Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
FIA Project Y062233

    Development and analysis of a British Columbia natural disturbance database
Contributing Authors: Taylor, Steve W.; Thandi, Gurp; Parminter, John V.; Burton, Philip J.; Olivotto, Gerrard; Carroll, Allan L.; Alfaro, Renι I.; Safranyik, Les; Hawkes, Brad; Nealis, Vince G.; Ebata, Tim; Lindgren, Staffan
Imprint: Victoria, B.C. : Natural Resources Canada, 2006
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), Wildfires, British Columbia, Trees, Diseases and Pests, Natural disturbance
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
Natural disturbances such as wildfires and forest insect outbreaks can have a significant impact on forest age structure and species composition; and, therefore, on regional timber supply and habitat availability. Records of fire history and some forest insect and disease outbreaks, including maps of significant events, have been maintained in British Columbia (BC) since the 1920’s but have not readily been accessible to researchers, resource managers or the public. Beginning in 2001-2002 historical maps of wildfire and insect outbreaks in BC were obtained from several sources and digitized; and provincial coverages were compiled for each disturbance agent. In 2005-2006 the project team:
• examined the sized distribution of wildfire and insect outbreaks by BEC subzone;
• prepared an overview report of the history of forest insect outbreaks in BC for 12 important insects;
• documented the data sources and development of the natural disturbance database;
• prepared 400 x 400 grids of wildfire occurrence and 15 explanatory variables and developed logistic regression models of long-term fire occurrence for 6 Ministry of Forests fire centres;
• developed and demonstrated methods to incorporate wildfire and insect outbreak risk in timber supply analysis;
• determined diameters of wildfires in the historic fire database and the perimeter length of wildland urban interface map polygons in BC and developed and tested a theory of wildland urban interface fire occurrence based in geometric probability.
• provided natural disturbance data to 18 researchers and resource managers for special projects;
• made 3 presentations at workshops;
• completed publication of a journal article and book chapter initiated in 2003/04 and wrote a journal article describing use of the project data;
• cooperated and provided substantive assistance to 2 other projects addressing different aspects of natural disturbance dynamics.
Further work is needed to explore means of incorporating natural disturbance risks in land management planning. A better understanding of the probability, frequency, pattern, and interactions between natural disturbance events (fire, insects) will help in the development of sustainable management plans and practises in British Columbia. Greater public awareness of the scale of natural disturbances will help gain support for the management of disturbance events/outbreaks.
Steve Taylor.
Related projects:  FSP_Y051233


Appendix 7 - Chapter 2
Final Report (5.8Mb)
Appendix 1 (0.7Mb)
Appendix 3 - Graphs (0.5Mb)
Appendix 4 - Draft (1.0Mb)
Appendix 5 - FSSIM Modelling (2.0Mb)
Appendix 6 - Fire Probability (0.2Mb)
Appendix 2 (JEM, Vol 6, No 2 -Proceedings) "Challenges in defining..."

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Updated August 16, 2010 

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