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Risk analysis of fire in the wildland-urban interface

Risk analysis of fire in the wildland-urban interface A project funded by Institut d'Estudis Catalans
Risk analysis of fire in the wildland-urban interface

Risk analysis of fire in the wildland-urban interface

A project funded by Institut d'Estudis Catalans

 

Fires in the wildland-urban interface, those affecting contact zones between wildland vegetation and human infrastructures, are an increasing problem in the Mediterranean Europe, with important environmental, social and economic consequences.

The associate problems exist at different scales: the macroscale or landscape scale, the mesoscale or residential area scale, and the microscale or plot scale. In residential zones and plots combustible material can often be found near buildings, with the associated risk.

A special case is that of the risk originated by the existence of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage tanks in a zone which can be affected by the fire. In the event of a fire near one of such tanks, and especially if there is flames contact with the tank wall, the corresponding heating and pressure increase inside the tank can originate the explosion (BLEVE: Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion) followed by a fireball; both phenomena can have severe effects and consequences on people and infrastructures.

The target of this research project is the characterization of the risk associated to the existence of propane storage tanks in the wildland-urban interface by: a) quantifying the incidence of this potential accidental scenario; b) characterizing the combustion features of the arboreal and bushy species found near these tanks; c) analyzing the physical effects of a wildland fire on such tanks, and d) developing a Prevention Measures Guide for these situations.

The project is funded by the Institut d’Estudis Catalans (Project PRO2019-S03).

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