Investigation of the relationship between burned areas and climate factors in large forest fires in the Çanakkale region

  • Mertol Ertugrul
  • Halil Baris Ozel
  • Tugrul Varol
  • Mehmet CetinEmail author
  • Hakan Sevik


Fires pose a serious threat to the forests that lay on the western and southern coastline of Turkey that start with North Aegean coasts and end with the provincial boundaries of Hatay. Çanakkale, a western province of Turkey, is located in the North Aegean boundary and its topography (Dardanelles Strait), climate, and vegetation cover combine to form an inviting recipe to forest fires. Although the province is located in a transitional zone in terms of climate and vegetation, each year it witnesses highly dry and hot fire seasons. Thus, large forest fires occur periodically. In this research, the relationship between the large periodic fires (larger than 100 ha) and the climate data was investigated, with a particular focus on the most severe 8 fire seasons from 1969 to 2007. We established that there is a relationship between 1977, 1985, and 1986 fire seasons and the climate data for the corresponding periods. The remaining 5 seasons in which conflagrations occurred were also found to coincide with the days with high daily severity indices (DSR). These are 1969, 1977, 1985, 1987, and 2008. Additionally, 2008 was determined as the year with the highest fire risk, followed by year 1969.


Burned area Climate factors Daily severity index Forest fires Seasonal severity index 



The author would like to thank Dr. Martin Alexander, Ahmet Köle, and Talha Çan for all advices and supports on this article.

Author contributions

Mehmet and Hakan conceived and designed the experiments, and Mertol and Halil performed the experiments. Mertol, Halil, and Tugrul analyzed the data; Mertol, Halil, Tugrul, Mehmet, and Hakan contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools; and Halil, Hakan, and Mehmet wrote the paper.

