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Selection: with tag burnt-area [26 articles] 


A human-driven decline in global burned area

Science, Vol. 356, No. 6345. (30 June 2017), pp. 1356-1362,


[Burn less, baby, burn less] Humans have, and always have had, a major impact on wildfire activity, which is expected to increase in our warming world. Andela et al. use satellite data to show that, unexpectedly, global burned area declined by ∼25% over the past 18 years, despite the influence of climate. The decrease has been largest in savannas and grasslands because of agricultural expansion and intensification. The decline of burned area has consequences for predictions of future changes to the atmosphere, ...


Different approaches to model future burnt area in the Iberian Peninsula

Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Vol. 202 (March 2015), pp. 11-25,


[Highlights] [::] We distinguish four regions with different fire regimes in the Iberian Peninsula. [::] Statistical models (meteorology driven) are developed to reproduce burnt area series. [::] We check performances of RCMs simulating present climate burnt area distributions. [::] Different methods to correcting model biases are tested and applied to RCM outputs. [::] Our models project about 2–3 more times mean burnt area in Iberia around 2075. [Abstract] In this work we developed projections for future fire regimes in the Iberian Peninsula using outputs from Regional Climate Model ...


On the key role of droughts in the dynamics of summer fires in Mediterranean Europe

Scientific Reports, Vol. 7, No. 1. (6 March 2017), 81,


Summer fires frequently rage across Mediterranean Europe, often intensified by high temperatures and droughts. According to the state-of-the-art regional fire risk projections, in forthcoming decades climate effects are expected to become stronger and possibly overcome fire prevention efforts. However, significant uncertainties exist and the direct effect of climate change in regulating fuel moisture (e.g. warmer conditions increasing fuel dryness) could be counterbalanced by the indirect effects on fuel structure (e.g. warmer conditions limiting fuel amount), affecting the transition between climate-driven and ...


Fire situation in Greece

International Forest Fire News, Vol. 23 (2000), pp. 76-83


[Excerpt: Conclusions and Outlook] As can be seen, Greece has a serious fire problem. The money and effort devoted to coping with the problem is significant. Actually, especially in terms of aerial forces, the country should probably be rated first in the world on a per-hectare-protected basis. However, the poor results of the last few years clearly indicate that there is need for improvement, especially in regard to knowledge and organization of the whole effort. Also, there is a clear need for ...


Spatiotemporal variations in wildfire regime and exposure for Sardinia, Italy

In Atti del Secondo Congresso Internazionale di Selvicoltura = Proceedings of the Second International Congress of Silviculture (2015), pp. 975-981,


[Summary] Over the past decades several studies highlighted the increasing risk in the occurrence of large and severe wildfires as well as significant variation in fire regime pattern. In the Mediterranean basin, Sardinia (Italy) has seen a marked reduction in the annual area burned since the 1980s, with a sharp variation in mid-‘90s. Despite this downward trend wildfires still cause considerable financial losses, damages to natural ecosystems, accidents and fatalities. Therefore, efficient wildfire exposure and risk estimation as well as ...


What causes large fires in Southern France

Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 294 (April 2013), pp. 76-85,


[Highlights] [::] 0.8% Of fires were larger than 100 ha but accounted for 71% of total burned area. [::] On the whole area, the main cause was arson. [::] Occurrence mainly linked to shrubland population, minor road, fall-spring drought. [::] Burned area linked to shrubland fall–winter rain, summer drought, unemployment. [::] The areas the most affected were located to the East on the Mediterranean coast. [Abstract] In Southern France, where most wildfires occur, the fire size has never exceeded 6744 ha since 1991, whereas ...


Modeling the impacts of climate change on forest fire danger in Europe: sectorial results of the PESETA II Project



This constitutes a sectorial analysis of the PESETA II project of the European Commission Joint Research Center in the area of wildfires. [\n] Wildfires are a serious threat to European forests, and climate is the most important driving factor affecting wildfire potential over time (Flannigan et al., 2000). Wildfires are an environmental, economic and social problem particularly in the southern European countries, where wildfires regularly burn thousands of hectares of forests and other lands. Changes in wildfire regimes may have strong impacts on natural resources and ecosystems stability, ...


Human-started wildfires expand the fire niche across the United States

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, No. 11. (14 March 2017), pp. 2946-2951,


[Significance] Fighting wildfires in the United States costs billions of dollars annually. Public dialog and ongoing research have focused on increasing wildfire risk because of climate warming, overlooking the direct role that people play in igniting wildfires and increasing fire activity. Our analysis of two decades of government agency wildfire records highlights the fundamental role of human ignitions. Human-started wildfires accounted for 84% of all wildfires, tripled the length of the fire season, dominated an area seven times greater than that affected ...


