Wildland fire spread and behaviour are complex phenomena owing to both the number of involved physico-chemical factors, and the non-linear relationship between variables. Spain is plagued by forest and brush fires every summer, when the extremely dry weather sets in along with high temperatures. The use of fire behaviour models requires the availability of high resolution environmental and fuel data; in the absence of real data, errors on the simulated fire spread can be compounded to affect the spatial and temporal accuracy of predicted data. The effect of input values on the accuracy of WRF-FIRE simulations was evaluated to assess the capabilities of the new system for wildland fire in accurately forecasting fire behaviour. The results confirm that the use of accurate meteorological data and a custom fuel moisture content model is crucial to obtain precise simulations of fire behaviour.
Keywords: WRF-FIRE, fire behaviour model, fuel moisture content, FMC, fuel model, wildland fire, Spain