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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 18, issue 1
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 157–170, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-18-157-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 157–170, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-18-157-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 11 Jan 2018

Research article | 11 Jan 2018

Hydrometeorological conditions preceding wildfire, and the subsequent burning of a fen watershed in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada

Matthew C. Elmes et al.
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Revised manuscript accepted for NHESS
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Cited articles  
Abatzoglou, J. T. and Kolden, C. A.: Relative importance of weather and climate on wildfire growth in interior Alaska, Int. J. Wildland Fire, 20, 479–486, https://doi.org/10.1071/WF10046, 2011.
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry: Alberta Climate and Information Service, available at: http://agriculture.alberta.ca/acis, last access: 11 August 2017.
Alexander, M. E.: Calculating spring Drought Code starting values in the Prairie Provinces and Northwest Territories, Environment Canada, Canadian Forestry Service, Northern Forest Research Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, Edmonton, AB. For. Manag. Note 12, 4 pp., available at: https://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/publications?id=11559 (last access: 11 August 2017), 1982.
Amiro, B. D., Cantin, A., Flannigan. M. D., and de Groot, W. J.: Future emissions from Canadian boreal forest fires, Can. J. Forest Res., 39, 383–395, https://doi.org/10.1139/X08-154, 2009.
Benscoter, B. W. and Wieder, R. K.: Variability in organic matter lost by combustion in a boreal bog during the 2001 Chisholm fire, Can. J. Forest Res., 33, 2509–2513, https://doi.org/10.1139/x03-162, 2003.
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Short summary
The infrequent coinciding of several hydrometeorological conditions common to the Western Boreal Plain, including low autumn soil moisture, modest snowpack, lack of spring precipitation, and high spring air temperatures and winds, ultimately led to the widespread Horse river fire in May of 2016. Monitoring antecedent soil moisture would aid management strategies in producing of more accurate overwintered Drought Code calculations, providing early warning signals ahead of spring wildfire seasons.
The infrequent coinciding of several hydrometeorological conditions common to the Western Boreal...
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