Assessment of fuel related data in the Metropolitan District of Quito for modeling and simulation of wildfires, case study: Atacazo Hill wildfire

Main Article Content

Juan Gabriel Mollocana Lara http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2430-8400
César Iván Álvarez Mendoza http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5629-0893
Luis Jonathan Jaramillo Coronel http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3127-9855

Abstract

The Metropolitan District of Quito (DMQ) does not have all the information needed to design wildfire management strategies based on models and simulations. This work evaluated the use of information related to wildfires in the DMQ obtained from governmental and free sources, using the case study of the Atacazo Hill wildfire (09/29/2018). Topographic, meteorological and fuel data from different sources were processed. The topographic information was obtained from the topographic sheets of the Military Geographical Institute; the meteorological information was obtained from Guamaní station of the Metropolitan Network of Atmospheric Monitoring of Quito, and the fuel and vegetation cover information was estimated based on vegetation and alteration level categories of the coverage and land use map of the Thematic Cartography at Scale 1:25000 of Ecuador Project, executed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture, and Fisheries. The major paths and the fire arrival times were simulated on FlamMap for two different cases. In Case 1, the simulation included fire barriers based on OpenStreetMap data. Additional information gathered during field visits was included in Case 2. Satellite imagery was used to compare the real wildfire extent with the simulated extent using Sorensen and Cohen’s kappa coefficients, obtaining 0.81 and 0.85 for Case 1, and 0.78 and 0.81 for Case 2, respectively. These results showed great similarity between the behavior of the model and the real wildfire. After the model was validated, it was applied to estimate the wildfire behavior in various scenarios of interest; it was found that the design of fire barriers based on simulations has great potential to reduce theaffected area of a wildfire.
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