Canadian Forest Service Publications

Prediction of daily lightning- and human-caused fires in British Columbia. 2012. Magnussen, S.; Taylor, S.W. International Journal of Wildland Fire 21(4): 342-356.

Year: 2012

Available from: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 33424

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1071/WF11088

† This site may require a fee.


Daily records of the location and timing of human- and lightning-caused fires in British Columbia from 1981 to 2000 were used to estimate the probability of fire occurrence within 950 20 × 20-km spatial units (~950 000 km2) using a binary logistic regression modelling framework. Explanatory variables included lightning strikes, forest cover, surface weather observations, atmospheric stability indices and fuel moisture codes of the Canadian Fire Weather Index System. Because the influence of the explanatory variables in the models varied from year to year, model coefficients were estimated for each year. The arithmetic mean of the model coefficients was used for making daily predictions in a future year. A confidence interval around the mean or a quantile was derived from the ensemble of 20 model predictions. A leave-1-year-out cross-validation procedure was used to assess model performance for random years. The daily number of lightning-caused fires was reasonably well predicted at the provincial level (R = 0.83) and slightly less well predicted for a smaller (75 000 km2) administrative region. The daily number of human-caused fires was less well predicted at both the provincial (R = 0.55) and the regional level. The ability to estimate confidence intervals from the ensemble of model predictions is an advantage of the year-specific approach.

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