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Keyword: risk management

Strategic wildfire risk: Aligning wildfire response actions with land and resource planning

Projects Posted on: February 13, 2019
Large wildfires are inherently more complex; often affecting multiple jurisdictions and requiring a balance of strategic long-term planning and nimble tactical solutions to meet dynamic conditions on the ground. With this increase in complexity comes increased uncertainty.

Real-time identification of wildfire responder hazards and operational engagement opportunities

Projects Posted on: February 13, 2019
The increasing complexity of the wildfire management environment has also created challenges for managing the exposure of wildfire responders to operational hazards. Firefighting is an inherently high-risk occupation and the fire environment is fraught with hazards that consistently cause injuries and fatalities each year. While some number of these hazards can be mitigated with improved safety equipment, communications, and safety protocols once responders are deployed. It is up to the fire command staff to determine, where and under what conditions the risk/benefit trade off of deploying boots on the ground makes sense.

Facilitating pre-season planning to identify control opportunities and high priority areas

Projects Posted on: February 13, 2019
District and Forest Fire staff recently met with local cooperators and resource specialists to develop maps of potential control lines that they could use while managing a fire. Maps of control lines and potential operational delineations (PODs) are being developed for the entire Forest with the assistance of researchers from USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station and the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute.

Wildfire response performance measurement: Current and future directions

Publications Posted on: July 23, 2018
The Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, defines success in the wildland fire response environment as ìsafely achieving reasonable objectives with the least firefighter exposure necessary while enhancing stakeholder support for our management effortsî. However, persistent information and knowledge gaps challenge the agencyís ability to measure success in coming fire seasons.

Rethinking the wildland fire management system

Publications Posted on: July 23, 2018
In the western United States and elsewhere, the need to change society’s relationship with wildfire is well-recognized. Suppressing fewer fires in fire-prone systems is promoted to escape existing feedback loops that lead to ever worsening conditions and increasing risks to responders and communities.

A framework for developing safe and effective large-fire response in a new fire management paradigm

Publications Posted on: October 03, 2017
The impacts of wildfires have increased in recent decades because of historical forest and fire management, a rapidly changing climate, and an increasingly populated wildland urban interface. This increasingly complex fire environment highlights the importance of developing robust tools to support risk-informed decision making.

Risk and uncertainty in decision making

Projects Posted on: June 02, 2016
Although wildfires are inevitable, the destruction of homes, ecosystems, and lives is not. How can land management agencies, first responders, and affected communities who face the inevitability of wildfires reduce the potential for loss? Decision science and risk management are key principles in the effort to lower wildfire risks. In concert with the spatial risk assessment framework, the Wildfire Risk Management Team is exploring how principles of risk management, and resiliency and structured decision making can be applied to improve the effectiveness and safety of fire management.

Systems thinking and wildland fire management

Projects Posted on: June 02, 2016
Wildfire management involves significant complexity and uncertainty, requiring simultaneous consideration of multiple, non-commensurate objectives. There needs to exist a systems-level understanding of the fire management systems. The Wildfire Risk Management Team is examining the biases in perceiving and managing risk, and in particular how fire managers jointly consider wildfire probability contours, suppression strategy likelihood of success, and values at risk.

Effectiveness of suppression resource utilization

Projects Posted on: June 02, 2016
The Wildfire Risk Management Team is developing and applying empirically driven models of firefighting resource effectiveness considering resource type, mission objective, and incident characteristics to improve the efficiency of wildfire management. The team surveyed federal fire managers, operations personnel, and line officers responsible for ordering suppression resources to characterize ordering patterns and perceptions related to resource importance, scarcity, and substitutability. With this survey, researchers explore how the results affect tradeoff analyses, operational efficiency, and risk management practices in federal fire management.

Uncertainty is information, too

Publications Posted on: May 11, 2016