Increases in large wildfire driven nighttime fire activity observed across the conterminous US
This presentation discusses the results of 17 years of active fire data from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to characterize the daytime and nighttime dynamics of wildfires across the continental US. Whereas daytime fire activity was widely detected regardless of fire type, nighttime fire activity was mainly detected inside wildfires and particularly within large wildfires in the western US. The analysis also found that as fuels dry, there is an increase in larger and more intense wildfires with higher chances that fire activity will persist overnight. Results indicate that increasing trends in nighttime wildfire activity have coincided with increasing wildfire sizes. Nighttime fire activity already poses additional risks to firefighters and communities, and this presentation discussed the probability that projected increases in the frequency of large wildfires will be accompanied by increases in the extent and intensity of nighttime fire activity.