Warming and Earlier Spring Increase Western U.S. Forest Wildfire Activity
|Title||Warming and Earlier Spring Increase Western U.S. Forest Wildfire Activity|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2006|
|Authors||Westerling, A. L., H. G. Hidalgo, D. R. Cayan, and T. W. Swetnam|
|Date Published||AUG 18 2006|
|Keywords||climate-change, ecosystems, ENSO, FIRE REGIMES, PERSPECTIVE, PONDEROSA PINE FORESTS, united-states, variability, VEGETATION DISTRIBUTION|
Western United States forest wildfire activity is widely thought to have increased in recent decades, yet neither the extent of recent changes nor the degree to which climate may be driving regional changes in wildfire has been systematically documented. Much of the public and scientific discussion of changes in western United States wildfire has focused instead on the effects of 19th- and 20th-century land-use history. We compiled a comprehensive database of large wildfires in western United States forests since 1970 and compared it with hydroclimatic and land-surface data. Here, we show that large wildfire activity increased suddenly and markedly in the mid-1980s, with higher large-wildfire frequency, longer wildfire durations, and longer wildfire seasons. The greatest increases occurred in mid-elevation, Northern Rockies forests, where land-use histories have relatively little effect on fire risks and are strongly associated with increased spring and summer temperatures and an earlier spring snowmelt.
This reference is also referred to as reference 458 in the printed report. Reference 458 is a duplicate of 294. Only reference 294 is used for this online report.
|Short Title||Warming and Earlier Spring Increase Western U.S. Forest Wildfire Activity|