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The effect of climate factors on the size of forest wildfires (case study: Prague-East district, Czech Republic)

Abstract

This paper presents a new approach to identifying the climate variables that influence the size of the area burned by forest wildfires. Multiple linear regression was used in combination with nonlinear variable transformations to determine relevant nonlinear forest wildfire size functions. Data from the Prague-East District of the Czech Republic was used for model derivation. Individual burned forest area was hypothesized as a function of water vapor pressure, air temperature and wind speed. Wind speed was added to enhance predictions of the size of forest wildfires, and further improvements to the utility of prediction methods were added to the regression equation. The results show that if the air temperature increases, it may contain less water and the fuel will become drier. The size of the burned area then increases. If the relative humidity in the air increases and the wind speed decreases, the size of the burned area is reduced. Our model suggests that changes in the climate factors caused by ongoing climate change could cause significant changes in the size of wildfire in forests.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Prof. Bin Li (Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Forestry Research), Prof. Ruihai Chai (Editor) and three anonymous reviewers for their constructive scientific comments.

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Correspondence to Zohreh Mohammadi.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Project funding: This study was funded by grant "EVA4.0", No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/ 0.0/16_019/0000803 financed by the Operational Program Research, Development and Education (OP RDE), the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic.

The online version is available at http://www.springerlink.com.

Corresponding editor: Yu Lei.

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Mohammadi, Z., Lohmander, P., Kašpar, J. et al. The effect of climate factors on the size of forest wildfires (case study: Prague-East district, Czech Republic). J. For. Res. 33, 1291–1300 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11676-021-01413-w

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11676-021-01413-w

Keywords

  • Climatic variables
  • Burned forest area
  • Climate change
  • Multiple linear regression