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Dlamini, WM (2010). A Bayesian belief network analysis of factors influencing wildfire occurrence in Swaziland. ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, 25(2), 199-208.

The impacts of wildfires on ecosystems and the factors contributing to their occurrence are increasingly receiving global attention. Advances in satellite remote sensing and information technology provide an opportunity to study these complex interrelationships. A Bayesian belief network (BBN) model was developed from a set of 12 biotic, abiotic and human variables to determine factors that influence wildfire activity in Swaziland using wildfire data from the Terra and Aqua satellites' Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) for the period 2001-2007. These were geospatially integrated in the geographic information system (GIS) software ArcView and input into the software Netica for BBN analyses. Land cover, elevation, and climate (mean annual rainfall and mean annual temperature) were found to be strong predictors of wildfire occurrence, while aspect had the least influence on the wildfire occurrence. The model had a high predictive accuracy with an error rate of 9.62%, and an area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.961. The study demonstrates how domain or field knowledge and limited empirical and GIS data can be combined within a BBN model to assist in determining key fire management interventions and lays the foundation for the future development of advanced and dynamic models. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



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