We will use an interdisciplinary approach to examine the following questions:
1. What is the effect of landscape configuration on the probability of ignition and size of fires?
2. How do social institutions and migration interact with landscape configuration to affect probability and size of fires?
3. How will climate change interact with fire to affect patterns of migration and landscape configuration?
Testing these hypotheses will allow us to develop a model of fire risk as a function of social, demographic, land use, and climatic factors. The model will aid decision-making and make it possible to examine likely responses to future land use, climate change, and social dynamics. After it is developed using actual data from our field research and other inputs, variables will be adjusted to reflect potential scenarios of climate, social and demographic, and policy changes and the model will be used to run a series of predictive simulations. The insights thus obtained will be useful for instructive purposes and for formulating appropriate agricultural, land use and development policies and, as well as for adaptation to global market and climate changes.