This article is published in Environmetrics as a special issue on TIES 2008: Quantitative Methods for Environmental Sustainability edited by Sylvia R. Esterby, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Canada.
Special Issue Paper
Characterizing temporal changes in forest fire ignitions: looking for climate change signals in a region of the Canadian boreal forest†
Article first published online: 4 NOV 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Special Issue: TIES 2008: Quantitative methods for environmental sustainability
Volume 21, Issue 7-8, pages 789–800, November - December 2010
How to Cite
Woolford, D. G., Cao, J., Dean, C. B. and Martell, D. L. (2010), Characterizing temporal changes in forest fire ignitions: looking for climate change signals in a region of the Canadian boreal forest. Environmetrics, 21: 789–800. doi: 10.1002/env.1067
- Issue published online: 23 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 4 NOV 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 4 AUG 2010
- Manuscript Received: 23 NOV 2008
- Geomatics for Informed Decisions. Grant Number: GEOIDE SII Project 51
- National Institute for Complex Data Structures and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Vol. 22, Issue 3, 485, Article first published online: 4 APR 2011
- entropy score;
- generalized additive mixed model;
- nonparametric smoothing;
- wildfire ignitions
The potential impact of climate change on forest fire risk is of significant concern. Postulated climate change effects on wildfires include increasing annual trends in ignitions and a lengthening of the fire season. We propose to use logistic generalized additive mixed models to investigate these characteristics. We present the modelling framework and outline a set of candidate models that are nested in terms of their fixed effects components. Model selection via likelihood ratio testing is discussed and connected to an entropy-based scoring rule for Bernoulli responses. We illustrate its application using data for lightning-caused forest fire ignitions over a period of 42 years in a 9 884 943 hectare region of boreal forest of northwestern Ontario, Canada. Seasonal and annual changes in ignition risk are observed and discussed, but we identify significant outstanding confounding factors that need to be addressed before one can assess the extent to which those changes can or cannot be attributed to climate change. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.