Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Karin L. Riley; John T. Abatzoglou; Isaac C. Grenfell; Anna E. Klene; Faith Ann Heinsch
    Date: 2013
    Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire. 22: 894-909.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (1.0 MB)

    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.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to rmrspubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • 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.

    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.

    Cited

    Google Scholar

    Keywords

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

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/49353