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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 23(4)

Assessment of the temporal pattern of fire activity and weather variability in Lebanon

Liliane Salloum A and George Mitri A B C

A Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, University of Balamand, PO Box 100, Tripoli, Lebanon.
B Biodiversity Program, Institute of the Environment, University of Balamand, Kelhat, El Koura, PO Box 100, Tripoli, Lebanon.
C Corresponding author. Email: george.mitri@balamand.edu.lb

International Journal of Wildland Fire 23(4) 503-509 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF12101
Submitted: 27 June 2012  Accepted: 22 January 2014   Published: 13 May 2014

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The aim of this work was to investigate the yearly temporal pattern of fire activity and its relationship to weather in Lebanon during the past decade. The specific objectives were (1) to determine the start, peak and end dates of the fire season and their temporal changes throughout the years, and (2) to evaluate corresponding weather variability and its relationship to changes in fire occurrence and seasonality. First, fire seasonality was determined using fire occurrence data from 2001 to 2011. Second, the de-trended mean monthly weather variables were studied for correlation with fire occurrence between the earliest starting month and the latest ending month of the determined fire seasons. The results showed that the average length of the fire season was 146.6 days, the average start date was 14 June, and the average end date was 12 November. Fire occurrence was positively correlated with mean monthly temperatures and negatively correlated with mean monthly precipitation and mean monthly wind speed. The length of the fire season was negatively correlated with mean annual precipitation. In addition, an increasing fire occurrence risk was observed in association with high maximum temperatures and long dry seasons.


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