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Gewählte Publikation:

Vacik, H; Arndt, N; Arpaci, A; Koch, V; Muller, M; Gossow, H.
(2011): Characterisation of forest fires in Austria
AUSTRIAN J FOR SCI. 2011; 128(1): 1-31.

There is an ongoing debate about the increasing number of weather extremes and the associated increased forest fire risk in the temperate mountain forests of Central Europe. In Austria there does not exist something like a real fire regime and therefore a consistent and detailed recording of forest fires has not taken place so far. A wildfire database has been established for Austria within the projects related to the Austrian Forest Fire Research Initiative (AFFRI) and the Alpine Forest Fire Warning System (ALP FFIRS) at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences which covers now 1502 records for the period between 1993 and 2009. A descriptive frequency analysis has been carried out in order to illustrate the characteristics of the recorded forest fires events in Austria. Results indicate that the recordings of forest fires and fire frequency varied throughout the years and across provinces. Anthropogenic and technical causes made up for the major part of forest fires in Austria lightning-caused forest fires have a share of 18% throughout the whole study period. Spring and summer happened to be the main fire seasons for forest fires in Austria. Most of the forest fires took place between 11 am and 7 pm in the evening. In terms of the duration of fires in days, it was found that fires lasting longer than one day accounted for only a small percentage of forest fires. As regards the size of fires, most of the forest fires reached less than 1 hectare, followed by fires with a size ranging between one and five hectares. Only a small number of municipalities experienced more than ten fires within the study period. In relation to the forest area the highest number of forest fires records has been observed within the Eastern and Southern Rim Alps as well as the Summerwarm East. A majority of fire records exists in the submontane and low montane altitudinal zone. Coniferous forests have been affected by forest fires to a great extent followed by mixed forests. Only a small portion of deciduous forests have been affected by forest fires. The major part of fire ignitions has taken place at south-facing exposures. North facing aspects made up for the second-largest group regarding fire ignitions. The reliability of the available forest fire data in the database proved to be heterogeneous but can be seen as satisfactory. Whereas the data regarding the time, coordinates, size of area burned and cause of fire proofed to be relatively reliable the security of information on the localisation of the ignition point and the tree species affected has been rather low. Therefore further investigations are needed to draw more general conclusions.
Autor*innen der BOKU Wien:
Arndt Natalie Anna
Arpaci Alexander
Gossow Hartmut
Koch Valerie
Müller Mortimer
Vacik Harald
BOKU Gendermonitor:

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
fire frequency
Alpine region

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