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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
Acta Forestalia Fennica

Articles containing the keyword 'hemiboreal zone'

Category: Research article

article id 7746, category Research article
Jānis Donis, Māra Kitenberga, Guntars Šņepsts, Roberts Matisons, Juris Zariņš, Āris Jansons. (2017). The forest fire regime in Latvia during 1922–2014. Silva Fennica vol. 51 no. 5 article id 7746.
Keywords: forest disturbance; fire regime; hemiboreal zone; spatial analysis
Highlights: Climate effects and human influence on forest fire activity in Latvia was assessed using time-series analysis; Drought conditions during summer season had the strongest effect on fire activity of tested climatic variables; Negative trends and spatial distribution pattern of fire activity suggests of prevailing human influence on forest fire regime over the 20th century.
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Fire as disturbance of forests has an important ecological and economical role in boreal and hemiboreal forests. The occurrence of forest fires is both climatically and anthropogenically determined and shifts in fire regimes are expected due to climate change. Although fire histories have been well documented in boreal regions, there is still insufficient information about fire occurrence in the Baltic States. In this study, spatio-temporal patterns and climatic drivers of forest fires were assessed by means of spatial and time-series analysis. The efficiency of Canadian Fire Weather (FWI) indices as indicators for fire activity was tested. The study was based on data from the literature, archives, and the Latvian State Forest service database. During the period 1922–2014, the occurrence and area affected by forest fires has decreased although the total area of forest land has nearly doubled, suggesting improvement of the fire suppression system as well as changes in socioeconomic situation. The geographical distribution of forest fires revealed two pronounced clusters near the largest cities of Riga and Daugavpils, suggesting dominance of human causes of ignitions. The occurrence of fires was mainly influenced by drought. FWI appeared to be efficient in predicting the fire occurrence: 23–34% of fires occurred on days with a high or extremely high fire danger class, which overall had a relative occurrence of only 4.3–4.6%. During the 20th century, the peak of fire activity shifted from May to April, probably due to global warming and socioeconomic reasons. The results of this study are relevant for forest hazard mitigation and development of fire activity prediction system in Latvia.

  • Donis, LSFRI “Silava”, Rigas str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 E-mail:
  • Kitenberga, LSFRI “Silava”, Rigas str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 E-mail: (email)
  • Šņepsts, LSFRI “Silava”, Rigas str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 E-mail:
  • Matisons, LSFRI “Silava”, Rigas str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 E-mail:
  • Zariņš, LSFRI “Silava”, Rigas str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 E-mail:
  • Jansons, LSFRI “Silava”, Rigas str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 E-mail:

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