iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Comparison of fire danger indices in the Mediterranean for present day conditions

C Giannakopoulos (1)   , P LeSager (2), M Moriondo (3), M Bindi (4), A Karali (1), M Hatzaki (1), E Kostopoulou (5)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 5, Issue 4, Pages 197-203 (2012)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0622-005
Published: Aug 02, 2012 - Copyright © 2012 SISEF

Technical Reports

This paper assesses the ability of two forest fire danger indices to estimate fire danger and to define the beginning and the end of fire season. Two indices are studied: the Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI) and the Finnish Forest Fire Index (FFI). The indices are designed to meet the needs of particular regions but they have also proved to be suitable for the Mediterranean region. The aim of this study is to assess the skill performance of both indices and identify their strengths and weaknesses. The Canadian FWI depends on temperature, precipitation, relative humidity and wind measurements, while the Finnish FFI relies on potential evaporation and precipitation. Results indicate that, in general, FWI and FFI determine a fairly similar fire danger for a set of weather conditions. Higher correlations are found especially for locations under significant fire danger. The results improve for the lower values of fire danger if a spin up period is used in the computation of FFI. Both indices show similar features especially during summer, but some deviations are typical during early spring and autumn, as FWI probably overestimates the fire danger.


Fire Danger Indices, FFI, FWI, Mediterranean forests

Authors’ address

C Giannakopoulos
A Karali
M Hatzaki
Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens, I. Metaxa & V. Pavlou, GR-15236 Palaia Pendeli, Athens (Greece)
P LeSager
Chemistry and Climate Division, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute- KNMI, Wilhelminalaan 10, NL-3732 GK De Bilt (The Netherlands)
M Moriondo
Institute of Biometeorology of Florence, National Research Council, v. Caproni 8, I-50145 Florence (Italy)
M Bindi
DiPSA-Department of Plant, Soil and Environmental Science, University of Florence, p.le delle Cascine 18, I-50144 Florence (Italy)
E Kostopoulou
Department of Geography, University of the Aegean, University Hill, GR-81100 Mytilene (Greece)

Corresponding author

C Giannakopoulos


Giannakopoulos C, LeSager P, Moriondo M, Bindi M, Karali A, Hatzaki M, Kostopoulou E (2012). Comparison of fire danger indices in the Mediterranean for present day conditions. iForest 5: 197-203. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0622-005

Academic Editor

Agostino Ferrara

Paper history

Received: Jan 25, 2012
Accepted: Jun 19, 2012

First online: Aug 02, 2012
Publication Date: Aug 29, 2012
Publication Time: 1.47 months

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Articles citing this article

List of the papers citing this article based on CrossRef Cited-by.

Good P, Moriondo M, Giannakopoulos C, Bindi M (2008)
The meteorological conditions associated with extreme fire risk in Italy and Greece: relevance to climate model studies. International Journal of Wildland Fire 17 (2): 155-165.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Moriondo M, Good P, Durao R, Bindi M, Giannakopoulos C, Corte Real J (2006)
Potential impact of climate change on forest fire risk in Mediterranean area. Climate Research 31(13): 85-95.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Singh V, Xu C (1997)
Sensitivity of mass transfer-based evaporation equations to errors in daily and monthly input data. Hydrological processes 11:1465-1473.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Vajda A, Tietäväinen H, Venäläinen A (2012)
Evaluation of two fire danger rating methods in the boreal forest environment (Finland). Boreal Environmental Research (Submitted).
Venäläinen A, Heikinheimo M (2003)
The Finnish forest fire index calculation system. In: “Early warning systems for natural disaster reduction” (Zschau J & Kuppers A eds). Springer, Berlin, Germany, pp. 645-648.

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