Funding information

This research is self-funded.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Akman, Y. (1999). Climate and bioclimate. Palme Publishing, Ankara, Turkey, 1999.Google Scholar
  2. Atalay, I. (2011). Geography and geopolitics of Turkey (8th ed.p. 488).Google Scholar
  3. Atalay, I., & Mortan, K. (1997). Regional geography of Turkey. Milet Publishing Limited, 1997.Google Scholar
  4. Bilgili, E., & Kucuk, O. (2008). Estimating above-ground fuel biomass in young calabrian pine (Pinus brutia Ten.). Energy & Fuels, 23(4), 1797–1800.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bozdogan Sert, E., Turkmen, M., & Cetin, M. (2019). Heavy metal accumulation in rosemary leaves and stems exposed to traffic-related pollution near Adana-İskenderun Highway (Hatay, Turkey). Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 191, 553. Scholar
  6. Coşkuner K.A., Bilgili E., Küçük Ö., Meydan C., Göltaş M., Sağlam B. (2014) Measuring fuel moisture content in Calabrian pine (Pinus brutia ten) stands using four methods. VII International Conference on Forest Fire Research, Coimbra, 2014Google Scholar
  7. Cetin M. (2019). The effect of urban planning on urban formations determining bioclimatic comfort area's effect using satellitia imagines on air quality: a case study of Bursa city. Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health (Air Qual Atmos Health) 12(10):1237-1249. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cetin, M., Adiguzel, F., Gungor, S., Kaya, E., & Sancar, M. C. (2019). Evaluation of thermal climatic region areas in terms of building density in urban management and planning for Burdur, Turkey. Air Quality Atmosphere & Health (Air Qual Atmos Health), 12(9), 1103–1112. Scholar
  9. Duffy, P. A., Walsh, J. E., Graham, J. M., Mann, D. H., & Rupp, T. S. (2005). Impacts of large-scale atmospheric–ocean variability on Alaskan fire season severity. Ecological Applications, 15(4), 1317–1330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ertuğrul, M., & Varol, T. (2016). Evaluation of fire activity in some regions of Aegean Coasts of Turkey via Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index System (CFFWIS). Applied Ecology and Environmental Research, 14(2), 93–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Flannigan, M. D., & Wotton, B. M. (2001). Climate, weather, and area burned. In Forest fires, 351–373.Google Scholar
  12. Flannigan, M., Cantin, A. S., De Groot, W. J., Wotton, M., Newbery, A., & Gowman, L. M. (2013). Global wildland fire season severity in the 21st century. Forest Ecology and Management, 294(54-61), 2013.Google Scholar
  13. Flannigan, M. D., Logan, K. A., Amiro, B. D., Skinner, W. R., & Stocks, B. J. (2005). Future area burned in Canada. Climatic change, 72(1-2), 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Flannigan, M. D., Stocks, B., Turetsky, M., & Wotton, M. (2009). Impacts of climate change on fire activity and fire management in the circumboreal forest. Global Change Biology, 15(3), 549–560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Flannigan, M. D., Amiro, B. D., Logan, K. A., Stocks, B. J., & Wotton, B. M. (2006). Forest fires and climate change in the 21st century. Mitigation and adaptation strategies for global change, 11(4), 847–859.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Flannigan, M. D., Stocks, B. J., & Wotton, B. M. (2000). Climate change and forest fires. Science of the Total Environment, 262(3), 221–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Flannigan, M., & Van Wagner, C. E. (1991). Climate change and wildfire in Canada. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 21(1), 66–72. Scholar
  18. Harvey, D. A., Alexander, M. E., & Janz, B. (1986). A comparison of fire-weather severity in northern Alberta during the 1980 and 1981 fire seasons. The Forestry Chronicle, 62(6), 507–513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. IPCC. (2007). Climate change: synthesis report contribution of working groups I, II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Core Writing Team. In R. K. Pachauri & A. Reisinger (Eds.), (p. 104). Geneva: IPCC.Google Scholar
  20. Kayhan, M. (2007). Global climate change and Turkey. Ist Climate change congress of Turkey. TİKDEK, 11–13.Google Scholar
  21. Kaya, L. G. (2009). Assessing forests and lands with carbon storage and sequestration amount by trees in the State of Delaware. USA. - Scientific Research and Essays, 4(10), 1100–1108.Google Scholar
  22. Kaya, L. G., Yücedağ, C., Aşıkkutlu, H. S., & Çokyiğit, H. (2018a). Spatial design approaches to prevent damages from earthquake inside the buildings. Mehmet Akif Ersoy University, Journal of Applied Science Institute, 9(1), 55–62.Google Scholar
  23. Kaya, L. G., Yücedağ, C., Aşıkkutlu, H. S., & Sağır, E. (2018b). Sustaining urban forestry activities: the case study of Çivril District, Denizli-Turkey. Mehmet Akif Ersoy University, Journal of Applied Science Institute, 9(Supplementary Issue 1), 216–223.Google Scholar
  24. Kaya, E., Agca, M., Adiguzel, F., & Cetin, M. (2019). Spatial data analysis with R programming for environment. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, 25(6), 1521–1530. Scholar
  25. Koçman A. (1993) Climate of Turkey. Ege University Publishing, Izmir, 1993.Google Scholar
  26. Kucuk, O., Bilgili, E., Bulut, S., & Fernandes, P. M. (2012). Rates of surface fire spread in a young calabrian pine (Pinus brutia ten.) plantation. Environmental Engineering & Management Journal, 11(8).Google Scholar
  27. Kucuk, O., & Bilgili, E. (2008). Crown fuel characteristics and fuel load estimates in young Calabrian pine (Pinus brutia Ten.) stands in northwestern Turkey. Fresenius Environmental Bulletin, 17(12b), 2226–2231.Google Scholar
  28. Kucuk, O., & Bilgili, E. (2007). Crown fuel load for young Calabrian pine (Pinus brutia Ten.) trees. Kastamonu University Journal of Forestry Faculty, 7(2), 180–189.Google Scholar
