Increasing fuel loads, fire hazard, and carbon emissions from fires in central Siberia
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Elena A. Kukavskaya; Evgeny G. Shvetsov; Ludmila V. Buryak; Pavel D. Tretyakov; Pavel Ya Groisman
Publication Year: 2023

Cataloging Information

  • Angara region
  • boreal forests
  • clearcuts
  • fuel load
  • ground fuels
  • Siberia
  • surface fuels
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: March 30, 2023
FRAMES Record Number: 67857


The vast Angara region, with an area of 13.8 million ha, is located in the southern taiga of central Siberia, Russia. This is one of the most disturbed regions by both fire and logging in northern Asia. We have developed surface and ground fuel-load maps by integrating satellite and ground-based data with respect to the forest-growing conditions and the disturbance of the territory by anthropogenic and natural factors (fires and logging). We found that from 2001 to 2020, fuel loads increased by 8% in the study region, mainly due to a large amount of down woody debris at clearcuts and burned sites. The expansion of the disturbed areas in the Angara region resulted in an increase in natural fire hazards in spring and summer. Annual carbon emissions from fires varied from 0.06 to 6.18 Mt, with summer emissions accounting for more than 95% in extreme fire years and 31-68% in the years of low fire activity. While the trend in the increase in annual carbon emissions from fires is not statistically significant due to its high interannual variability and a large disturbance of the study area, there are significantly increasing trends in mean carbon emissions from fires per unit area (p < 0.005) and decadal means (p < 0.1). In addition, we found significant trends in the increase in emissions released by severe fires (p < 0.005) and by fires in wetter, dark, coniferous (spruce, p < 0.005 and Siberian pine, p < 0.025) forests. This indicates deeper burning and loss of legacy carbon that impacts on the carbon cycle resulting in climate feedback.

Online Link(s):
Kukavskaya, Elena A.; Shvetsov, Evgeny G.; Buryak, Ludmila V.; Tretyakov, Pavel D.; Groisman, Pavel Ya. 2023. Increasing fuel loads, fire hazard, and carbon emissions from fires in central Siberia. Fire 6(2):63.