International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire
RESEARCH ARTICLE (Open Access)

Modelling long-term fire regimes of southern California shrublands

Seth H. Peterson A F , Max A. Moritz B , Marco E. Morais C , Philip E. Dennison D and Jean M. Carlson E
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Geography, University of California – Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA.

B Center for Fire Research and Outreach, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California – Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

C The Aerospace Corporation, 2350 E El Segundo Boulevard, El Segundo, CA 90245, USA.

D Center for Natural and Technological Hazards, Department of Geography, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.

E Department of Physics, University of California – Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA.

F Corresponding author. Email: seth@geog.ucsb.edu

International Journal of Wildland Fire 20(1) 1-16 https://doi.org/10.1071/WF09102
Submitted: 16 September 2009  Accepted: 27 May 2010   Published: 14 February 2011

Abstract

This paper explores the environmental factors that drive the southern California chaparral fire regime. Specifically, we examined the response of three fire regime metrics (fire size distributions, fire return interval maps, cumulative total area burned) to variations in the number of ignitions, the spatial pattern of ignitions, the number of Santa Ana wind events, and live fuel moisture, using the HFire fire spread model. HFire is computationally efficient and capable of simulating the spatiotemporal progression of individual fires on a landscape and aggregating results for fully resolved individual fires over hundreds or thousands of years to predict long-term fire regimes. A quantitative understanding of the long-term drivers of a fire regime is of use in fire management and policy.


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