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November 2013 Wildfire Prediction to Inform Fire Management: Statistical Science Challenges
S. W. Taylor, Douglas G. Woolford, C. B. Dean, David L. Martell
Statist. Sci. 28(4): 586-615 (November 2013). DOI: 10.1214/13-STS451


Wildfire is an important system process of the earth that occurs across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. A variety of methods have been used to predict wildfire phenomena during the past century to better our understanding of fire processes and to inform fire and land management decision-making. Statistical methods have an important role in wildfire prediction due to the inherent stochastic nature of fire phenomena at all scales.

Predictive models have exploited several sources of data describing fire phenomena. Experimental data are scarce; observational data are dominated by statistics compiled by government fire management agencies, primarily for administrative purposes and increasingly from remote sensing observations. Fires are rare events at many scales. The data describing fire phenomena can be zero-heavy and nonstationary over both space and time. Users of fire modeling methodologies are mainly fire management agencies often working under great time constraints, thus, complex models have to be efficiently estimated.

We focus on providing an understanding of some of the information needed for fire management decision-making and of the challenges involved in predicting fire occurrence, growth and frequency at regional, national and global scales.


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S. W. Taylor. Douglas G. Woolford. C. B. Dean. David L. Martell. "Wildfire Prediction to Inform Fire Management: Statistical Science Challenges." Statist. Sci. 28 (4) 586 - 615, November 2013.


Published: November 2013
First available in Project Euclid: 3 December 2013

zbMATH: 1331.86029
MathSciNet: MR3161589
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/13-STS451

Keywords: environmetrics , forest fire , prediction , review , wildland fire

Rights: Copyright © 2013 Institute of Mathematical Statistics


Vol.28 • No. 4 • November 2013
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