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Activity Number: 190 - Contributed Poster Presentations: Section on Statistics and the Environment
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Monday, July 29, 2019 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistics and the Environment
Abstract #304938
Title: Measuring Increases in Fire Weather Severity and Its Risk to Human Populations
Author(s): Geoffrey Peterson*
Companies: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Keywords: Environmental Statistics; Fire Hazard; Wildland Urban Interface; Public Health; Quantile

Wild fires have become more severe in the United States, representing a growing risk to human populations. We analyzed the spatial and temporal trends in the Energy Release Component (ERC) to measure the hazard change of fire weather conditions. Between 1983 and 2016, fire weather conditions across the US have become hotter, drier, and last longer, with the largest increases in the Southwest, Intermountain, and Pacific Southwest regions. We further attribute the increased severity of large fires to the increased hazard, indicating how worsening peak fire season conditions led to 6.1 more fires each year and 78000 more acres burned each year. Finally, we analyzed hazard along Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) within Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) and determined that human population growth was larger in high hazard counties, implying significant fire risk for these growing communities. Disclaimer: The statements in this abstract do not reflect the views or policies of the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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