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Forest fire and its key drivers in the tropical forests of northern Vietnam

Trang, P.T., Andrew, M.E., Chu, T. and Enright, N.J.ORCID: 0000-0003-2979-4505 (2022) Forest fire and its key drivers in the tropical forests of northern Vietnam. International Journal of Wildland Fire . Online Early.

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Fire increasingly threatens tropical forests in northern Vietnam as climate changes and human population grows. Understanding fire occurrence patterns may support more effective forest management and reduce fire risk. We investigated spatiotemporal patterns and drivers of wildfire across three provinces in northern Vietnam and assessed the effectiveness of the Modified Nesterov index (MNI) fire danger rating system. We explored fire occurrence and size within and between years and forest types using descriptive analyses and developed spatiotemporal Maximum Entropy (Maxent) models incorporating variables representing potential drivers of fire, including weather, fuel, topography and human activity. Most fires occurred late in the dry season and fires were most common in natural forest. Maxent models successfully predicted fire occurrence (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) values 0.67–0.79). While the contributions of drivers varied among provinces, MNI, temperature, elevation and distance to road were consistently important. The model for combined provinces showed that fire probability was greater under higher temperature and MNI, in areas with lower population, farther from roads, at higher elevations and in natural forests. This study suggests that an assessment integrating multiple drivers better predicts fire occurrence than a system based on weather alone and may support improved fire management and education in northern Vietnam.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing on behalf of IAWF
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s) (or their employer(s)).
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