WCD-25. Future of Fire: Modeling Fires on Unusual Size
In this study, to predict the number and size of fires from 2020 to 2060 in the contiguous United States we combined a 35-yr wildfire record with meteorological and population data in spatiotemporal Bayesian statistical models and applied it to climate data output from 8 global climate models under the RCP4.5 scenario. These models were run on a monthly time step at the level 3 EPA ecoregion scale. Our key research questions were: 1) What is the distribution of fires in the future (2020-2060) under the RCP4.5 scenario: size of individual events, numbers of events, total burned area across level 3 ecoregions of the continental U.S. 2) What ecoregions are expected to have the greatest change by 2060? 3) How much agreement is there across different climate projections? 4) Do we expect to see changes in extreme fires?