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In a study published earlier this week in PLoS ONE, researchers dissected the Fourth of July peak in fireworks-caused wildfire ignitions in a federal database of wildfire ignitions. Their findings include:
- Although these fireworks-caused ignitions are broadly distributed across the U.S., they are concentrated on tribal lands and in the west and north central U.S.
- There tend to be more fireworks-caused ignitions in the week leading up to July 4, relative to the week after it.
- There tend to be more fireworks-caused ignitions the day after the July 4 (July 5), relative to the the day before it (July 3).
- When the Fourth of July falls on a weekend (e.g., Saturday, Sunday), there is a tendency to have fewer wildfire ignitions due to fireworks. Weekends and the timing of work holidays impact the weekly distribution of fireworks-caused ignitions.
“This study uncovers new dimensions of the Fourth of July peak in wildfire ignitions and highlights several important implications for policy and wildfire management,” said Richard Vachula, assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences at Auburn University. “Given the predictability of the fireworks-caused ignitions and rising costs of wildfire mitigation, these results have several important management and policy implications.”
Richard S. Vachula et al, The timing of fireworks-caused wildfire ignitions during the 4th of July holiday season, PLOS ONE (2023). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0291026
Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics
The timing of fireworks-caused wildfire ignitions during the Fourth of July holiday season (2023, September 7)
retrieved 8 September 2023
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