Published May 20, 2023 | Version 1.0
Dataset Open

Data for "Climate change is shifting and narrowing prescribed fire windows in the Western United States"

  • 1. UCLA
  • 2. UC Merced
  • 3. UC Berkeley
  • 4. WSU Vancouver
  • 5. The Nature Conservancy


The data archived here represent two types of information used in the publication “Climate change is shifting and narrowing prescribed fire windows in the Western United States” by Swain et al. 2023:

1) The meteorological and vegetation dryness/fuel moisture data (as described within the file) extracted from prescribed fire burn plans around the Western United States (drawn from entities such as the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. National Park Service, and The Nature Conservancy) between 2002 and 2022. This data is provided in tabular form, both as an .xlsx file and a .csv file for the convenience of the user. In addition to the specific values from each burn plan, summaries of median values for forested and non-forested landscapes are provided as well.

2) The number of days on which environmental conditions (i.e., weather and vegetation fuel moistures) are acceptable for prescribed fire according to the composite metric described in Swain et al. 2023 (known as “RxDays”). Underlying RxDay definitions are different for forest and non-forested landscapes. This data is provided in geospatially explicit (gridded) form as NetCDF files, which are a self-describing file format. Each file is provided as a single 3-dimensional hypercube (i.e., dimensions of time, latitude, and longitude, respectively; units and details described within the file) corresponding to the number of RxDays per calendar month.

One file is provided for each climate model iteration (as identified in each filename); these represent projected RxDays at monthly scale between 1981 and 2060 using an RCP 4.5 climate forcing trajectory. An additional file ( is provided that represents the same values from an atmospheric reanalysis dataset, which represents a best estimate of observed RxDay values (1981-2020).


Swain et al. 2023 final archived burn plans.csv

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