U.S. Joint Fire Science Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Fire Science Brief, Issue, 136, June 2011


US government work.


This research expanded our understanding of the climate/wildfi re relationship by identifying major climate controls and translating them into a practical tool, still under development, that managers can use for planning. The focus was on fi reclimate interactions from southern Oregon to Baja California, with emphasis placed on the infl uence of the Pacifi c North American (PNA) climate pattern. Researchers identifi ed and delineated differences in the way fi re activity responded to climate variability on a regional scale with the intent to improve fi re season forecasts along the Pacifi c coast. Strong correlations were found between certain combinations of climate pattern modes, high or low potential for fi re activity, and the likelihood of large fi res. The PNA was found to play an important role that could eventually improve planning for periods of years to decades.