Defining extreme wildfire events: Difficulties, challenges, and impacts

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The goal of this paper is to go beyond drawing on distinct disciplinary perspectives to develop a holistic view of extreme wildfire event (EWE) as a social-ecological phenomenon. Based on literature review and using a transdisciplinary approach, this paper proposes a definition of EWE as a process and an outcome. Considering the lack of a consistent “scale of gravity” to leverage extreme wildfire events such as in natural hazards (e.g., tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes) we present a proposal of wildfire classification with seven categories based on measurable fire spread and behavior parameters and suppression difficulty.

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