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Wildfire Risk Management Science Team


Please click the hyperlinked titles if you would like to know more about each tool individually.

Part 1: Spatial Wildfire Risk Assessment

How is fire likely to affect the most important human assets and natural resources on a landscape?

The spatial wildfire risk assessment uses four key components: probability, intensity, susceptibility, and relative importance to determine the risk of wildfire to important values. 

Part 2: Suppression Difficulty Index

Firefighting is an inherently hazardous occupation and responder safety is the primary concern on all incidents. Researchers from the Wildfire Risk Management Science Team are collaborating with fire scientists in Spain and Oregon State University as well as wildfire operations specialists to develop and apply spatial tools that weigh the potential hazards of fire against our ability to position people and resources where they are likely to be effective. 

Part 3: Atlas of Potential Control Locations

Two big questions drive the operational decisions of fire management teams.

  1. Where are the best available opportunities to engage a fire when containment is the strategy?
  2. Where are the places where fire is likely to continue burning regardless of what management actions are taken?

Researchers with the RMRS Wildfire Risk Management Science Team are helping both incident response teams and fire planners answer these questions by turning to analytics to understand where and under what conditions fires have been successfully contained in the past, and conversely where containment efforts have failed. 

Part 4: Bringing it all together: Risk, Opportunities, and Strategic Response

Working with local fire managers, the atlas of potential control locations can be further refined to a network of best available control features known as Potential Wildfire Operational Delineations (POD). In areas where negative fire outcomes are likely, PODs should be as small as possible and may include control features that will need to be fortified prior to or during a fire.