Spatial predictions of human and natural-caused wildfire likelihood across Montana (USA)
Jolly, William M.
Freeborn, Patrick H.
Vega-Nieva, Daniel José
Monjarás-Vega, Norma Angélica
Briones-Herrera, Carlos Iván
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Spatial wildfire ignition predictions are needed to ensure efficient and effective wildfire response, and robust methods for modeling new wildfire occurrences are ever-emerging. Here, ignition locations of natural and human-caused wildfires across the state of Montana (USA) from 1992 to 2017 were intersected with static, 30 m resolution spatial data that captured topography, fuel availability, and human transport infrastructure. Once combined, the data were used to train several simple and multiple logistic generalized linear models (GLMs) and generalized additive models (GAMs) to predict the spatial likelihood of natural and human-caused ignitions. Increasingly more complex models that included spatial smoothing terms were better at distinguishing locations with and without natural and human-caused ignitions, achieving area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUCs) of 0.84 and 0.89, respectively. Whilst both ignition types were more likely to occur at intermediate fuel loads, as characterized by the local maximum Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), naturally-ignited wildfires were more locally influenced by slope, while human-caused wildfires were more locally influenced by distance to roads. Static maps of ignition likelihood were verified by demonstrating that mean annual ignition densities (# yr−1 km−1) were higher within areas of higher predicted probabilities. Although the spatial models developed herein only address the static component of wildfire hazard, they provide a foundation upon which dynamic data can be superimposed to forecast and map wildfire ignition probabilities statewide on a timely basis.
Is part ofForests, 2022, vol.13, núm.8, p.1-16
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