Predicting wildfire disasters presents a major challenge to the field of risk science, especially when fires propagate long distances through diverse fuel types and complex terrain. A good example is in the western US where large tracts of public lands routinely experience large fires that spread from remote wildlands into developed areas and cause structure loss and fatalities.
In this report we provide a framework for assessing cross-boundary wildfire exposure and a case study application in the western U.S. The case study provides detailed mapping and tabular decision support materials for prioritizing fuel management investments aimed at reducing wildfire exposure to communities located proximal to national forests. The work was motivated by a number of factors, including a request from U.S.
US public land management agencies are faced with multiple, often conflicting objectives to meet management targets and produce a wide range of ecosystem services expected from public lands. One example is managing the growing wildfire risk to human and ecological values while meeting programmatic harvest targets for economic outputs mandated in agency budgets.
We assessed potential economic losses and transmission to residential houses from wildland fires in a rural area of central Navarra (Spain). Expected losses were quantified at the individual structure level (n = 306) in 14 rural communities by combining fire model predictions of burn probability and fire intensity with susceptibility functions derived from expert judgement.
In order to engage in landscape-scale management, planners must understand the complex relationships of land status, ownership, use, and access. These publications and tools include valuable information regarding land status.
This 25-minute video features Fire Scientist Jack Cohen showing examples of homes that were unprotected during a wildfire, homes using home protection guidelines, and examples where home protection guidelines can be put to use.
Following the loss of homes to wildfire, when risk has been made apparent, homeowners must decide whether to rebuild, and choose materials and vegetation, while local governments guide recovery and rebuilding. As wildfires are smaller and more localised than other disasters, it is unclear if recovery after wildfire results in policy change and adaptation, decreasing assets at risk, or if recovery encourages reinvestment in hazard-prone areas.
We analyzed the impact of amenity and biodiversity protection as mandated in national forest plans on the implementation of hazardous fuel reduction treatments aimed at protecting the wildland urban interface (WUI) and restoring fire resilient forests. We used simulation modeling to delineate areas on national forests that can potentially transmit fires to adjacent WUI.
Forest Service managers and researchers designed and evaluated alternative disturbance-based fire hazard reduction/ecosystem restoration treatments in a greatly altered low-elevation ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir/western larch wildland urban interface.