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Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): Donald McKenzie; David L. Peterson; James K. Agee
Editor(s): Leon F. Neuenschwander; Kevin C. Ryan; Greg E. Gollberg
Publication Date: 2000

We developed multiple regression models and tree-based (CART -- classification and regression tree) models to predict fire return intervals across the Interior Columbia River basin at 1-km resolution, using geo-referenced fire history potential vegetation, cover type, and precipitation databases. We weighted the models based on data quality and performed a sensitivity analysis of the effects on the models of estimation errors due to lack of crossdating. The regression models predict fire return intervals from 1 to 375 years for forested areas, whereas the tree-based models predict a range of 8 to 150 years. Both types of models predict latitudinal and elevational gradients of increasing fire return intervals. Although the tree-based models explain more of the variation in the original data, the regression models are less likely to produce extrapolation errors. Thus, the models serve complementary purposes in elucidating the relationships among fire frequency, the predictor variables, and spatial scale. They also demonstrate the integration of qualitative and quantitative methods, and can be updated as better fire history data become available.

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Link to this document (1.3 MB; pdf)
Citation: McKenzie, D., D. L. Peterson, and J. K. Agee. 2000. Spatial variation in fire frequency in the Interior Columbia River Basin. Pages 257-263 in Neuenschwander, L. F., K. C. Ryan, and G. E. Gollberg (editors), Joint Fire Science Conference and Workshop Proceedings: 'Crossing the Millennium: Integrating Spatial Technologies and Ecological Principles for a New Age in Fire Management', June 15-17, 1999, The Grove Hotel, Boise, Idaho; Volume II. Moscow, ID and Fairfield, WA, University of Idaho and the International Association of Wildland Fire. 312 p.

Cataloging Information

Climate    Economics    Fire Ecology    Fire History    Mapping    Models    Planning
Alaska    California    Eastern    Great Basin    Hawaii    Northern Rockies    Northwest    Rocky Mountain    Southern    Southwest    National
  • Cascades Range
  • Columbia River basin
  • coniferous forests
  • COV - Dominant Cover Type
  • cover
  • cover type
  • Cupressaceae
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • elevation
  • FHDB - Fire History Database
  • fire frequency
  • fire management
  • fire regimes
  • fire return interval
  • fire suppression
  • forest management
  • geography
  • GIS - geographic information system
  • histories
  • Idaho
  • JFSP - Joint Fire Science Program
  • landscape ecology
  • Montana
  • mountains
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • overstory
  • pine forests
  • Pinus albicaulis
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • PNV - Potential Natural Vegetation
  • precipitation
  • rivers
  • RSAs (Realizations in the Sensitivity Analysis)
  • statistical analysis
  • succession
  • topography
  • Tsuga mertensiana
  • Tsuga spp.
  • understory vegetation
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming
Tall Timbers Record Number: 19547Location Status: In-fileAbstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 44219

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by Tall Timbers 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 Tall Timbers.