María Bugallo, María Dolores Esteban, Domingo Morales (Operations Research Center, University Miguel Hernández of Elche) and Manuel Francisco Marey-Pérez (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Escuela Politécnica Superior de Ingeniería, Spain)
Abstract: Wildfires have changed in recent decades. The catastrophic wildfires make it necessary to have accurate predictive models on a country scale to organize firefighting resources. In Mediterranean countries, the number of wildfires is quite high but they are mainly concentrated around summer months. Because of seasonality, there are territories where the number of fires is zero in some months and is overdispersed in others. Zero-inflated negative binomial mixed models are adapted to this type of data because they can describe patterns that explain both number of fires and their non-occurrence and also provide useful prediction tools. In addition to model-based predictions, a parametric bootstrap method is applied for estimating mean squared errors and constructing prediction intervals. The statistical methodology and developed software are applied to model and to predict number of wildfires in Spain between 2002 and 2015 by provinces and months.