Full Citation: Diaz, Henry F.; Swetnam, Thomas W. 2013: The wildfires of 1910: climatology of an extreme early twentieth-century event and comparison with more recent extremes. Bulletin of the American Meteorlogical Society 94(9):1361-1370.
External Identifier(s): 10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00150.1 Digital Object Identifier
Location: Western U.S.
Ecosystem types: None specified
Southwest FireCLIME Keywords: None
FRAMES Keywords: climate change, Idaho, Montana, extreme fire, temperature anomalies, PDSI - Palmer Drought Severity Index, 1910 fires

The wildfires of 1910: climatology of an extreme early twentieth-century event and comparison with more recent extremes

Henry F. Diaz, Thomas W. Swetnam


Summary - what did the authors do and why?

The authors assessed the climate conditions preceding and during a period of intense fire activity across the western U.S. in the summer of 1910. They further evaluated other large regional fire years to determine if analogous climate conditions occurred during those periods of high fire activity.


Publication findings:

The authors found that anomalously warm conditions occurred during a period of intense fire activity in the summer of 1910. A strong La Niña pattern in the year of 1910 likely contributed to warming and drought during the spring and summer prior to the fires. Furthermore, similar anomalous conditions in 1998 and 2012 occurred during other significant fire years across areas of the western U.S.

Climate and Fire Linkages

The authors found that anomalously warm conditions occurred during a period of intense fire activity in the summer of 1910. A strong La Niña pattern in the year of 1910 likely contributed to warming and drought during the spring and summer prior to the fires. Furthermore, similar anomalous conditions in 1998 and 2012 occurred during other significant fire years across areas of the western U.S.

The authors found that anomalously warm conditions occurred during a period of intense fire activity in the summer of 1910. A strong La Niña pattern in the year of 1910 likely contributed to warming and drought during the spring and summer prior to the fires. Furthermore, similar anomalous conditions in 1998 and 2012 occurred during other significant fire years across areas of the western U.S.