Spatial ecology in a changing world

New article: Identifying location and causality of fire ignition hotspots.

ECOLAND has contributed to a new article published in  in which a new methodology to identify the locations and causality of fire ignitions hotspots has been developed. The new article lead by Jose Ramon Gónzalez-Olabarria has been published in the International Journal of Wildland Fire.

Fire ignitions tend to be spatially aggregated depending on their causality. In highly populated regions, such as the northern Mediterranean basin, human activities are the main cause of ignitions. The ability to locate zones with an intense and recurrent history of fire occurrence and identify their specific cause can be helpful in the implementation of measures to reduce the problem.

In the present study, kernel methods, non-parametric statistical methods for estimating the spatial distribution of probabilities of point-based data, are used to define ignition hotspots based on historical records of fire ignitions in Catalonia for the period 1995–2006. Comparison of the cause of the ignitions within the area of the hotspots enabled analysis of the relation between the cause of the ignitions and the occurrence of hotspots.

The results obtained highlighted that the activity of arsonists showed strong spatial clustering, with the share of intentionally caused ignitions within the hotspot areas accounting for 60.1% of the fires, whereas for the whole of Catalonia they only represented 24.3%. The findings of the study provide an opportunity to optimally allocate law-enforcement and educational resources within hotspot areas.


Identificació de hotspots d’ignicions d’incendis forestals

ECOLAND ha contribuït en un nou article publicat en el que s’ha desenvolupat una nova metodologia per identificar les localitats i la causalitats d’agragacions en ignicions de focs forestals. El nou article ha estat liderat per Jose Ramon Gónzalez-Olabarria i publicat al International Journal of Wildland Fire.

Gonzalez- Olabarria, JR., Brotons, L. Gritten, D., Tudela, A. & Teres, J.A. 2012. Identifying location and causality of fire ignition hotspots in a Mediterranean region. International Journal of Wildland Fire,

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