Brief Communications

Nature 440, 436-437 (23 March 2006) | doi:10.1038/440436a; Received 11 November 2005; ; Accepted 2 March 2006

Ecology: Human role in Russian wild fires

Danilo Mollicone1, Hugh D. Eva1 and Frédéric Achard1

Anomalies in temperature and precipitation in northern Russia over the past few years have been viewed as manifestations of anthropogenic climate change1, prompting suggestions that this may also account for exceptional forest fires in the region2, 3. Here we examine the number of forest-fire events across the boreal Russian Federation for the period 2002 to 2005 in 'intact' forests, where human influence is limited, and in 'non-intact' forests, which have been shaped by human activity4. Our results show that there were more fires in years during which the weather was anomalous, but that more than 87% of fires in boreal Russia were started by people.

  1. Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, TP 440, 21020 Ispra, Italy

Correspondence to: Frédéric Achard1 Email:

Received 11 November 2005 | Accepted 2 March 2006 |


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Ecology Human role in Russian wild fires

Nature Brief Communication (23 Mar 2006)

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