Analyzing spatiotemporal changes in wildfire regime and exposure across a Mediterranean fire-prone area

Natural Hazards In Natural Hazards, Vol. 71, No. 3. (2014), pp. 1389-1418,


We evaluated the spatiotemporal changes in wildfire regime and exposure in a fire-prone Mediterranean area (Sardinia, Italy) in relation to changes in ignition patterns, weather, suppression activities, and land uses. We also used wildfire simulations to identify fine-scale changes in wildfire exposure of important features on the island. Sardinia experienced a sharp reduction in fire number and area burned between the periods 1980–1994 and 1995–2009. Despite this decrease, losses and fatalities from wildfires continue. This suggests that localized areas and seasons ...


Analyzing seasonal patterns of wildfire exposure factors in Sardinia, Italy

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Vol. 187, No. 1. (2014), pp. 1-20,


In this paper, we applied landscape scale wildfire simulation modeling to explore the spatiotemporal patterns of wildfire likelihood and intensity in the island of Sardinia (Italy). We also performed wildfire exposure analysis for selected highly valued resources on the island to identify areas characterized by high risk. We observed substantial variation in burn probability, fire size, and flame length among time periods within the fire season, which starts in early June and ends in late September. Peak burn probability and flame ...


A new global burned area product for climate assessment of fire impacts

Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 25, No. 5. (May 2016), pp. 619-629,


[Aim] This paper presents a new global burned area (BA) product developed within the framework of the European Space Agency's Climate Change Initiative (CCI) programme, along with a first assessment of its potentials for atmospheric and carbon cycle modelling. [Innovation] Methods are presented for generating a new global BA product, along with a comparison with existing BA products, in terms of BA extension, fire size and shapes and emissions derived from biomass burnings. [Main conclusions] Three years of the global BA product were ...


Landscape - wildfire interactions in southern Europe: Implications for landscape management

Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 92, No. 10. (October 2011), pp. 2389-2402,


[Abstract] Every year approximately half a million hectares of land are burned by wildfires in southern Europe, causing large ecological and socio-economic impacts. Climate and land use changes in the last decades have increased fire risk and danger. In this paper we review the available scientific knowledge on the relationships between landscape and wildfires in the Mediterranean region, with a focus on its application for defining landscape management guidelines and policies that could be adopted in order to promote landscapes with ...


Analysis of daily, monthly, and annual burned area using the fourth-generation global fire emissions database (GFED4)

Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Vol. 118, No. 1. (2013), pp. 317-328,


We describe the fourth generation of the Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED4) burned area data set, which provides global monthly burned area at 0.25°  spatial resolution from mid-1995 through the present and daily burned area for the time series extending back to August 2000. We produced the full data set by combining 500 m MODIS burned area maps with active fire data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Visible and Infrared Scanner (VIRS) and the Along-Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) family of ...


Sensitivity of burned area in Europe to climate change, atmospheric CO2 levels, and demography: a comparison of two fire-vegetation models

Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Vol. 120, No. 11. (1 November 2015), pp. 2256-2272,


Global environmental changes and human activity influence wildland fires worldwide, but the relative importance of the individual factors varies regionally and their interplay can be difficult to disentangle. Here we evaluate projected future changes in burned area at the European and sub-European scale, and we investigate uncertainties in the relative importance of the determining factors. We simulated future burned area with LPJ-GUESS-SIMFIRE, a patch-dynamic global vegetation model with a semi-empirical fire model, and LPJmL-SPITFIRE, a dynamic global vegetation model with a ...


Evaluation of the Canadian fire weather index system in an eastern Mediterranean environment

Meteorological Applications, Vol. 18, No. 1. (March 2011), pp. 83-93,


The Fire Weather Index module of the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System (CFFDRS) was evaluated during two consecutive fire seasons in the Mediterranean environment of Crete, Greece. The Duff Moisture Code (DMC), the Drought Code (DC), the Buildup Index (BUI) and the Fire Weather Index (FWI) were highly correlated to fire occurrence but only moderately to area burned. Logistic regression was applied in order to classify the FWI values into fire danger classes appropriate for the Mediterranean environments, as follows: ...


Characteristics and controls of extremely large wildfires in the western Mediterranean Basin

Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Vol. 121, No. 8. (August 2016), pp. 2141-2157,


Large fires account for a disproportionally high percentage of area burned with potentially severe environmental and socioeconomic impacts. This study characterizes extremely large fires (ELFs; 2500–24,843 ha) in Portugal (1998–2013) and the concomitant fuel and weather conditions, analyzing the response of ELF size to their variation. ELF burned less shrubland-grassland (33% of the total ELF area) than forest (59% of total), the latter primarily composed by pine and pine-eucalypt. High fuel hazard was the norm, as indicated by median values of 0.98 ...


Relationships between human population density and burned area at continental and global scales

PLoS ONE, Vol. 8, No. 12. (16 December 2013), e81188,


We explore the large spatial variation in the relationship between population density and burned area, using continental-scale Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) based on 13 years of satellite-derived burned area maps from the global fire emissions database (GFED) and the human population density from the gridded population of the world (GPW 2005). Significant relationships are observed over 51.5% of the global land area, and the area affected varies from continent to continent: population density has a significant impact on fire over most ...


