Publication Details

Fire history in the Ohio River Valley and its relation to climate

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Yaussy, Daniel A.; Sutherland, Elaine Kennedy

Year Published

1994

Publication

In: Proceedings of the 12th conference on fire and forest meterology; 1993 October 26-28; Jekyll Island, GA. Bethesda, MD: Society of American Foresters: 777-786.

Abstract

Annual wildfire records (1926-77) from the national forests in states bordering the Ohio River (lllinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, and West Virginia) were compared to climate records to assess relationships. Summaries of spring and fall fire seasons obtained for the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky (1970-92) and for the State of Ohio (1969-84, including national forest lands) allowed for more detailed analysis. A wet spring followed by the onset of drought conditions, as measured by Palmer's Drought Severity Index (PDSI), was significantly correlated to the area burned by wildfire the following year (p < 0.0009). We hypothesize this was caused by a buildup of fine fuel followed by fuel desiccation in the first stages of drought. Extremely severe fall fire seasons were weakly related to El Niños.

Keywords

ENSO; ignition source; southern oscillation; teleconnections; wildfire

Citation

Yaussy, Daniel A.; Sutherland, Elaine Kennedy. 1994. Fire history in the Ohio River Valley and its relation to climate. In: Proceedings of the 12th conference on fire and forest meterology; 1993 October 26-28; Jekyll Island, GA. Bethesda, MD: Society of American Foresters: 777-786.

Last updated on: January 26, 2012