Canadian Forest Service Publications

Fire activity in Portugal and its relationship to weather and the Canadian FireWeather Index System. 2008. Carvalho, A.; Flannigan, M.D.; Logan, K.A.; Miranda, A.I.; Borrego, C. International Journal of Wildland Fire 17: 328 - 338.

Year: 2008

Available from: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 29171

Language: English

CFS Availability: Order paper copy (free)


The relationships among the weather, the Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI) System components, the monthly area burned, and the number of fire occurrences from 1980 to 2004 were investigated in 11 Portuguese districts that represent respectively 66% and 61% of the total area burned and number of fires in Portugal. A statistical approach was used to estimate the monthly area burned and the monthly number of fires per district, using meteorological variables and FWI System components as predictors. The approach succeeded in explaining from 60.9 to 80.4% of the variance for area burned and between 47.9 and 77.0% of the variance for the number of fires; all regressions were highly significant (P <0.0001). The monthly mean and the monthly maximum of daily maximum temperatures and the monthly mean and extremes (maximum and 90th percentile) of the daily FWI were selected for all districts, except for Bragança and Porto, in the forward stepwise regression for area burned. For all districts combined, the variance explained was 80.9 and 63.0% for area burned and number of fires, respectively. Our results point to highly significant relationships among forest fires in Portugal and the weather and the Canadian FWI System. The present analysis provides baseline information for predicting the area burned and number of fires under future climate scenarios and the subsequent impacts on air quality.

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