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    Humans cause most wildfires in northern Wisconsin, but interactions between human and biophysical variables affecting fire starts and size are not well understood. We applied classification tree analyses to a 16-year fire database from northern Wisconsin to evaluate the relative importance of human v. biophysical variables affecting fire occurrence within (1) all cover types, and (2) within forest types in each of four different fire size groupings (all fires; fires ≥0.4 ha (1 acre); fires ≥4 ha (10 acres); fires ≥16 ha (40 acres)). Housing density was the most important indicator of fire observations. Increasing minimum fire size increased the relative importance of biophysical variables. Key biophysical variables included land cover type, soil moisture indicators, and an index of presettlement fire rotation associated with glacial landforms.

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    Sturtevant, Brian R.; Cleland, David T. 2007. Human and biophysical factors influencing modern fire disturbance in northern Wisconsin. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 16: 398-413.


    anthropogenic fire, biophysical units, modern fire regime, presettlement fire rotation, rural development, wildfire occurrence

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