Probability models of fire risk based on forest fire indices in contrasting climates over China

Xiaowei Li, Guobin Fu, Melanie J. B. Zeppel, Xiubo Yu, Gang Zhao, Derek Eamus, Qiang Yu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Fire weather indices have been widely applied to predict fire risk in many regions of the world. The objectives of this study were to establish fire risk probability models based on fire indices over different climatic regions in China. We linked the indices adopted in Canadian, US, and Australia with location, time, altitude, vegetation and fire characteristics during 1998–2007 in four regions using semi— parametric logistic (SPL) regression models. Different combinations of fire risk indices were selected as explanatory variables for specific regional probability model. SPL regression models of probability of fire ignition and large fire events were established to describe the non—linear relationship between fire risk indices and fire risk probabilities in the four regions. Graphs of observed versus estimated probabilities, fire risk maps, graphs of numbers of large fire events were produced from the probability models to assess the skill of these models. Fire ignition in all regions showed a significant link with altitude and NDVI. Indices of fuel moisture are important factors influencing fire occurrence in northern China. The fuel indices of organic material are significant indicators of fire risk in southern China. Besides the well skill of predicting fire risk, the probability models are a useful method to assess the utility of the fire risk indices in estimating fire events. The analysis presents some of the dynamics of climate-fire interactions and their value for management systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)105-117
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of resources and ecology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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