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Cattau lead author on fire pattern activity research

Megan Cattau, assistant professor in the College of Innovation and Design’s Human Environment Systems program, is the lead author on a paper published on July 10, 2022 in Fire that explores patterns of contemporary fire across the U.S. To learn more, read the study at

In this research, the team integrated data from satellites and government records to look at patterns of fire activity across the U.S.

“We used machine learning to identify ‘pyromes,’ or areas with relatively homogeneous fire characteristics,” Cattau explained. “We found that human ignition pressure provides a key explanation for the East-West patterns of fire characteristics.”

This effort to delineate modern U.S. pyromes based on fire observations provides a national-scale framework of contemporary fire regions and may help elucidate patterns of change in an uncertain future.