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Simulation analysis of the impact of ignitions, rekindles, and false alarms on forest fire suppression

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Rekindles and false alarms are phenomena that have a significant presence in the Portuguese forest fire management system and an important impact on suppression resources in particular and fire management resources in general. In this paper, we propose a discrete-event simulation model of a forest fire suppression system designed to analyze the joint impact of ignitions, rekindles, and false alarms on the performance of the system. The model is applied to a case study of the district of Porto, Portugal, for the critical period of the forest fire season, between July and September 2010. We study the behavior of the system’s point of collapse, comparing the real base scenario with a benchmark scenario built with reference values for rekindles and false alarms, and also as a function of the number of fire incidents, considering historical variations. The results of the analysis are useful for operational decision-making and provide relevant information on the trade-off between prevention and suppression efforts.

Keywords: discrete event simulation; false alarms; fausses alarmes; forest fire suppression; rekindles; reprises de feu; simulation d’événements discrets; suppression des feux de forêt

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: INESC TEC (formerly INESC Porto) and Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, Campus da FEUP, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 378, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal. 2: Forest Protection, grupo PortucelSoporcel, Edifício Mitrena, Apartado 55, 2901-861 Setúbal, Portugal.

Publication date: 2014-01-01

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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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