Understanding global fire regimes using Artificial Intelligence (Papers Track)

Cristobal Pais (University of California Berkeley); Jose-Ramon Gonzalez (CTFC); Pelagy Moudio (University of California Berkeley); Jordi Garcia-Gonzalo (CTFC); Marta C. González (Berkeley); Zuo-Jun Shen (University of California, Berkeley)

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Improved understanding of fire activity and its influencing factors will impact the way we interact and coexist with not only the fire itself but also with the ecosystem as a whole. We consolidate more than 20 million wildfire records between 2000 and 2018 across the six continents. This data is processed with artificial intelligence methods to discover global fire regimes, areas with characteristic fire behavior over long periods. We discover 15 groups with clear differences in fire-related historical behavior. Despite sharing historical fire behavior, regions belonging to the same group present significant differences in location and influencing factors. Groups are further divided into 62 regimes based on spatial aggregation patterns, providing a comprehensive characterization. This allows an interpretation of how a combination of vegetation, climate, and demographic features results in a specific fire regime. The current work expands on existing classification efforts and is a step forward in addressing the complex challenge of characterizing global fire regimes.

Recorded Talk (direct link)