Spatial patterns of wildfire ignitions in south-eastern Australia



Publication Details

Collins, K. M., Price, O. F. & Penman, T. D. (2015). Spatial patterns of wildfire ignitions in south-eastern Australia. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 24 (8), 1098-1108.


Wildfires can have devastating effects on life, property and the environment. Official inquiries following major damaging fires often recommend management actions to reduce the risk of future losses from wildfires. Understanding where wildfires are most likely to occur in the landscape is essential to determining where wildfires pose the greatest risk to people and property. We investigated the spatial patterns of wildfire ignitions at a bioregional scale in New South Wales and Victoria using generalised linear models. We used a combination of social and biophysical variables and examined whether different categories of ignitions respond to different explanatory variables. Human-caused ignitions are the dominant source of ignitions for wildfires in south-eastern Australia and our results showed that for such ignitions, population density was the most important variable for the spatial pattern of ignitions. In future years, more ignitions are predicted in the coastal and hinterland areas due to population increases and climate change effects.

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