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This page provides an interface for administrators to search, browse, and edit documents in the Southwest FireCLIME bibliography.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 188

Title Author(s) Year External Identifier Summary Publication findings Linkages Tags
Effect of thinning and prescribed burning on crown fire severity in ponderosa pine forests Jolie Pollet, Philip N. Omi 2002 10.1071/WF01045

The authors quantitatively compared the effects of three treatments: prescribed fire, whole-tree thinning, and thinning followed by prescribed fire, and an untreated stand at four ponderosa pine sites to test each treatment’s effectiveness at reducing fire severity and crown scorch.

The authors found that all of the treated stands had lower fire severity and reduced crown scorch than the untreated plots.

The impact of a 2 x CO2 climate on lightning-caused fire Colin Price, David Rind 1994 10.1175/1520-0442(1994)0072.0.CO;2

The authors modeled the potential shift in the frequency and intensity of lightning-caused fires and thunderstorm activity based on future climate scenarios of 2 X CO2 across the forested areas of the southwestern U.S.

The authors found that lightning activity and lightning-started fires are likely to increase in a warmer climate. They found a 44% increase in the likelihood of lightning-caused fires for a 2 X CO2 climate scenario.

Length of the fire season in a changing climate B. Michael Wotton, Michael D. Flannigan 1993 10.5558/tfc69187-2

The authors modeled the potential shift in fire season length based on future climate scenarios of 1 X CO2 and 2 X CO2 across the forested areas of Canada.

The authors found a significant shift in both an earlier beginning and a later end to the fire season for the 2 X CO2 scenario across all regions. They predicted an increase of the fire season of almost 30 days on average. The authors further mention that this would result in a longer period of increased temperatures during the fire season, and therefore, an increase in fire activity across the region.

Dendrochronology-based fire history of Jeffrey pine-mixed conifer forests in the Sierra San Pedro Martir, Mexico Scott L. Stephens, Carl N. Skinner, Samantha J. Gill 2003 10.1139/x03-031

The authors used dendrochronological techniques to describe the historical fire regime of a Jeffrey pine-mixed conifer forest that experienced little fire suppression or logging (but did experience some livestock grazing impacts) in northern Mexico.

The authors found that fire was frequent with median intervals of less than 15 years in the Jeffrey pine-mixed conifer forests. However, a period of reduced fire occurrence from the 1790s to 1830s coincided with a similar fire-free period across the Southwest and southern South America. The authors and others found a reduction in the amplitude of ENSO during this time that likely contributed to this reduction in fire occurrence. However, an increase in livestock grazing intensity and a reduction of fire use by native peoples occurred at the same time and likely also had strong influences on the fire regime during this period.

Multicentury, regional-scale patterns of western spruce budworm outbreaks Thomas W. Swetnam, Ann M. Lynch 1993 10.2307/2937153

The authors reconstructed spruce budworm infestations using tree ring chronologies from the year 1690 to present and examined the potential relationships between historic spruce budworm infestations and human land use changes and climate variation.

Increased tree densities and a shift toward fire-intolerant white fir in the understory due to fire suppression have impacted the timing of and the response of forest stands to infestations to some degree. The authors explain that white fir is more susceptible to mortality from spruce budworm, and increased mortality can lead to increased fire intensity. Regional outbreaks of spruce budworm were directly related to spring precipitation amount.

Cross-scale analysis of fire regimes Donald A. Falk, Carol L. Miller, Donald McKenzie, Anne E. Black 2007 10.1007/s10021-007-9070-7

The authors examined fire regimes across North America and quantified changes in fire frequency across spatial scales.

Environmental drivers of weather and climate, interacting with landform, set the overall template for individual fire events and fire regimes. Interactions between fire spread and vegetation determine the properties of fires at fine scales, while creating broad-scale landscape pattern.

Evaluating the ecological sustainability of a ponderosa pine ecosystem on the Kaibab Plateau in northern Arizona Reuben Weisz, Jack Triepke, Russ Truman 2009 10.4996/fireecology.0501100

The authors created a process for evaluating the ecological sustainability of fire-adapted ecosystems in the face of climate change and analyzed a case study in ponderosa pine forests on the Kaibab Plateau within the Kaibab National Forest.

The authors found that current and projected conditions in the structure and composition of ponderosa pine forests are approximately 97% departed from reference conditions on the Kaibab Plateau. Conditions in these forests are likely to persist due to the continued fire suppression and lack of management activities to reduce forest density.

Changes in fire severity across gradients of climate, fire size, and topography: a landscape ecological perspective Sandra L. Haire, Kevin McGarigal 2009 10.4996/fireecology.0502086

The authors examined the effects of climate, specifically drought, and local topography on fire severity across a gradient of fire sizes and vegetation types.

The authors found that most, but not all, large fires occurred during the La Niña phase of ENSO. For the Cerro Grande fire, which occurred during an extreme La Niña event, topography had a stronger influence on reducing severity in some areas than the regional effects of climate. Conversely, on several of the fires, topography conducive to fire spread did not produce increased severity, and temperature and wind had a stronger influence on fire effects.


Spatially and temporally variable fire regime on Rincon Peak, Arizona, USA Jose M. Iniguez, Thomas W. Swetnam, Christopher H. Baisan 2009 10.4996/fireecology.0501003

Fires prior to 1763 were synchronous with region-wide fire years, which coincided with periods of drought. However, after 1763, fires on the peak became asynchronous to widespread-fire years throughout the region. The authors suggest that when this occurs, bottom-up factors may have become more important in controlling the spread of fire. Specifically, Rincon Peak is isolated and surrounded by talus slopes and rock outcrops. However, they also hypothesized that a variation on ENSO, the late 18th-- early 19th century transition period (LEENT) may have occurred at this time, lengthening the fire-free interval. The LEENT period decreased the ENSO signal and limited the wet/dry oscillations and therefore the cycles of high fuel production followed by drought, hence increased flammability, for an extended period. The author’s findings suggest that isolated sky island ponderosa pine forests may be especially susceptible to climate change and drought because of their separation from the larger landscape and the frequent fire regimes that regulate severity in these ecosystems.


Climate and wildfire in the western United States Anthony Leroy Westerling, Alexander Gershunov, Tim J. Brown, Daniel R. Cayan, Michael D. Dettinger 2003 10.1175/BAMS-84-5-595

The authors combined datasets for wildfire starts and acres burned from federal land management agencies including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), United States Forest Service (USFS), National Park Service (NPS), and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to evaluate interannual relationships between climate and wildfire activity across the western U.S.

Although they vary widely across regional and temporal gradients, throughout the West moisture anomalies from two years up to the spring proceeding the fire season are widely linked to fire activity.