Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Avi Bar Massada; Volker C. Radeloff; Susan I. Stewart; Todd J. Hawbaker
    Date: 2009
    Source: Ecology and Management. 258: 1990-1999.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (784.94 KB)


    The rapid growth of housing in and near the wildland-urban interface (WUI) increases wildfire risk to lives and structures. To reduce fire risk, it is necessary to identify WUI housing areas that are more susceptible to wildfire. This is challenging, because wildfire patterns depend on fire behavior and spread, which in turn depend on ignition locations, weather conditions, the spatial arrangement of fuels, and topography. The goal of our study was to assess wildfire risk to a 60,000 ha WUI area in northwestern Wisconsin while accounting for all of these factors. We conducted 6000 simulations with two dynamic fire models: Fire Area Simulator (FARSITE) and Minimum Travel Time (MTT) in order to map the spatial pattern of burn probabilities. Simulations were run under normal and extreme weather conditions to assess the effect of weather on fire spread, burn probability, and risk to structures. The resulting burn probability maps were intersected with maps of structure locations and land cover types. The simulations revealed clear hotspots of wildfire activity and a large range of wildfire risk to structures in the study area.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Bar Massada, Avi; Radeloff, Volker C.; Stewart, Susan I.; Hawbaker, Todd J. 2009. Wildfire risk in the wildland-urban interface: A simulation study in northwestern Wisconsin. Forest Ecology and Management. 258: 1990-1999.


    Google Scholar


    fire risk, fire spread, FARSITE, MTT, simulation modeling, WUI

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page