iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Calibration assessment of forest flammability potential in Italy

Piermaria Corona (1), Barbara Ferrari (2), Rosaria Cartisano (2), Anna Barbati (2)   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 7, Issue 5, Pages 300-305 (2014)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1123-007
Published: May 07, 2014 - Copyright © 2014 SISEF

Research Articles

Fuel flammability is defined as the relative ease with which a fuel will ignite and burn with a flame; different forest types have different intrinsic “baseline” flammabilities, depending on the susceptibility to burn of the main tree species that build up the forest cover. In this perspective, we apply a forest-type based approach to classify and map the flammability level of the forests in Italy. Baseline forest type-based flammability values provided at European level have been assigned to a national forest types map, derived from Corine Land Cover 2006; flammability values have been then further calibrated against the Burned Area Selection Ratio, a measure of the actual incidence of wildfires among different forest types. Accordingly, a calibrated flammability index was derived by simple linear regression, so that predicted flammability more accurately reflects observed fire incidence among different forest types in Italy. Findings show that the flammability of forest types ranges from low to high: on average, the 17% of the forest cover has medium to high flammability, with wide regional variability; notably, in four Regions (Sardegna, Sicilia, Puglia, Calabria) over one third of total forest area has medium to high flammability. Large scale mapping of forest flammability is crucial to define long-term priorities among forest areas as to how to distribute fire management effort: areas falling into medium to high flammability classes should be given priority for implementing fuel management treatments in order to mitigate fire hazard from the stand to the landscape scale.


Fuel Flammability, Fire Hazard, European Forest Types, Burned Area Selection Ratio, Fire Management

Authors’ address

Piermaria Corona
Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura, Forestry Research Centre (CRA-SEL), v.le S. Margherita 80, Arezzo (Italy)
Barbara Ferrari
Rosaria Cartisano
Anna Barbati
Department for Innovation in Biological Agro-food and Forest systems (DIBAF), University of Tuscia, via San Camillo de Lellis snc, I-01100 Viterbo (Italy)

Corresponding author



Corona P, Ferrari B, Cartisano R, Barbati A (2014). Calibration assessment of forest flammability potential in Italy. iForest 7: 300-305. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1123-007

Academic Editor

Raffaele Lafortezza

Paper history

Received: Sep 10, 2013
Accepted: Mar 06, 2014

First online: May 07, 2014
Publication Date: Oct 01, 2014
Publication Time: 2.07 months

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