Mapping associations between drought and simultaneous fires across space and time within the Southern Canadian Cordillera
The sequence of costly wildfires that burned at multiple locations in British Columbia and Alberta during fire seasons in 2003, 2015, 2016 and 2017 remind people that fires play an important part in forests of southwestern Canada. However, people are also increasingly recognizing the role of fire in providing ecological renewal and diversification. As a testament to this growth in understanding, forestry companies are embracing practices which include emulating historical fire regimes that exhibit a wide range of spatial and temporal characteristics such as fire shape and severity. Unfortunately, for the most complex fire regimes, those of mixed-severity, climate drivers remain poorly understood. Since many forests in the Southern Canadian Cordillera have evidence of these fire regimes, increasing our knowledge of fire-climate relations across these forests can help identify patterns of fires over space and time. Such knowledge can also help anticipate changes to fire regimes due to human driven climate change.