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Factors influencing fire suppression success in the province of Quebec (Canada)

Author(s): Adrián Cardil, Miren Lorente, Dominique Boucher, Jonathan Boucher, Sylvie Gauthier
Year Published: 2019

In the managed forest of Canada, forest fires are actively suppressed through efficient initial attack capability; however, the impact of different factors on the suppression success remains to be understood. The aim of this paper was to analyze the influence of operational suppression objectives (fire detection, initial attack, and fire control) along with fire intensity, fuel type, fire ignition cause, year, workload, and homogeneous fire regime zones on the achievement of the fire suppression objective (fire < 3 ha) using the Forest Fire Protection Agency of Quebec (SOPFEU) as a case study. The overall success of the suppression objective was very high (88%) over the study period (1994–2015). Both detection and control had significant effects on the suppression success through their interaction with fuel type, ignition cause, fire intensity, and zone variables. When the suppression objective was not achieved, final fire size was influenced by control, fuel type, fire intensity, and zone. The paper highlights the importance of the operational objectives and of regional differences for both fire suppression success and final fire size. Our results can help forest fire protection agencies to better understand their wildland fire suppression systems for a better adaptation to the upcoming fire regime changes.

Citation: Cardil, Adrián; Lorente, Miren; Boucher, Dominique; Boucher, Jonathan; Gauthier, Sylvie. 2019. Factors influencing fire suppression success in the province of Quebec (Canada). Canadian Journal of Forest Research 49(5):531-542. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2018-0272
Topic(s): Fire Behavior, Fuels, Fuel Treatments & Effects, Suppression treatments
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 19631
FRAMES RCS number: 57744
Record updated: Jun 4, 2019