Forest Fires and Climate Change in the Northwest Territories



Fire is the major stand-renewing disturbance in the circumboreal forest. Weather and climate are the most important factors influencing fire activity and these factors are changing due to human-caused climate change. Under a future warmer climate, we expect more severe fire weather, more area burned, more ignitions and a longer fire season, although there will be large spatial and temporal variation in the fire activity response to climate change. Results indicate increases of 25 to 300% in area burned and a lengthening of the fire season by 30 to 50 days over a large portion of the Northwest Territories, Canada. This field of research allows better understanding of the interactions and feedbacks between fire, climate, vegetation and humans, and identification of vulnerable regions. Projections of fire activity for this century can be used to explore options for mitigation and adaptation.


Forest Fire Fire Activity Fire Season Fire Weather Fire Weather Index 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Canadian Forest ServiceGreat Lakes Forestry CentreSault Ste MarieCanada
  2. 2.Prairie and Northern Science Section Hydrometeorology and Arctic LabEnvironment CanadaEdmontonCanada

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