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Title: Defining Extreme Wildfire Events: Difficulties, Challenges, and Impacts
Authors: Tedim, Fantina
Leone, Vittorio
Amraoui, Malik
Bouillon, Christophe
Coughlan, Michael
Delogu, Giuseppe
Fernandes, Paulo
Ferreira, Carmen
McCaffrey, Sarah
McGee, Tara
Parente, Joana
Paton, Douglas
Pereira, Mário
Ribeiro, Luís M. 
Viegas, Domingos Xavier 
Xanthopoulos, Gavriil
Keywords: control capacity; disaster; extreme wildfire event (EWE); large fire; megafire; social-ecological; transdisciplinary
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: MDPI
Project: project FIREXTR- Prevent and prepare society for extreme fire events: the challenge of seeing the “forest” and not just the “trees" (FCT Ref:PTDC/ATPGEO/0462/2014 
Serial title, monograph or event: Fire
Volume: 1
Issue: 1
Abstract: Every year worldwide some extraordinary wildfires occur, overwhelming suppression capabilities, causing substantial damages, and often resulting in fatalities. Given their increasing frequency, there is a debate about how to address these wildfires with significant social impacts, but there is no agreement upon terminology to describe them. The concept of extreme wildfire event (EWE) has emerged to bring some coherence on this kind of events. It is increasingly used, often as a synonym of other terms related to wildfires of high intensity and size, but its definition remains elusive. The goal of this paper is to go beyond drawing on distinct disciplinary perspectives to develop a holistic view of EWE as a social-ecological phenomenon. Based on literature review and using a transdisciplinary approach, this paper proposes a definition of EWE as a process and an outcome. Considering the lack of a consistent “scale of gravity” to leverage extreme wildfire events such as in natural hazards (e.g., tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes) we present a proposal of wildfire classification with seven categories based on measurable fire spread and behavior parameters and suppression difficulty. The categories 5 to 7 are labeled as EWE.
ISSN: 2571-6255
DOI: 10.3390/fire1010009
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D ADAI - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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