A note on fire frequency concepts and definitions

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The concepts of hazard of burning, fire interval, and fire cycle are considered. It is claimed that the current notion of fire cycle is poorly defined, since the time required to burn a specified area is a random variable. It is shown that the expected time to burn an area equal in size to the study area normally exceeds the fire interval (the average time between fires at any location). In view of this, it is recommended that the notion of fire cycle in its current form be abandoned.

Les concepts de risque d'incendie, d'intervalle des feux et de cycle de feu sont abordés. On prétend que la notion courante de cycle de feu est mal définie, étant donné que le nombre d'années requises pour que soit brûlée une superficie donnée est une variable aléatoire. Il est démontré que le nombre d'années prévues pour que soit brûlée une superficie égale à la superficie à l'étude excède normalement l'intervalle des feux (temps moyen écoulé entre deux feux successifs à un point donné). Devant cet état de fait, la notion de cycle de feu dans sa forme actuelle devrait être abandonnée. [Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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