I’ve been doing some more playing with the fire data from my last post to try and identify some aspect of the data that might help explain the pattern. My first step was to localize the fire data to specific counties. This information does not exist in the original data set, but it does contain latitudes and longitudes. I was able to map these latitudes and longitudes to a specific California county using the over function in R (from the sp package).
Looking at a choropleth map for 2007 shows that Riverside County had a significant number of fires, almost a third of the of fires that took place in California that year.
This number of fires is definitely out of the ordinary for Riverside, representing double the usual percentage of fires:
Some of this increase may be attributable to the wild fires of October, 2007. However, the block display in the last post showed an unusually large number of fires from January to April. If we look at choropleth maps for these non-fire-season months, it is apparent that the majority of the January to April fires were in Riverside County. In fact, Riverside County had significant fire activity for all 12 months of 2007.
The next step is to start looking at individual fires…