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Declining severe fire activity on managed lands in Equatorial Asia

Sloan, Sean, Locatelli, Bruno, Andela, Niels ORCID:, Cattau, Megan E., Gaveau, David and Tacconi, Luca 2022. Declining severe fire activity on managed lands in Equatorial Asia. Communications Earth & Environment 3 (1) , 207. 10.1038/s43247-022-00522-6

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Abstract: Fire activity is declining globally due to intensifying land management, but trends remain uncertain for the humid tropics, particularly Equatorial Asia. Here, we report that rates of fire events deemed severe (≥75th severity percentile of 2002-2019) and very severe (≥90th percentile) for Indonesia declined 19-27% and 23-34% over 2002-2019, respectively, controlling for precipitation, where fire-event severity is given by total fire radiative power and duration. The severity of seasonal fire activity – a measure of extremeness – declined 16% in Sumatra and moderately elsewhere. Declines concentrated over mosaic croplands and nearby forest, accounting for one-fifth and one-quarter of fire activity, respectively, with each class contracting 11% amongst severe fire events. Declines were limited over mosaic lands with relatively limited cropping, despite accounting for a similar extent and one-fifth share of fire activity. Declines had an uncertain association with agricultural development but seemingly reflect related political and economic forces for economic and environmental security.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:, Type: open-access
Publisher: Nature Research
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 September 2022
Date of Acceptance: 3 August 2022
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 04:17

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