Large wildland fires and extreme temperatures in Sardinia (Italy)
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Heat-wave events are commonly recognized as adverse impacts on agriculture, forests, and economic activities. Several studies showed that future climate changes in the western Mediterranean Basin will lead to an increase in extreme weather events, mainly in the summer season. For this reason, it is crucial to improve our knowledge on the effects of extreme temperature events on wildland fire activity. This work analyses the relation between high temperature days (air temperature higher than 25°C at 850 hPa) and large wildland fires in Sardinia (Italy) during the period 1991-2009. Our results showed that the influence of high temperature days on large wildland fires was remarkable. Neither the number of fires nor the area burned decreased under high temperature days, although a decrease of both parameters was observed on other days. Additionally, the average size of fires, the probability of large fire occurrence, the daily area burned and daily number of fires were higher on high temperature days.