Fire Probability for Carbon Accounting

The Fire and Resource Assessment Program (FRAP) at CAL FIRE is investigating methods for estimating the likelihood of fire occurrence across the State of California in the coming decades. As part of this effort, FRAP has created a map of annual fire probability for the period 2026-2050, derived from a statistical model of fire occurrence created at the University of California, Berkeley. This map is intended for use in the quantification of GHG benefits of fuel reduction activities funded under the 2016-17 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) Forest Health Program.

The map (PDF) and data (GDB) linked below are provided for review and public comment.   A web-based tool for summarizing fire probability data for specific project sites is currently under development.

Data Information

Title: California Annual Fire Probability 2026-2050 (Percent)

Summary: This data represents projected probability of fire occurrence (%) for California, 2026-2050. It was derived by CAL FIRE from work performed by Mann et al. (2016), and is intended for use in greenhouse gas accounting in the CAL FIRE Forest Health Program.

Description: Annual probability of fire occurrence (%), derived from Mann et al. (2016) projections for 2026-2050. Source data represents projected mean fire return intervals (MFRI), derived under A2 emissions scenario in both GFDL and PCM climate models. MFRI projections for two models were combined by taking minimum MFRI for each cell, inverted to get annual probability, then multiplied by 100 to get percent value. Derivation was performed by the Fire and Resource Assessment Program (FRAP), California Department of Forestry and Fire protection (CAL FIRE).

Source Data Reference: Mann, M.L., Batllori, E., Moritz, M.A., Waller, E.K., Berck, P., Flint, A.L., Flint, L.E. and Dolfi, E., 2016. Incorporating anthropogenic influences into fire probability models: effects of human activity and climate change on fire activity in California. PloS one, 11(4), p.e0153589. Available at:

Credits: Michael L. Mann, Ph.D. (The George Washington University), Max A. Moritz, Ph.D. (UC Berkeley) and others developed the model and made projections for California as part of a separate project, and provided data to CAL FIRE. Model development was performed at the Moritz Lab , Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley. Tadashi J. Moody (Fire and Resource Assessment Program, CAL FIRE) performed data derivations for use in the GGRF Forest Health Program.

Access and Use Constraints: Provided for public comment as part of the 2016-17 Greehouse Gas Reduction Fund Forest Health Program. For all other uses, please contact Tadashi Moody, CAL FIRE - FRAP, (916) 445-5342,

More Information
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