THERMAL SCIENCE

International Scientific Journal

Thermal Science - Online First

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The influence of thermal soil regimes on the forest fires frequencies

ABSTRACT
This paper focuses on the possible impact of the thermal soil regime on the occurrence of forest fires in the Zaječar administrative district in Eastern Serbia. The study uses data on soil temperature from the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of the Republic of Serbia and the ERA5-Land gridded reanalysis dataset for monthly temperature and volumetric soil water of the soil level 1 (0-7 cm), and soil level 2 (7-28 cm) with horizontal resolution of 0.1° (approximately 12 km × 12 km) during the period of 2009-2021. Differences in soil temperature at depths of 2, 5, 10, and 20 cm at the meteorological station in Zaječar for the periods 1961-1990 and 2009-2021 are observed. By analyzing the data on the registered number of forest fires for the period 2009-2021, pronounced oscillations in the dynamics of forest fires can be observed. The minimum number of forest fires (0) is registered in 2014, when the maximum of soil moisture in the soil levels 1 and 2 is observed. A high number of forest fires corresponds to high soil temperatures in 2012 and 2017. Soils drier and hotter than the average are registered in 47.0% of all months with the fire occurrences. About 50% of fires occurred in dry and hot soils during 2012 and 2017. This percentage was zero in 2014, when there were no fires.
KEYWORDS
PAPER SUBMITTED: 2023-06-10
PAPER REVISED: 2023-12-04
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2023-12-04
PUBLISHED ONLINE: 2024-01-20
DOI REFERENCE: https://doi.org/10.2298/TSCI230610277Z
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