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 (621.0 KB bytes)

Title: The contemporary scale and context of wildfire in Hawai'i

Author: Trauernicht, Clay; Pickett, Elizabeth; Giardina, Christian; Litton, Creighton M.; Cordell, Susan; Beavers, Andrew;

Date: 2015

Source: Pacific Science. 69(4): 427-444

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Wildfire is a major threat to natural resources and native species in Hawai'i, but the frequency and extent of wildfires across the archipelago has not been well quantified. Our objective was to summarize the available wildfire data for Hawai‘i and synthesize the social and ecological dimensions of wildfire drivers, impacts, and management responses. We constructed a 110-yr span of wildfire records for the state of Hawai'i to examine historical trends (1904-2011) and summarized relationships between contemporary wildfire occurrence (2005-2011) and land use/land cover types and human population. Total area burned state wide increased more than fourfold from 1904 to 1959 to peaks in the 1960s-1970s and mid-1990s to present. From 2005 to 2011, on average, 1,007 wildfires were reported across the state per year ±77 SE), burning an average of 8,427 ha yr-1 (±2,394 SE). Most fires (95%) were <4 ha, while most area burned (93%) was attributed to fires ≥40 ha. Ignition frequency was positively correlated with human population across islands. Wildfires were most frequent in developed areas, but most areas burned occurred in dry non-native grass lands and shrublands that currently compose 24% of Hawai'i's total land cover. These grass-dominated landscapes allow wildfires to propagate rapidly from areas of high ignition frequencies into the forested margins of the state's watersheds, placing native habitat, watershed integrity, and human safety at risk. There is an urgent need to better assess fire risk and impacts at landscape scales and increase the integration of prefire planning and prevention into existing land management goals.

Keywords: fire, prevention, invasive, risk

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:


Trauernicht, Clay; Pickett, Elizabeth; Giardina, Christian P.; Litton, Creighton M.; Cordell, Susan; Beavers, Andrew 2015. The contemporary scale and context of wildfire in Hawai'i. Pacific Science. 69(4): 427-444.

 


 [ 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.