  29. Liu, Y., Stanturf, J., & Goodrick, S. (2010). Trends in global wildfire potential in a changing climate. Forest ecology and management, 259(4), 685–697.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Naveh, Z. (1975). The evolutionary significance of fire in the Mediterranean region. Vegetatio, 29(3), 199–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Neyişçi, T. (1987). Fire protection and struggle in the red pine forest. Forestry Research Institute Publications. Miscellaneous Publications Series, 52, 1987.Google Scholar
  32. Ozturk, M., Gucel, S., Kucuk, M., & Sakcali, S. (2010). Forest diversity, climate change and forest fires in the Mediterranean region of Turkey. Journal of Environmental Biology, 31(1), 1.Google Scholar
  33. Öztürk, K. (2002). The climate change and possible effects to Turkey. University of Gazi University The Journal of Educational Faculty., 22(1), 2002.Google Scholar
  34. Salis, M., Laconi, M., Ager, A. A., Alcasena, F. J., Arca, B., Lozano, O., de Oliveira, A. F., & Spano, D. (2016). Evaluating alternative fuel treatment strategies to reduce wildfire losses in a Mediterranean area. Forest Ecology and Management, 368, 207–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Saribaşak H., Başaran M.A., Şirin G. (2010) Forest fires and fire fighting in the Western Mediterranean region, Western Mediterranean Forestry Research Directorate 50th Anniversary Activities (Publications) Ministry of Environment and Forestry Publication No: 394, Directorate of Publication No: 47, Page: 251-262. Antalya, 2010Google Scholar
  36. Sensoy, S., Demircan, M., Ulupinar, Y., & Balta, I. (2011). Climate of Turkey. Turkish State Meteorological Service, 2011.Google Scholar
  37. Şensoy S., Demircan M., Ulupinar U., Balta I. (2008) Climate of Turkey. Turkish State Meteorological Service (DMİ), Ankara, 2008.Google Scholar
  38. Şen, Ö. L. (2013). The Holistic situation of climate change in Türkiye. IIIrd Climate change congress of Turkey TİKDEK, 3-5, 2013.Google Scholar
  39. Şen, Ö.L., Bozkurt, D., Göktürk, O.M., Dündar, B., Altürk, B. (2013) The climate change and possible effects to TurkeyGoogle Scholar
  40. Skinner, W. R., Shabbar, A., Flannigan, M. D., & Logan, K. (2006). Large forest fires in Canada and the relationship to global sea surface temperatures. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 111(D:14).Google Scholar
  41. Stocks, B. J., Fosberg, M. A., Lynham, T. J., Mearns, L., Wotton, B. M., Yang, Q., Jin, J. Z., Lawrence, K., Hartley, G. R., Mason, J. A., & Mckenney, D. W. (1998). Climate change and forest fire potential in Russian and Canadian boreal forests. Climatic Change, 38(1), 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Tatli, H., Akbulak, C., Aygün, G., Çekmek, M., Sağlam, B. (2017) Determining risk of the forest fires in Çanakkale via geographic information systems and analytic hierarchy process. 8th Atmospheric Sciences Symposium - 01-04 November 2017at: Istanbul, Turkey, 2017Google Scholar
  43. Tavşanoğlu, Ç. (2010). Fires and biodiversity: can forest fires be necessary for the continuation of biodiversity? NTV Science, 18, 42–44.Google Scholar
  44. Türkeş M., Tatli H., Altan G., Öztürk, M.Z. (2011) The analyses of the forest fires in 2010 in the Çanakkale and Muğla Districts by using Keetchbyram Dorught Index (KBDI). International Conference on Geography, 2011, İstanbulGoogle Scholar
  45. Türkeş, M. (2012). The observation and prediction climate change, drought and desertification. University of Ankara The Journal of environmental sciences, 4(2), 1–32.Google Scholar
  46. Türkeş, M., & Altan, G. (2012). The meteorological and hydro meteorological analyses of large forest fires in Canakkale 2008. The journal of geographical sciences, 10(2), 195–218.Google Scholar
  47. Türkeş, M., & Deniz, Z. A. (2011). The changes and trends observed in climatology and precipitation and flow sequences of South Marmara Region (North West Anatolia). International Journal of Human Sciences, 8(1), 1579–1600.Google Scholar
  48. Van Wagner, C.E. (1987) Petawawa Forest. “Development and structure of the Canadian forest fire weather index system.” In Canadian. Forest Services., Forestry Technical Report 1987Google Scholar
  49. Van Wagner, C.E. (1970) New developments in forest fire danger rating. Canadian Forest Service. Information Report PS-X-19. 6 p, 1970.Google Scholar
  50. Yucedag, C., Ozel, H. B., Cetin, M., & Sevik, H. (2019). Variability in morphological traits of seedlings from five Euonymus japonicus cultivars. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 191(5), 285. Scholar
  51. Yucedag, C., & Kaya, L. G. (2016). Effects of air pollutants on plants. Mehmet Akif Ersoy University Journal of the Institute of Science and Technology, 7(1), 67–74.Google Scholar
  52. Yucedag, C., & Kaya, L. G. (2017). Researches on science and art in 21 st century Turkey. Chap. 104. In H. Arapgirlioglu, A. Atik, R. L. Elliott, & E. Turgeon (Eds.), Recreational trend and demands of people in Isparta-Turkey. Ankara: Gece Publishing.Google Scholar
  53. Westerling, A. L., Hidalgo, H. G., Cayan, D. R., & Swetnam, T. W. (2006). Warming and earlier spring increase western US forest wildfire activity. Science, 313(5789), 940–943.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Williams, D.E., (1959) Fire season severity rating, Div. Tech. Note 73, Can. Dep. of North. Affairs and Nat. Resour., Ottawa, Onterio, Canada, 1959Google Scholar
  55. Wotton, B. M., & Flannigan, M. D. (1993). Length of the fire season in a changing climate. The Forestry Chronicle, 69(2), 187–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wotton, B. M. (2009). Interpreting and using outputs from the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System in research applications. Environmental and Ecological Statistics, 16(2), 107–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mertol Ertugrul
    • 1
  • Halil Baris Ozel
    • 1
  • Tugrul Varol
    • 1
  • Mehmet Cetin
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hakan Sevik
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Forestry, Department of Forest EngineeringBartin UniversityBartinTurkey
  2. 2.Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Department of Landscape ArchitectureKastamonu UniversityKastamonuTurkey
  3. 3.Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Department of Environmental EngineeringKastamonu UniversityKastamonuTurkey

Personalised recommendations