Assessing the impact of climate change on landscape-level fire behavior potential in central Saskatchewan [abstract]
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): Victor G. Kafka; Marc-André Parisien; Kelvin G. Hirsch; Michael D. Flannigan; Bryan Todd
Editor(s): R. Todd Engstrom; Krista E. M. Galley; William J. de Groot
Publication Year: 2004

Cataloging Information

  • boreal forests
  • Canada
  • carbon dioxide
  • coniferous forests
  • cover
  • fire intensity
  • fire suppression
  • flammability
  • forest types
  • fuel types
  • GIS
  • histories
  • landscape ecology
  • Saskatchewan
  • suppression
  • topography
  • wilderness fire management
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: March 21, 2021
FRAMES Record Number: 42482
Tall Timbers Record Number: 17561
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Tall Timbers shelf
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.


Climate change could increase fire weather severity in the western portion of Canada's boreal forest. In this study, we evaluate how climate change could affect future landscape-level fire behavior potential. The study area extends over 135,000 km2 and covers the entire southern portion of Saskatchewan's boreal forest. The area characterizes the transition from mixedwood to pure coniferous forest types. Weather data were obtained from historical records to represent actual conditions and from the Canadian Regional Climate Model to simulate future weather. Using the functions within the Canadian Forest Fire Behavior Prediction System, fire weather data, fuel types, and topography were combined to building head-fire intensity maps under a range of climatic conditions (e.g., 90th, 95th, 99th percentile values) and for various periods of the fire season (i.e., spring, summer, and fall). The results from the analysis of present and future fire behavior potential maps confirm on a regional basis the expected increases in landscape flammability and demonstrate quantitatively the range of spatial and temporal variability in wildfire potential under 2×CO2 and 3×CO2 climate scenarios, 50 and 100 years from now. Implications for future fire behavior characteristics, fire effects, and suppression effectiveness are discussed.

Kafka, V., M. Parisien, K. Hirsch, M. D. Flannigan, and B. Todd. 2004. Assessing the impact of climate change on landscape-level fire behavior potential in central Saskatchewan [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 [Imperial Printing Ltd.]. p. 237,