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Forests 2016, 7(9), 185;

Spatio-Temporal Configurations of Human-Caused Fires in Spain through Point Patterns

Department of Agriculture and Forest Engineering, University of Lleida, Alcalde Rovira Roure 191, Lleida 25198, Spain
Department of Mathematics, University of Lleida, Agrotecnio Center, Avinguda Estudi General 4, Lleida 25001, Spain
Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia, Ctra. Sant Llorenç de Morunys km 2, Solsona 25280, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Yves Bergeron and Sylvie Gauthier
Received: 23 June 2016 / Revised: 15 August 2016 / Accepted: 18 August 2016 / Published: 26 August 2016
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Human-caused wildfires are often regarded as unpredictable, but usually occur in patterns aggregated over space and time. We analysed the spatio-temporal configuration of 7790 anthropogenic wildfires (2007–2013) in nine study areas distributed throughout Peninsular Spain by using the Ripley’s K-function. We also related these aggregation patterns to weather, population density, and landscape structure descriptors of each study area. Our results provide statistical evidence for spatio-temporal structures around a maximum of 4 km and six months. These aggregations lose strength when the spatial and temporal distances increase. At short time lags after a wildfire (<1 month), the probability of another fire occurrence is high at any distance in the range of 0–16 km. When considering larger time lags (up to two years), the probability of fire occurrence is high only at short distances (>3 km). These aggregated patterns vary depending on location in Spain. Wildfires seem to aggregate within fewer days (heat waves) in warm and dry Mediterranean regions than in milder Atlantic areas (bimodal fire season). Wildfires aggregate spatially over shorter distances in diverse, fragmented landscapes with many small and complex patches. Urban interfaces seem to spatially concentrate fire occurrence, while wildland-agriculture interfaces correlate with larger aggregates. View Full-Text
Keywords: inhomogeneous spatio-temporal point patterns; Ripley’s K-function; spatio-temporal point patterns; wildfires inhomogeneous spatio-temporal point patterns; Ripley’s K-function; spatio-temporal point patterns; wildfires

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Costafreda-Aumedes, S.; Comas, C.; Vega-Garcia, C. Spatio-Temporal Configurations of Human-Caused Fires in Spain through Point Patterns. Forests 2016, 7, 185.

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