Publication Details

Baker, J. R., Priddel, D., Auld, T. & Keith, D. (2009). Science supporting threatened species conservation. Ecological Management and Restoration, 10 (s1), S145-S145.


The probability of large-fire (>= 1000 ha) ignition days, in the Sydney region, was examined using historical records. Relative influences of the ambient and drought components of the Forest Fire Danger Index (FFDI) on large fire ignition probability were explored using Bayesian logistic regression. The preferred models for two areas (Blue Mountains and Central Coast) were composed of the sum of FFDI (Drought Factor, DF = 1) (ambient component) and DF as predictors. Both drought and ambient weather positively affected the chance of large fire ignitions, with large fires more probable on the Central Coast than in the Blue Mountains. The preferred, additive combination of drought and ambient weather had a marked threshold effect on large-fire ignition and total area burned in both localities. This may be due to a landscape-scale increase in the connectivity of available fuel at high values of the index. Higher probability of large fires on the Central Coast may be due to more subdued terrain or higher population density and ignitions. Climate scenarios for 2050 yielded predictions of a 20-84% increase in potential large-fire ignitions days, using the preferred model.



Link to publisher version (DOI)