Kyle Elliott | ALES Graduate Seminar

Date(s) - 14/02/2023
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Event details: A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is an ALES MSc Final Exam Seminar by Kyle Elliott. This seminar is open to the general public to attend.

MSc with Dr. Michael Flannigan

Zoom Link:

Thesis Topic: Enhanced prediction of extreme fire weather conditions in spring using the Hot-Dry-Windy Index in Alberta, Canada


Fire weather indices used to forecast fuel moisture and fire behaviour provide valuable information for wildland fire prevention, preparedness, and suppression. However, the indices used to predict and forecast fire behaviour do not assess the impacts of weather alone on fire spread. Alberta has historically experienced extreme fire weather conditions in the spring season, leading to the occurrence of multiple disastrous wildland fires. This study examines the association between an atmospheric index, the Hot-Dry-Windy Index (HDWI) and spread days on 80 large May wildland fires in Alberta. HDWI values were calculated using ERA5 reanalysis weather, and permutation tests were used to analyze differences between spread day and non-spread day distributions. Significant differences between distributions were found over the first four days of these large wildland fires, as well as on the day of assessment. Results of this study suggest that HDWI can contribute to the prediction of extreme spring fire weather in Alberta.