Fire-risk evaluation of austrian pine stands in Hungary - Effects of drought conditions and slope aspect on fire spread and fire behaviour

Péter Csontos, Imre Cseresnyés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Plantations of the alien Pinus nigra are considered among the highly flammable vegetation types in Hungary. The fire risk of such plantations was examined using McArthur's empirical forest fire danger model. Present paper focuses on the effects of drought conditions and terrain inclination on fire behaviour. Fire danger index (FDI) and fire behaviour [flame height, spotting distance and rate of spread (ROS)] were examined by changing the drought factor and terrain inclination within specified intervals meanwhile the other input parameters of the model were kept constant. Results showed that increasing drought factor causes linear growth of the FDI, flame height, spotting distance and ROS. Terrain inclination had no effect on FDI, flame height and spotting distance, but influenced ROS. Upslope fire spread velocity increased exponentially with increase in terrain's inclination, however, downslope ROS was independent of slope angle and was equal to ROS detected on plain ground. Modelling results confirmed a serious fire risk of Austrian pine plantations. The results provided by the McArthur model were in good agreement with that of other fire models and also corresponded to the results of artificial needle litter burning experiments. Therefore, McArthur's model was recommended for studying wildfires in European pine forests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-254
Number of pages8
JournalCarpathian Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015



  • Drought factor
  • Fire danger index
  • Flame height
  • McArthur's model
  • Pinus nigra
  • Rate of spread
  • Slope aspect
  • Spotting distance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this