Fire history along environmental gradients in the Sacramento Mountains, New Mexico: influences of local patterns and regional processes
The authors reconstructed the historical fire regime along a gradient of forest types in the Sacramento Mountains, New Mexico to determine the influences of regional climate and local human land use across different spatiotemporal scales.
The authors found synchrony of fire occurrence across the region when dry years were proceeded by wet years. Strong El Niño events associated with especially wet years suppressed fire regionally, but also resulted in a pulse of fine fuel growth which became the primary fuels for surface fire during drought years. The authors found that at local scales, however, topography and elevation had a stronger influence on fire frequency and pattern than climate.