em> and <em>Area Burned</em>) are <em>Insolated</em> and <em>Scattered</em> housing with <em>Low</em> or <em>High</em> <em>vegetation aggregation.</em> The type <em>Insolated housing with low aggregation</em> presents the highest significance to explain wildfire occurrence.</p><p class="Default"><em>Research highlights: A</em> significant relationship between wildfire occurrence the study area and WUI has been demonstrated. The obtained results verify the ability of <em>WUImap</em> tool in classifying large-scale administrative departments and its suitability for application to prioritize preventive actions in the Mediterranean areas</p><p class="Default"><strong>Key words</strong>: Housing density; PLS (Partial Least Squares) model; vegetation aggregation; <em>WUImap.</em></p

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oai:doaj.org/article:42628a561ee94f059a5d9044d709ca55Last time updated on 10/14/2017

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