Canadian Forest Service Publications

Modeling the influence of fire ignition source patterns on fire regimes of west-central Alberta. 2000. Li, Chao Pages 1-8 in Problems, prospects and research needs, Proceedings: 4th International Conference on Integrating GIS and Environmental Modeling (GIS/EM4, number 99). September 2-8, 2000, Banff, Alberta. University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA.

Year: 2000

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 21354

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

Mark record


Fire management is a component of contemporary sustainable forest resource management. A better understanding of the relationships among different descriptors of a fire regime is desirable to assist fire management planning. Since existing empirical observations are insufficient for evaluating these relationships, a simulation model experiment together with spatial information and geographic information systems (GIS) technology is expected to provide useful insight. This paper presents an analysis of a spatial data set of historical fire occurrence records in Alberta of Canada, and a model experiment based on the GIS information of a study area in west-central Alberta. A spatially explicit model for landscape dynamics (SEM-LAND) was used for the model experiment. A 3.5 to 4-year average interval between two successive peak years of fire ignition source was found in three regions of Alberta. The total fire ignition source level was more frequent in the southern region than that in central and northern regions. The numbers of lightning fires were higher during a period from 1979 to 1995 than that from 1961 to 1978. However, the human fire numbers increased with time, and then decreased since 1990. Results from the model experiment suggested that different temporal patterns of fire ignition sources might not produce different fire regimes in terms of fire number and fire cycle. Under an intensive fire management scenario, however, various fire ignition source patterns could result in significant different fire regimes. Different levels of fire ignition source may not alter the simulated fire regimes under natural conditions, but could result in significant different fire regimes under an intensive fire management scenario.