Full Citation: Holden, Zachary A.; Morgan, Penelope; Crimmins, Michael A.; Steinhorst, R.K.; Smith, Alistair M. S. 2007. Fire season precipitation variability influences fire extent and severity in a large southwestern wilderness area, United States. Geophysical Research Letters 34(16).
External Identifier(s): 10.1029/2007GL030804 Digital Object Identifier
Location: Gila National Forest, New Mexico, U.S.
Ecosystem types: Gradient along Potential Vegetation Types
Southwest FireCLIME Keywords: None
FRAMES Keywords: burn severity, wildland fire, remote sensing, Gila National Forest, Landsat TM (Thematic Mapper), area burned

Fire season precipitation variability influences fire extent and severity in a large southwestern wilderness area, United States

Zachary A. Holden, Penelope Morgan, Michael A. Crimmins, R. K. Steinhorst, Alistair M. S. Smith


Summary - what did the authors do and why?

The authors examined the relationship between annual area burned and fire severity with snowpack and precipitation metrics in a wilderness area.


Publication findings:

The authors found that across vegetation types, annual area burned was significantly correlated with the frequency and intensity of springtime rain events. Burn severity was significantly correlated with lack of precipitation represented by total number of days without rain and maximum consecutive number of days without rain. Snowpack was only marginally related to area burned and fire severity in the upper elevation forest types spruce-fir and mixed conifer. Finally, they also found that longer fire seasons measured by an increase in the total and consecutive number of days without rain may have increased area burned by providing longer periods of weather favorable for fire activity.

Climate and Fire Linkages

The authors found that longer fire seasons measured by an increase in the total and consecutive number of days without rain may have increased area burned by providing longer periods of weather favorable for fire activity.

The authors found that longer fire seasons measured by an increase in the total and consecutive number of days without rain may have increased area burned by providing longer periods of weather favorable for fire activity.

The authors found that across vegetation types, annual area burned was significantly correlated with the frequency and intensity of springtime rain events. Burn severity was significantly correlated with lack of precipitation represented by total number of days without rain and maximum consecutive number of days without rain. Snowpack was only marginally related to area burned and fire severity in the upper elevation forest types spruce-fir and mixed conifer.

Burn severity was significantly correlated with lack of precipitation represented by total number of days without rain and maximum consecutive number of days without rain. Snowpack was only marginally related to area burned and fire severity in the upper elevation forest types spruce-fir and mixed conifer. Finally, they also found that longer fire seasons measured by an increase in the total and consecutive number of days without rain may have increased area burned by providing longer periods of weather favorable for fire activity.

Burn severity was significantly correlated with lack of precipitation represented by total number of days without rain and maximum consecutive number of days without rain. Snowpack was only marginally related to area burned and fire severity in the upper elevation forest types spruce-fir and mixed conifer.