Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands
Human-caused wildland fires occur annually in Guam and the inhabited Northern Mariana Islands - Rota, Saipan, and Tinian. Fire has been identified as a key threat to communities, forest resources and watershed integrity in the 2010-2015 Statewide Resource Assessment and Strategies for both regions. Fire records on Guam from 1979-2000 show that an average of 730 fires per year burned 4,800 acres (1,942 ha), or c. 4% of the island's total land area. Annual fire number and area burned increased in years following El Niño events (Minton 2006).
- The cause of the majority of fires is attributed to intentional burning, typically related to hunting activities.
- Fire-prone savanna vegetation accounts for 17-23% of the main islands in the Marianas chain.
- Fire occurrence is most frequent during the pronounced dry season from December to June.