- Wildfire Risk to Communities: Spatial datasets of landscape-wide wildfire risk components for the United States
Scott, Joe H.;
Gilbertson-Day, Julie W.;
Dillon, Gregory K.;
Short, Karen C.;
Vogler, Kevin C.;
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These data were collected using funding from the U.S. Government and can be used without additional permissions or fees. If you use these data in a publication, presentation, or other research product please use the following citation:
Scott, Joe H.; Gilbertson-Day, Julie W.; Moran, Christopher; Dillon, Gregory K.; Short, Karen C.; Vogler, Kevin C. 2020. Wildfire Risk to Communities: Spatial datasets of landscape-wide wildfire risk components for the United States. Fort Collins, CO: Forest Service Research Data Archive. Updated 25 November 2020. https://doi.org/10.2737/RDS-2020-0016
The datasets presented here are the product of modeling, and as such carry an inherent degree of error and uncertainty. Users are strongly encouraged to read and fully comprehend the metadata and other available documentation prior to data use. No warranty is made by the Originator as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of these data for individual use or aggregate use with other data, or for purposes not intended by the Originator. These datasets are intended to provide nationally-consistent information for the purpose of comparing relative wildfire risk among communities nationally or within a state or county. Data included here are not intended to replace locally-calibrated state, regional, or local risk assessments where they exist. It is the responsibility of the user to be familiar with the value, assumptions, and limitations of these national data publications. Managers and planners must evaluate these data according to the scale and requirements specific to their needs. Spatial information may not meet National Map Accuracy Standards. This information may be updated without notification.
- The data included in this publication depict components of wildfire risk for all lands in the United States that: 1) are landscape-wide (i.e., measurable at every pixel across the landscape); and 2) represent in situ risk – risk at the location where the adverse effects take place on the landscape. Related datasets representing components of risk just where housing units are currently present, and transmitted risk to housing units from the locations where damaging fires originate will be delivered in separate publications.
Vegetation and wildland fuels data from LANDFIRE 2014 (version 1.4.0) form the foundation for the Wildfire Risk to Communities data. As such, the data presented here reflect landscape conditions as of the end of 2014. National wildfire hazard datasets of annual burn probability and fire intensity were generated from the LANDFIRE 2014 data by the USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station (Short et al. 2020) using the large fire simulation system (FSim). These national datasets produced with FSim have a relatively coarse cell size of 270 meters (m). To bring these datasets down to a finer resolution more useful for assessing hazard and risk to communities, we upsampled them to the native 30 m resolution of the LANDFIRE fuel and vegetation data. In this upsampling process, we also spread values of modeled burn probability and intensity into developed areas represented in LANDFIRE fuels data as non-burnable. Additional methodology documentation is provided with the data publication download.
The specific raster datasets included in this publication include:
Risk to Potential Structures (RPS): A measure that integrates wildfire likelihood and intensity with generalized consequences to a home on every pixel. For every place on the landscape, it poses the hypothetical question, "What would be the relative risk to a house if one existed here?" This allows comparison of wildfire risk in places where homes already exist to places where new construction may be proposed. This dataset is referred to as Risk to Homes in the Wildfire Risk to Communities web application.
Conditional Risk to Potential Structures (CRPS): The potential consequences of fire to a home at a given location, if a fire occurs there and if a home were located there. Referred to as Wildfire Consequence in the Wildfire Risk to Communities web application.
Exposure Type: Exposure is the spatial coincidence of wildfire likelihood and intensity with communities. This layer delineates where homes are directly exposed to wildfire from adjacent wildland vegetation, indirectly exposed to wildfire from indirect sources such as embers and home-to-home ignition, or not exposed to wildfire due to distance from direct and indirect ignition sources.
Burn Probability (BP): The annual probability of wildfire burning in a specific location. Referred to as Wildfire Likelihood in the Wildfire Risk to Communities web application.
Conditional Flame Length (CFL): Most likely flame length at a given location if a fire occurs, based on all simulated fires; an average measure of wildfire intensity.
Flame Length Exceedance Probability – 4 ft (FLEP4): Probability of having flame lengths greater than 4 feet if a fire occurs, on a 0 to 1 scale; indicates the potential for moderate to high wildfire intensity.
Flame Length Exceedance Probability – 8 ft (FLEP8): Probability of having flame lengths greater than 8 feet if a fire occurs, on a 0 to 1 scale; indicates the potential for high wildfire intensity.
Wildfire Hazard Potential (WHP): An index that quantifies the relative potential for wildfire that may be difficult to control, used as a measure to help prioritize where fuel treatments may be needed.
- environment; geoscientificInformation; society; structure; Ecology, Ecosystems, & Environment; Fire; Fire detection; Fire ecology; Fire effects on environment; Fire suppression, pre-suppression; Prescribed fire; Environment and People; Forest management; Landscape management; burn probability; hazard; fuels management; fire suppression; fire likelihood; fire planning; risk assessment; wildfire hazard potential; United States; conterminous United States; CONUS; Alaska; Hawaii
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