Modeling and mapping wildfire ignition risk in Portugal

Filipe X. Catry, Francisco C. Rego, Fernando L. Bação, Francisco Moreira

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237 Citations (Scopus)


Portugal has the highest density of wildfire ignitions among southern European countries. The ability to predict the spatial patterns of ignitions constitutes an important tool for managers, helping to improve the effectiveness of fire prevention, detection and firefighting resources allocation. In this study, we analyzed 127490 ignitions that occurred in Portugal during a 5-year period. We used logistic regression models to predict the likelihood of ignition occurrence, using a set of potentially explanatory variables, and produced an ignition risk map for the Portuguese mainland. Results show that population density, human accessibility, land cover and elevation are important determinants of spatial distribution of fire ignitions. In this paper, we demonstrate that it is possible to predict the spatial patterns of ignitions at the national level with good accuracy and using a small number of easily obtainable variables, which can be useful in decision-making for wildfire management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-931
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal Of Wildland Fire
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2009


  • Geographic information systems
  • Ignition occurrence
  • Logistic regression
  • Spatial patterns.


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