Document / Publication

  • Do more with your content!Discover PreventionWeb Services
  • Landscape drivers of recent fire activity (2001-2017) in south-central Chile

    Email sent!

    An email has been sent to the email addresses provided, with a link to this content.

    Thank you for sharing!


Landscape drivers of recent fire activity (2001-2017) in south-central Chile

Source(s):  Public Library of Science (PLoS)

The controls and drivers and the spatiotemporal pattern of fires in Chile are not well understood. To identify the large-scale trends and drivers of recent fire activity across six regions in south-central Chile (~32–40˚ S Latitude) this paper evaluated MODIS satellite-derived fire detections and compared this data with Chilean Forest Service records for the period 2001–2017. MODIS burned area estimates provide a spatially and temporally comprehensive record of fire activity across an important bioclimatic transition zone between dry Mediterranean shrublands/ sclerophyllous forests and wetter deciduous-broadleaf evergreen forests.

Results suggest fire activity was highly variable in any given year, with no statistically significant trend in the number of fires or mean annual area burned. Evaluation of the variables associated with spatiotemporal patterns of fire for the 2001–2017 period indicate vegetation type, biophysical conditions (e.g., elevation, slope), mean annual and seasonal climatic conditions (e.g., precipitation) and mean population density have the greatest influence on the probability of fire occurrence and burned area for any given year. Both the number of fires and annual area burned were greatest in warmer, biomass-rich lowland Bı´o-Bı´o and Araucanı´a regions. Resource selection analyses indicate fire ‘preferentially’ occurs in exotic plantation forests, mixed native-exotic forests, native sclerophyll forests, pasture lands and matorral, vegetation types that all provide abundant, flammable and connected biomass for burning. Structurally and compositionally homogenous exotic plantation forests may promote fire spread greater than native deciduous-Nothofagaceae forests which were once widespread in the southern parts of the study area.

In the future, the coincidence of warmer and drier conditions in landscapes dominated by flammable and fuel-rich forest plantations and mixed native-exotic and sclerophyll forests are likely to further promote large fires in south-central Chile.

Add this content to your collection!

Enter an existing tag to add this content to one or more of your current collections. To start a new collection, enter a new tag below.

See My collections to name and share your collection
Back to search results to find more content to tag

Log in to add your tags
  • Landscape drivers of recent fire activity (2001-2017) in south-central Chile
  • Publication date 2018
  • Author(s) McWethy, David B.; Pauchard, Aníbal; García, Rafael A.; Holz, Andrés; González, Mauro E.; Veblen, Thomas T.; Stahl, Julian; Currey, Bryce
  • Number of pages 24 p.

Please note:Content is displayed as last posted by a PreventionWeb community member or editor. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of UNDRR PreventionWeb, or its sponsors. See our terms of use