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): Marc-Andre Parisien; Quinn E. Barber; Kelvin G. Hirsch; Christopher A. Stockdale; Sandy Erni; Xianli Wang; Dominique Arseneault; Sean A. Parks
    Date: 2020
    Source: Nature Communications. 11: 2121.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (3.0 MB)


    The top priority of fire management agencies in Canada is to protect human life and property. Here we investigate if decades of aggressive fire suppression in the boreal biome of Canada has reduced the proportion of recently burned forests near human communities, and thereby inadvertently increased the risk of wildfire. We measured the percentage of RBF, which are usually less flammable than older forests, up to a 25-km radius around communities compared to that in the surrounding regional fire regime zone. Our analysis of 160 communities across boreal Canada shows that 54.4% exhibited a deficit or lack of RBF, whereas only 15.0% showed a surplus. Overall, a majority (74.4%) of communities are surrounded by a low (≤10%) proportion of RBF, indicating a higher vulnerability of those communities to wildfire. These findings suggest that suppression policies are increasing flammability in the wildland-urban interface of boreal Canada.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to 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.


    Parisien, Marc-Andre; Barber, Quinn E.; Hirsch, Kelvin G.; Stockdale, Christopher A.; Erni, Sandy; Wang, Xianli; Arseneault, Dominique; Parks, Sean A. 2020. Fire deficit increases wildfire risk for many communities in the Canadian boreal forest. Nature Communications. 11: 2121.


    Google Scholar


    wildfire risk, management, fire suppression, recently burned forests (RBF), wildland-urban interface

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page