Canadian Forest Service Publications

A model to predict lightning-caused fire occurrences. 2002. Anderson, K.R. International Journal of Wildland Fire 11: 163-172.

Year: 2002

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 19949

Language: English

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Abstract

This paper presents a model to predict the probability that a lightning flash will lead to a detectable fire. This is done by estimating the probability of the lightning flash having a long-continuing current, the probability of ignition, the probability of survival, and the probability of arrival. Individual probabilities are calculated using the lightning, noon weather, and forest inventory data and combined to predict the number of ignitions, holdovers, and detectable fires within a region. The model was run for six fire seasons in Saskatchewan and predicted results were compared with the actual number of fires for that season. The model successfully predicted the number of fires on 55.7% of the days with a 64.8% detection rate and a false alarm rate of 29.7%. The model was found to be highly sensitive to moisture conditions, resulting in some unusually high predictions under dry conditions.