Anthony LeRoy Westerling

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The purpose of this paper is to quantify climatic controls on the area burned by fire in different vegetation types in the western United States. We demonstrate that wildfire area burned (WFAB) in the American West was controlled by climate during the 20th century (1916-2003). Persistent ecosystem-specific correlations between climate and WFAB are grouped(More)
Climate change is likely to alter wildfire regimes, but the magnitude and timing of potential climate-driven changes in regional fire regimes are not well understood. We considered how the occurrence, size, and spatial location of large fires might respond to climate projections in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem (GYE) (Wyoming), a large wildland(More)
High-temporal resolution meteorological output from the Parallel Climate Model (PCM) is used to assess changes in wildland fire danger across the western United States due to climatic changes projected in the 21st century. A business-as-usual scenario incorporating changing greenhouse gas and aerosol concentrations until the year 2089 is compared to a(More)
The ability to forecast the number and location of large wildfire events (with specified confidence bounds) is important to fire managers attempting to allocate and distribute suppression efforts during severe fire seasons. This paper describes the development of a statistical model for assessing the forecasting skills of fire-danger predictors and(More)
[1] Forest wildfire area burned in the western U.S. has increased in recent decades resulting in a substantial organic carbon (OC) source with large interannual variability. We derive OC emissions from wildfires using data for area burned for 1980–2004 and ecosystem specific fuel loadings. For the period 1989–2004 we analyze OC observations in the western(More)
[1] We investigate the impact of climate change on wildfire activity and carbonaceous aerosol concentrations in the western United States. We regress observed area burned onto observed meteorological fields and fire indices from the Canadian Fire Weather Index system and find that May–October mean temperature and fuel moisture explain 24–57% of the variance(More)
A statistical forecast methodology exploits large-scale patterns in monthly U.S. Climatological Division Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) values over a wide region and several seasons to predict area burned in western U.S. wildfires by ecosystem province a season in advance. The forecast model, which is based on canonical correlations, indicates that a(More)
In this study we have evaluated the role of wildfires on concentrations of fine particle (d < 2.5 microm) organic carbon (OC) and particulate mass (PM2.5) in the Western United States for the period 1988-2004. To do this, we examined the relationship between mean summer PM2.5 and OC concentrations at 39 IMPROVE sites with a database of fires developed from(More)
Prior work shows western US forest wildfire activity increased abruptly in the mid-1980s. Large forest wildfires and areas burned in them have continued to increase over recent decades, with most of the increase in lightning-ignited fires. Northern US Rockies forests dominated early increases in wildfire activity, and still contributed 50% of the increase(More)
Because forest fires emit substantial NOx and hydrocarbons--known contributors to O3 production--we hypothesize that interannual variation in western U.S. O3 is related to the burned area. To evaluate this hypothesis we used a gridded database of western U.S. summer burned area (BA) and biomass consumed (BC) by fires between 101-125 degrees W. The fire data(More)