FACTORS RELATED TO LARGER BUT FEWER WILDFIRES AND FEWER DEER IN CALIFORNIA: A GOOGLE SITES KNOWLEDGE BASE
Issues in Information Systems
Large wildfires have been a recent focus of public concern in California and other western states. To provide public access to relevant information, a website knowledge base was developed using the new Google sites tool. Information collection and data analysis were based on an ongoing internet search of the issues in the public discussion. Data analysis includes statistical tests of some common factors proposed in the public discussion related to climate change and forest density. Findings
... nsity. Findings include that data starting from 1932 show annual acres burned in Cal Fire jurisdictions have been about constant. Data from 1987 show that total acres burned increased and were correlated to increased maximum temperature, and that that wildfires have become larger but less frequent. A decline in logging activity was strongly correlated to increased fire size and reduced deer populations. Drought was also correlated to increased fire size and fewer deer. A survey of students indicates that the public has conflicting perceptions about forest density. Many more reported having received information that reduced logging to increase forest density will reduce wildfire risk, contrary to what the data and public information indicate: that reduced logging has increased forest density and large wildfire risk.