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Seasonal predictability of summer fires in a mediterranean environment

Journal: International Journal of Wildland Fire
Year: 2015  
Status: Published
In this status since: 28 Sep 2015
DOI: 10.1071/WF15079
Marcos, R., Turco, M., , Llasat, M.C., Provenzale, A.

Estimating the expected fire activity a few months in advance in Mediterranean environments is a most needed achievement to allow the preparedness of adequate prevention measures. Summer fires in this region are linked to current-year climate values (proxies for the climatic factors that affect fuel flammability) and to antecedent climate variables (proxies for the climatic factors influencing fine fuel availability and connectivity). Here we explore the seasonal predictability of wildfires in a Mediterranean region (NE Spain), driving a Multilinear Regression Model (MLR) with observed antecedent climate variables and with predicted variables from the ECMWF System 4 seasonal forecast. The approaches are evaluated through a leave-one-out cross-validation over the period 1983-2012(2010). While the ECMWF System 4 proved of limited usefulness due to its poor skill, the model driven with antecedent climate variables alone allowed for satisfactory long-term prediction of above-normal fire activity, suggesting the feasibility of successful seasonal prediction of summer fires in Mediterranean-type regions.