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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Jia Liu; Yukuan Wang; Haiyan Guo; Yafeng Lu; Yuanxin Xu; Yu Sun; Weiwei Gan; Rui Sun; Zhengyang Li
Publication Date: 2024

Background: The Panxi region in China is among the areas that are most severely impacted by forest fires. Despite this, there is currently a lack of comprehensive and systematic research on the spatial and temporal distribution patterns, as well as the drivers, of forest fires in the region. To reveal bio-geo-climatic and anthropogenic influences, this study investigated the temporal and spatial characteristics of forest fires and migration patterns of the center of gravity of forest fires in Panxi. A parametric optimal geographical detection model was utilized to quantify the influence of various individual factors and their combinations on the spatial patterns of forest fire occurrence in the whole Panxi region and sub-region, by analyzing the forest fire dataset from 2004 to 2020.

Results: From 2004 to 2020, the Panxi region experienced an upward trend in the number of forest fires and the area burned. However, the trends were not consistent over the entire period. Between 2004 and 2014, both the number of fires and the area burned showed fluctuations and an overall increase. In contrast, between 2015 and 2020, there was a significant decrease in the number of fires, while the area burned showed a continued upward trend. The study identified abrupt changes in the frequency of forest fires and burned areas, primarily in 2007 and 2016. Spatially, forest fires in Panxi exhibited a positive correlation and local clustering. The river valley basin and hilly regions displayed a higher incidence of forest fires, which were concentrated mainly along the hill edges. In the whole area of Panxi, climatic factors have a predominant influence on forest fire occurrences. Specifically, evaporation, maximum temperature, average temperature, number of days without rain, and minimum temperature demonstrated the strongest explanatory power. Furthermore, this relationship was found to be reinforced when combined with topographical, human activities, and vegetation factors. The spatial variation of drought within each sub-district has a stronger explanatory power for the distribution characteristics of forest fires in the region than at the Panxi-wide scale. The factor with the maximum interaction in most regions was the dual factor of rainfall and drought.

Conclusions: The study's findings validate the applicability of geographic probes for identifying the drivers of fire occurrence and enhance our understanding of the drivers and their combined effects on the spatial context of the fire-incident study area.

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Citation: Liu, Jia; Wang, Yukuan; Guo, Haiyan; Lu, Yafeng; Xu, Yuanxin; Sun, Yu; Gan, Weiwei; Sun, Rui; Li, Zhengyang. 2024. Spatial and temporal patterns and driving factors of forest fires based on an optimal parameter-based geographic detector in the Panxi region, southwest China. Fire Ecology 20:27.

Cataloging Information

  • China
  • driving factors
  • forest fire
  • parameter-optimal geophone
  • spatiotemporal patterns
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FRAMES Record Number: 69143