Investigating patterns of wildfire in Ireland and their correlation with regional and global trends in fire history

Donna Hawthorne*, Fraser J. G. Mitchell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years a number of studies have suggested that trends in wildfire can be seen at a regional, national and global scale, and can be explained by interactions with factors such as anthropogenic activity and climate. As future susceptibility to fire is expected to be high it is important to understand such interactions and drivers of fire to help manage and mitigate against its destructive impacts for the future. This paper examines trends in wildfire within Ireland, between a range of study sites in both upland and lowland ecosystems. A synthesis of the Irish charcoal record is also provided, utilising the new Paleofire package in R, which is used to compare charcoal trends from the UK, Europe, North America and the World. This will help to determine potential drivers of wildfire at a variety of geographical scales. This study highlights how the Irish study sites display independent fire regimes at the local scale, dictated by specific local conditions; while the composite record for Ireland is in agreement with large scale trends in fire activity from across the globe, which are dictated by factors such as climate, temperature, precipitation, atmospheric CO2 concentration and anthropogenic activity. (C)2017 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-66
Number of pages9
JournalQuaternary International
Early online date10 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2018


  • Paleofire
  • Charcoal
  • Trends
  • Global
  • Ireland
  • Holocene


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