iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Assessing the performance of fire danger indexes in a Mediterranean area

Costantino Sirca (1-2)   , Michele Salis (2-3), Bachisio Arca (3), Pierpaolo Duce (3), Donatella Spano (1-2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 11, Issue 5, Pages 563-571 (2018)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2679-011
Published: Sep 01, 2018 - Copyright © 2018 SISEF

Research Articles

The fire danger (FD) defines the conditions less or more favourable for a fire ignition success and its propagation. FD indexes, that integrates environmental variables related to FD in more or less complex equations and systems, are widely used in wildfire prone countries for both scientific and operational purposes. Assessing the performance of FD indexes is challenging and this issue is quite debated within the fire community, which has been trying to apply several methodologies to evaluate FD indexes. The main aim of this work is to give a contribution to this effort. The analysis was conducted using data from a fire-prone Mediterranean area (Sardinia island, Italy), where 8 FD indexes were evaluated and compared using different statistical approaches. We calculated the daily FD values for the period 2000-2007 over the study area. A set of statistical tools (namely Spearman rank correlation, Index Value Distribution and Percentile Analysis, and Logistic Regression) were applied to evaluate the performance of each FD index by comparing FD values with fire occurrence indicators. The statistical tests revealed a large variability in FD indexes performance, depending also on fire activity conditions. Our results showed that two of the tested FD indexes reached a good overall performance. Findings from this study can help both the scientific community and local fire managers, supporting the evaluation of early warning systems and fire prevention strategies in the Mediterranean Basin.


Fire Risk, Fire Danger Rating, Mediterranean Basin, Fire Occurrence, Wildfire

Authors’ address

Costantino Sirca
Donatella Spano
Dipartimento di Agraria, University of Sassari. v.le Italia 39, I-07100 Sassari (Italy)
Costantino Sirca
Michele Salis
Donatella Spano
CMCC - Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici, IAFES Division. v. de Nicola 9, I-07100 Sassari (Italy)
Michele Salis
Bachisio Arca
Pierpaolo Duce
CNR IBIMET - Institute of Biometeorology, National Research Council, traversa La Crucca 3, I-07100 Sassari (Italy)

Corresponding author

Costantino Sirca


Sirca C, Salis M, Arca B, Duce P, Spano D (2018). Assessing the performance of fire danger indexes in a Mediterranean area. iForest 11: 563-571. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2679-011

Academic Editor

Enrico Marchi

Paper history

Received: Nov 08, 2017
Accepted: Jun 23, 2018

First online: Sep 01, 2018
Publication Date: Oct 31, 2018
Publication Time: 2.33 months

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