Assessing area-specific relative risks from large forest fire size in Canada
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Z. L. Wang; R. J. Ma; S. D. Li
Publication Year: 2013

Cataloging Information

  • Canada
  • clustered data
  • fire management
  • fire size
  • fire suppression
  • forest management
  • GLMM - Generalized linear mixed models
  • large size fires
  • lightning caused fires
  • season of fire
  • seasonal effects
  • spatial analysis
  • statistical analysis
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 13, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 52168
Tall Timbers Record Number: 29232
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Available
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.


The evaluation of area-specific risks for large fires is of great policy relevance to fire management and prevention. When analyzing data for the burned areas of large fires in Canada, we found that there are dramatic patterns that cannot be adequately modelled by traditional hierarchical modelling assuming spatial autocorrelation. In this paper, we use the robust locally weighted scatterplot smoothing (LOESS) technique to remove spatial and temporal trends; and we account for periodical cycles by employing the relevant periodic functions as covariates in a hierarchical Gamma mixed effects model. Based on the results of this generalized multilevel analysis of large fire size, we provide an area-specific relative risks ranking system for Canada and confirm that lightning tends to cause more severe damage in terms of fire size than human factor. A diagnostic check on the modelling shows that large fires data are reasonably modelled using this combination of semiparametric and mixed effects modelling approaches. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012.

Wang, Z. L., R. J. Ma, and S. D. Li. 2013. Assessing area-specific relative risks from large forest fire size in Canada. Environmental and Ecological Statistics, v. 20, no. 2, p. 285-296. 10.1007/s10651-012-0220-5.