Fire Research: Linking Past, Present, and Future Data



Increased levels of burning in the past 40 years are raising public and scientific concern about the relative importance of rising temperatures, climate variability, and human actions including management practices in initiating and supporting recent conflagrations. Enormous fires in Australia, North America, Europe, and Russia since 2000 have resulted in billions of dollars in property damage, loss of life, and threats to human and ecological health. Levels of fire activity are expected to increase in the coming decades in many regions as temperatures continue to rise and droughts intensify [Moritz et al., 2012]. Linked disturbances such as bark beetle infestations, nonnative plant invasions, and mass-wasting events have also exacerbated the effects of fire in many ecosystems.