African Journal of Biotechnology

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Fire behavior in Mediterranean shrub species (Maquis)

B Saglam, E Bilgili, Ö Küçük, BD Durmaz


The prediction of fire behavior in fire prone ecosystems is of vital importance in all phases of fire management including fire prevention, presuppression, suppression and fire use. This paper deals with
an experimental burning exercise conducted in the Mediterranean region in Turkey. A series of 18 experimental fires were carried out in tall maquis fuels in Asar District, Antalya, southwestern Turkey.
The site was selected for its structural homogeneity. But, there was an apparent variation in the fuel loadings in different plots. Weather conditions were within reasonable ranges during the burns. Wind
speed ranged from 4.8 to 14.4 km h-1, relative humidity from 16 to 76% and air temperature from 23.7 to 36°C. Of the fire behavior characteristics, rate of spread ranged from 0.38 to 7.35 m min-1, fuel
consumption from 1.57 to 3.05 kg m-2, and fire intensity from 188.72 to 5906.48 kW m-1. Rate of spread was related to wind speed, relative humidity, moisture content of live fuels and vegetation cover. Fuel
consumption was related to fuel loading and wind speed, and fire intensity was related to wind speed, moisture contents of live fuels and mean vegetation height and vegetation cover. Results obtained in
this study should be invaluable in fire management planning.

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