Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.1 MB)

Title: The relationship of large fire occurrence with drought and fire danger indices in the western USA, 1984-2008: The role of temporal scale

Author: Riley, Karin L.; Abatzoglou, John T.; Grenfell, Isaac C.; Klene, Anna E.; Heinsch, Faith Ann;

Date: 2013

Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire. 22: 894-909.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: The relationship between large fire occurrence and drought has important implications for fire prediction under current and future climates. This study’s primary objective was to evaluate correlations between drought and fire-danger- rating indices representing short- and long-term drought, to determine which had the strongest relationships with large fire occurrence at the scale of the western United States during the years 1984-2008. We combined 4-8-km gridded drought and fire-danger-rating indices with information on fires greater than 404.7 ha (1000 acres). To account for differences in indices across climate and vegetation assemblages, indices were converted to percentile conditions for each pixel. Correlations between area burned and short-term indices Energy Release Component and monthly precipitation percentile were strong (R2=0.92 and 0.89), as were correlations between number of fires and these indices (R2=0.94 and 0.93). As the period of time tabulated by indices lengthened, correlations with fire occurrence weakened: Palmer Drought Severity Index and 24-month Standardised Precipitation Index percentile showed weak correlations with area burned (R2= 0.25 and -0.01) and number of large fires (R2=0.3 and 0.01). These results indicate associations between short-term indices and moisture content of dead fuels, the primary carriers of surface fire.

Keywords: area burned, ERC, MTBS, number of fires, PDSI, precipitation, SPI

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Riley, Karin L.; Abatzoglou, John T.; Grenfell, Isaac C.; Klene, Anna E.; Heinsch, Faith Ann. 2013. The relationship of large fire occurrence with drought and fire danger indices in the western USA, 1984-2008: The role of temporal scale. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 22: 894-909.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.