Analysis of the Canadian Large Fire Database, 1959-1997 [abstract]
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): Erin M. Bosch; J. A. Mason; Bryan Todd; Brian J. Stocks
Editor(s): R. Todd Engstrom; Krista E. M. Galley; William J. de Groot
Publication Year: 2004

Cataloging Information

  • boreal forests
  • Canada
  • computer programs
  • coniferous forests
  • distribution
  • disturbance
  • fire case histories
  • fire frequency
  • fire management
  • fire regimes
  • fire size
  • human caused fires
  • landscape ecology
  • lightning
  • lightning caused fires
  • size classes
  • species diversity (animals)
  • species diversity (plants)
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: May 29, 2020
FRAMES Record Number: 42481
Tall Timbers Record Number: 17560
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Since the last Ice Age, fire has been a dominant disturbance regime vital to the preservation of species biodiversity in Canadian forests. A Large Fire Database (LFDB) has been developed for all fires larger than 200 ha in area for Canada for the 1959-1997 period. The LFDB represents only 3.5% of the total number of Canadian fires during this period, yet accounts for approximately 97% of the total area burned, allowing a spatial and temporal analysis of recent Canadian landscape-scale fire impacts. On average approximately 2 million ha burned annually in these large fires, although more than 7 million ha burned in some years. Summaries from the period 1959-1997 are presented showing 1) spatial distribution of large fires across Canada, 2) annual area burned and number of fires, 3) percent area burned by ecoregion, 4) area burned and fire occurrence by size class for each ecozone, 5) decadal patterns of lightning- and human-caused fires, and 6) distribution of actioned and non-actioned fires across the country. The LFDB is updated annually and is being expanded back in time to permit a more thorough analysis of long-term trends, and thus be used to develop predictive models of area burned and fire activity in Canada. In addition, the Canadian Forest Service, in cooperation with fire management agencies across the country, is constructing a polygon database of these fires. © 2004, Tall Timbers Research, Inc.

Bosch, E. M., J. A. Mason, B. Todd, and B. J. Stocks. 2004. Analysis of the Canadian Large Fire Database, 1959-1997 [abstract], in Engstrom, R. T., Galley, K. E. M., and de Groot, W. J., Proceedings 22nd Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference: Fire in temperate, boreal, and montane ecosystems. Kananaskis Village, Alberta, Canada. Tall Timbers Research, Inc.,Edmonton, Alberta, Canada [Inperial Printing Ltd.]. p. 236,