RISICO – Fire danger rating system

RISICO model is a fire danger rating system that is adapted to the vegetation cover of the Mediterranean (Fiorucci et al., 2005; 2007; 2008; 2011). RISICO integrates meteorological observations and forecasts with vegetation cover and topography data.
Modules describe dead fine fuel moisture conditions, the potential rate of spread, and the potential fire line Intensity. Forecasting experience revealed that it is important to take into account the persistency of very low fine dead fuel moisture content within 1-2 days.

Description & Technical Information

Description

RISICO model is a fire danger rating system that is adapted to the vegetation cover of the Mediterranean (Fiorucci et al., 2005; 2007; 2008; 2011). RISICO integrates meteorological observations and forecasts from a NWP Limited Area Model (LAM) and ECMWF-IFS with vegetation cover and topography data. Behaviour of fire among different fuel types and effect of slope are considered to forecast fire spread beyond the weather. It is based on similar principles as the Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI) in GEFF, but with a more detailed spatial and temporal scale, and process description. Forecasting experience revealed that it is important to take into account the persistency of very low fine dead fuel moisture content within 1-2 days.
RISICO is applied at different spatial resolutions (entire Italian territory, specific Italian regions, 10 km to 50 m) to make use of detailed local information on vegetation and orography. RISICO releases forecasts every 3 hours with a lead time of 3 days based on the LAM forecast, every 6 hours, and a lead time of 10 days using ECMWF-IFS. RISICO will be used to complement GEFF’s results at pan-European scale but also to generate fire danger maps at the local scale for the Liguria Pilot Site.
Three modules are embedded within the RISICO architecture, which correspond to the main outputs of the system. These modules simulate:

  1. the Dead Fine Fuel Moisture Conditions;
  2. the Potential Rate of Spread;
  3. the Potential Fire line Intensity.

First, it is necessary to represent the dynamic of the dead fine fuel moisture, which is directly related with the fire ignition probability. Then, the potential fire spread model has to be considered in order to quantitatively describe the potential behaviour of a wildfire, in absence of any extinguishing action. The scheme in the figure above is applied to each cell in which the entire spatial domain is discretized. The spatial resolution of the output of the RISICO model span from 10km to 50m depending by the heterogeneity of the considered area and by the availability of high resolution input data. The input to the model are then:

  • Meteorological model (Solar radiation; Temperature, Humidity, Precipitation, Wind
    velocity)
  • Ground observations (Solar radiation; Temperature, Humidity, Precipitation, Wind velocity,
    Leaf area index)
  • Static information (Digital Elevation Model, Land cover, Slope, Aspect)

Technical information

Hazard
References Fiorucci P., Gaetani F., Minciardi R., (2008). Development and application of a system for dynamic wildfire risk assessment in Italy. Environmental Modelling and Software
References (2) Fiorucci P., D’Andrea M., Negro D., Severino M. (a cura di), 2011, Manuale d’uso del sistema previsionale della pericolosità potenziale degli incendi boschivi RIS.I.CO., Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri – Dipartimento della protezione civile e Fondazione CIMA
Developer CIMA
External link GEFF reanalysis

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