Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Cooke, William

Committee Member

Wax, Charles

Committee Member

Dyer, Jamie

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


Forestry management relies on combating the challenges posed by fire. Knowledge of fire risk helps in the planning for and reacting to forest fires. One method used is the mapping of the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI). Though it was not specifically designed to be a fire risk assessment tool it is used to highlight areas with a high potential of fire due to climactic factors. A statistical analysis is performed to determine the relevance of the use of this drought index to measure fire potential. Analysis is performed by testing the relationship of KBDI to the number of fires and area burned in the Mississippi Forestry Commission?s south east fire district. These analyses showed a weak relationship between total fires and KBDI. In many cases there was no relationship. This calls into question the use of KBDI to determine fire potential.