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Multi-decadal variability of forest fire risk - eastern Australia


Verdon, DC and Kiem, AS and Franks, SW, Multi-decadal variability of forest fire risk - eastern Australia, International Journal of Wildland Fire, 13, (2) pp. 165-171. ISSN 1049-8001 (2004) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2004 IAWF

DOI: doi:10.1071/WF03034


This study investigates the influence that the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Inter-decadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) have on long term daily weather conditions pertinent to high forest fire danger in New South Wales, Australia. Using historical meteorological data for 22 weather stations to compute the daily value of McArthur’s Forest Fire Danger Index (FFDI), it is shown that a strong relationship exists between climate variability, on a range of time scales, and forest fire risk. An investigation into the influence of ENSO on fire risk demonstrates that the proportion of days with a high, or greater than high, fire danger rating is markedly increased during El Niño episodes. More importantly, this study also shows that the already significantly enhanced fire danger associated with El Niño events was even further increased during El Niño events that occurred when the IPO was negative. The potential to use simple indices of climate variability to predict forest fire risk is therefore demonstrated to be significant.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ENSO, IPO, PDO, fire, bushfire, rainfall, climate variability, climate change
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Environmental engineering
Research Field:Environmentally sustainable engineering
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Franks, SW (Professor Stewart Franks)
ID Code:93394
Year Published:2004
Web of Science® Times Cited:59
Deposited By:Office of the School of Engineering
Deposited On:2014-07-31
Last Modified:2014-08-05

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