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 (898.0 KB bytes)

Title: A review of the relationships between drought and forest fire in the United States

Author: Littell, Jeremy S.; Peterson, David L.; Riley, Karin L.; Liu, Yongqiang; Luce, Charlie H.;

Date: 2016

Source: Global Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/gcb.13275.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description:

The historical and presettlement relationships between drought and wildfire are well documented in North America, with forest fire occurrence and area clearly increasing in response to drought. There is also evidence that drought interacts with other controls (forest productivity, topography, fire weather, management activities) to affect fire intensity, severity, extent, and frequency. Fire regime characteristics arise across many individual fires at a variety of spatial and temporal scales, so both weather and climate - including short- and long-term droughts - are important and influence several, but not all, aspects of fire regimes. We review relationships between drought and fire regimes in United States forests, fire-related drought metrics and expected changes in fire risk, and implications for fire management under climate change. Collectively, this points to a conceptual model of fire on real landscapes: fire regimes, and how they change through time, are products of fuels and how other factors affect their availability (abundance, arrangement, continuity) and flammability (moisture, chemical composition). Climate, management, and land use all affect availability, flammability, and probability of ignition differently in different parts of North America. From a fire ecology perspective, the concept of drought varies with scale, application, scientific or management objective, and ecosystem.

Keywords: climate change, climate variability, drought, ecological drought, fire, water balance

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:


Littell, Jeremy S.; Peterson, David L.; Riley, Karin L.; Liu, Yongquiang; Luce, Charlie H. 2016. A review of the relationships between drought and forest fire in the United States. Global Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/gcb.13275.

 


 [ 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.