Anthropogenic effects on global mean fire size

International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 24, No. 5. (2015), 589,


Wildland fires are an important agent in the earth’s system. Multiple efforts are currently in progress to better represent wildland fires in earth system models. Although wildland fires are a natural disturbance factor, humans have an important effect on fire occurrence by directly igniting and suppressing fires and indirectly influencing fire behaviour by changing land cover and landscape structure. Although these factors are recognised, their quantitative effect on fire growth and burned area are not well understood and therefore only partly ...


Climate, weather, and area burned

In Forest fires - Behavior and ecological effects (2001), pp. 351-373


[Excerpt: Introduction] Forest fires are strongly linked to weather and climate (Flannigan and Harrington, 1988; Johnson, 1992; Swetnam, 1993). Fire has been an integral ecological process since the arrival of vegetation on the landscape. For the purposes of this chapter, we will define weather as short-term processes that result in variations in the atmospheric conditions ranging from minutes to a fire season. Processes that influence the atmosphere over time periods longer than a fire season will be defined as climate. There are several factors that control the ...


Climate change and wildfire in Canada

Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 21, No. 1. (1 January 1991), pp. 66-72,


This study investigates the impact of postulated greenhouse warming on the severity of the forest fire season in Canada. Using CO2 levels that are double those of the present (2 × CO2), simulation results from three general circulation models (Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and Oregon State University) were used to calculate the seasonal severity ratings for six stations across Canada. Monthly anomalies from the 2 × CO2 simulation results were superimposed over historical sequences of daily weather. Then, seasonal severity ...


Wildfire suppression costs for Canada under a changing climate

PLoS ONE, Vol. 11, No. 8. (11 August 2016), e0157425,


Climate-influenced changes in fire regimes in northern temperate and boreal regions will have both ecological and economic ramifications. We examine possible future wildfire area burned and suppression costs using a recently compiled historical (i.e., 1980–2009) fire management cost database for Canada and several Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate projections. Area burned was modelled as a function of a climate moisture index (CMI), and fire suppression costs then estimated as a function of area burned. Future estimates of area burned ...


Forest fire danger projections in the Mediterranean using ENSEMBLES regional climate change scenarios

Climatic Change, Vol. 122, No. 1-2. (2014), pp. 185-199,


We present future fire danger scenarios for the countries bordering the Mediterranean areas of Europe and north Africa building on a multi-model ensemble of state-of-the-art regional climate projections from the EU-funded project ENSEMBLES. Fire danger is estimated using the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI) System and a related set of indices. To overcome some of the limitations of ENSEMBLES data for their application on the FWI System—recently highlighted in a previous study by Herrera et al. (Clim Chang 118:827–840, 2013)—we ...


Human-caused climate change is now a key driver of forest fire activity in the western United States

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (10 October 2016), 201612926,


[Excerpt] Effects of climate warming on natural and human systems are becoming increasingly visible across the globe. For example, the shattering of past yearly records for global high temperatures seems to be a near-annual event, with the five hottest years since 1880 all occurring since 2005. Not coincidentally, the single hottest year on record, 2015, also broke records for area burned by wildfire in the United States [...], eclipsing the previous high mark set just one decade prior. Scientists have known ...


Post-fire geomorphic response in steep, forested landscapes: Oregon Coast Range, USA

Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol. 28, No. 11-12. (June 2009), pp. 1131-1146,


The role of fire in shaping steep, forested landscapes depends on a suite of hydrologic, biologic, and geological characteristics, including the propensity for hydrophobic soil layers to promote runoff erosion during subsequent rainfall events. In the Oregon Coast Range, several studies postulate that fire primarily modulates sediment production via root reinforcement and shallow landslide susceptibility, although few studies have documented post-fire geomorphic response. Here, we describe field observations and topographic analyses for three sites in the central Oregon Coast Range that ...


Wildfire-related debris flow from a hazards perspective

In Debris-flow Hazards and Related Phenomena (2005), pp. 363-385,


[Excerpt: Introduction] Wildland fire can have profound effects on the hydrologic response of a watershed. Consumption of the rainfall-intercepting canopy and of the soil-mantling litter and duff, intensive drying of the soil, combustion of soil-binding organic matter, and the enhancement or formation of water-repellent soils can change the infiltration characteristics and erodibility of the soil, leading to decreased rainfall infiltration, subsequent significantly increased overland flow and runoff in channels, and movement of soil (e.g., Swanson, 1981; Spittler, 1995; Doerr et al., 2000; Martin and Moody, 2001; ...


Correlations between components of the water balance and burned area reveal new insights for predicting forest fire area in the southwest United States

International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 24, No. 1. (2015), 14,


We related measurements of annual burned area in the southwest United States during 1984–2013 to records of climate variability. Within forests, annual burned area correlated at least as strongly with spring–summer vapour pressure deficit (VPD) as with 14 other drought-related metrics, including more complex metrics that explicitly represent fuel moisture. Particularly strong correlations with VPD arise partly because this term dictates the atmospheric moisture demand. Additionally, VPD responds to moisture supply, which is difficult to measure and model regionally due to ...

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