Modelling The Drivers Of Natural Fire Activity: The Bias Created By Cropland Fires
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Wildland and cropland fires, which differ considerably in fire regime characteristics, have often been evaluated jointly to estimate regional or global fire regimes using satellite-based fire activity data. We hypothesised that excluding cropland fires will change the output of the models regarding the drivers of natural fire activity. We modelled MODIS fire activity data of western and southern Turkey for the years 2000-2015 using binomial generalised linear models in which many climatic, anthropogenic and geographic factors were included as predictor variables. For modelling, we used different datasets created by the exclusion of various cropland and vegetation land cover classes. More fire activity was observed as the number of cropland-dominated cells increased in a dataset. The explained deviance (%) of the binomial GLM differed substantially in the separate datasets for most of the variables. Moreover, excluding croplands gradually from the overall dataset resulted in a substantial decrease in the explained deviance (%) in the models for all variables. The results suggest that cropland fires have a significant effect on the output of fire regime models. Therefore, a clear distinction should be drawn between wildland and cropland fires in such models for a better understanding of natural fire activity.