Impact of forest stands dieback as a result of bark beetle (Ips typographus) outbreak on the fire risk in the Białowieża Forest
Białowieża Forest, due to its unique character, requires a specific approach to the management of this area, including fire risk assessment. This is particularly important with regard to the recent bark beetle (Ips typographus) outbreak, which has contributed to the local dieback of Norway spruce stands on a total area of approx. 11.5 thousand hectares during the 2012–2022 period. The article presents the most important results of the implemented projects related to the fire protec-tion of the Białowieża Forest.
The analysis of potential fire hazard should take into account both dead wood and the impact of tree stand dieback, which resulted in the emergence of grasses as the dominant plant cover that poses a high risk not only for the possibility of fire, but also for its rapid spread. During 2012–2022 fuelload of the studied areas increased almost sevenfold compared to 2011 (15.8 t/ha), reaching an average maximum value of 108.9 t/ha in 2017. However, the progressive decomposition of dead wood and the decreasing amount of fine combustible material (fire-active biomass) caused that the fire risk in turn gra-dually decreased. After a period of about 10 years after the stand dieback, the fire risk caused by the dead wood left behind has reached a minimum level and the possibility of initiating the burning of such material was significantly reduced. Despite the decreasing fire hazard from dead wood, the fire risk will remain high for many years due to the presence of grass cover, especially during periods when it dries out.
The analysis of the fire risk in the Białowieża Forest caused by the spruce bark beetle outbreak formed the basis for the development of the „Fire Protection and Forest Fire Fighting Plan for the Polish Part of the Białowieża Forest Transboundary World Heritage Site”, which includes: fire risk assessment, fire detection, communication and alarm system, fire roads, water stores, equipment for fire fighting and rules for conducting rescue and fire-fighting operations.
|Leśne Prace Badawcze (Forest Research Papers), 2023, Vol. 83 (1): 1–15.
|Type of article
|Wpływ rozpadu drzewostanów w wyniku gradacji kornika drukarza (Ips typographus) na zagrożenie pożarowe Puszczy Białowieskiej
|Instytut Badawczy Leśnictwa, Sękocin Stary, Poland