Ma, WY; Feng, ZK; Cheng, ZX; Chen, SL; Wang, FG (2020). Identifying Forest Fire Driving Factors and Related Impacts in China Using Random Forest Algorithm. FORESTS, 11(5), 507.

Reasonable forest fire management measures can effectively reduce the losses caused by forest fires and forest fire driving factors and their impacts are important aspects that should be considered in forest fire management. We used the random forest model and MODIS Global Fire Atlas dataset (2010 similar to 2016) to analyse the impacts of climate, topographic, vegetation and socioeconomic variables on forest fire occurrence in six geographical regions in China. The results show clear regional differences in the forest fire driving factors and their impacts in China. Climate variables are the forest fire driving factors in all regions of China, vegetation variable is the forest fire driving factor in all other regions except the Northwest region and topographic variables and socioeconomic variables are only the driving factors of forest fires in a few regions (Northwest and Southwest regions). The model predictive capability is good: the AUC values are between 0.830 and 0.975, and the prediction accuracy is between 70.0% and 91.4%. High fire hazard areas are concentrated in the Northeast region, Southwest region and East China region. This research will aid in providing a national-scale understanding of forest fire driving factors and fire hazard distribution in China and help policymakers to design fire management strategies to reduce potential fire hazards.