Full Citation: Collins, Brandon M.; Omi, Philip N.; Chapman, Phillip L. 2006. Regional relationships between climate and wildfire-burned area in the Interior West, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 36(3):699-709.
External Identifier(s): 10.1139/X05-264 Digital Object Identifier
Location: Interior West; Southwest; Colorado, U.S.
Ecosystem types: None specified
Southwest FireCLIME Keywords: None
FRAMES Keywords: Arizona, Colorado, combustion, drought, fire intensity, fire management, fire size, forest management, fuel moisture, heat, Idaho, moisture, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, statistical analysis, Utah, wildfires, Wyoming, ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation, burned area, PDO - Pacific Decadal Oscillation, AMO - Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, PDSI - Palmer Drought Severity Index

Regional relationships between climate and wildfire-burned area in the Interior West, USA

Brandon M. Collins, Philip N. Omi, Phillip L. Chapman


Summary - what did the authors do and why?

The authors studied the influence of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) on the relationships between interannual climate and area burned across climate regions of the interior West and climate divisions of Colorado.


Publication findings:

The authors found that area burned was strongly related to PDSI across all regions of the interior West, but that PDSI had a varied relationship with phases of AMO and PDO in the different regions. For example, in Arizona and New Mexico, area burned was most strongly related to PDSI during the warm phase of the AMO (long-term drought conditions typical) or the cool phase of PDO (cooler and wetter winters typical), whereas the relationship was either weak or not significant in the other regions during these same period.

Climate and Fire Linkages

The authors found that area burned was strongly related to PDSI across all regions of the interior West, but that PDSI had a varied relationship with phases of AMO and PDO in the different regions. For example, in Arizona and New Mexico, area burned was most strongly related to PDSI during the warm phase of the AMO (long-term drought conditions typical) or the cool phase of PDO (cooler and wetter winters typical), whereas the relationship was either weak or not significant in the other regions during these same period.