Year Published: 2017
Description: Human-caused wildfires are controlled by human and natural influences, and determining their key drivers is critical for understanding spatial patterns of wildfire and implementing effective fire management. We examined an array of explanatory variables that account for spatial controls of human-caused fire occurrence from 1990 to 2013 among six ecosystem zones that vary in human footprint and environmental characteristics in British Columbia, Canada. We found that long-term patterns of human-caused fire in ecosystem zones with a larger human footprint were strongly controlled by biophysical variables explaining conditions conducive to burning, whereas fire occurrence in remote ecosystem zones was controlled by various metrics of human activity. A metric representing the wildland–urban interface was a key factor explaining human-caused fire occurrence regardless of ecosystem zone. Our results contribute to the growing body of research on the varying constraints of spatial patterns of fire occurrence by explicitly examining human-caused fire and the heterogeneity of constraints based on human development.