Counting fuel properties as input in the wildfire spreading capacities of vegetated surfaces: case of Albania
Extreme weather conditions characterized by increased peak temperatures and stretched draught seasons are expected to boost up wildfire vulnerability in Mediterranean countries such as Albania. Thus, estimations about wildfire spread capacities of the territory are crucial. In this paper we introduce four new parameters into the indexing method for classifying the forested lands by their wildfire spreading capacity (WSCI). Land cover type via Corine Land Cover (CLC), Plant heat zones, Tree cover density (TCD), and Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) are integrated along with the previous set of criteria. The analytical steps of the process are performed in QGIS software including the Semi-Automatic Classification Plugin (SCP) which is useful in calculating NDVI values. The diversity among the inventory values of the selected criteria urges for a normalizing procedure within QGIS. Besides, each criterion is foreseen to have a specific impact on the WSCI value, which is weighted via Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). The sum of the products of the normalized class and the weighted impact factor of each criterion generates the WSCI value. The validation relies on the comparison between the index values of points being located within the burned areas and the values of the remaining locations. The results have shown that the former set of points have higher WSCI mean value then the latter group of points. Lastly, the parametric vulnerability assessment method presented here enables useful materials in support of wildfire risk reduction within the national priorities of disaster risk management and fire safety agendas in Albania.
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