Application of wildfire risk assessment results to wildfire response planning in the southern Sierra Nevada, California, USAAuthor(s): Matthew P. Thompson; Phil Bowden; April Brough; Joe H. Scott; Julie Gilbertson-Day; Alan Taylor; Jennifer Anderson; Jessica Haas
Source: Forests. 7(3): 64.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
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How wildfires are managed is a key determinant of long-term socioecological resiliency and the ability to live with fire. Safe and effective response to fire requires effective pre-fire planning, which is the main focus of this paper. We review general principles of effective federal fire management planning in the U.S., and introduce a framework for incident response planning consistent with these principles. We contextualize this framework in relation to a wildland fire management continuum based on federal fire management policy in the U.S. The framework leverages recent advancements in spatial wildfire risk assessment - notably the joint concepts of in situ risk and source risk - and integrates assessment results with additional geospatial information to develop and map strategic response zones. We operationalize this framework in a geographic information system (GIS) environment based on landscape attributes relevant to fire operations, and define Potential wildland fire Operational Delineations (PODs) as the spatial unit of analysis for strategic response. Using results from a recent risk assessment performed on several National Forests in the Southern Sierra Nevada area of California, USA, we illustrate how POD-level summaries of risk metrics can reduce uncertainty surrounding potential losses and benefits given large fire occurrence, and lend themselves naturally to design of fire and fuel management strategies. To conclude we identify gaps, limitations, and uncertainties, and prioritize future work to support safe and effective incident response.
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Thompson, Matthew P.; Bowden, Phil; Brough, April; Scott, Joe H.; Gilbertson-Day, Julie; Taylor, Alan; Anderson, Jennifer; Haas, Jessica R. 2016. Application of wildfire risk assessment results to wildfire response planning in the southern Sierra Nevada, California, USA. Forests. 7(3): 64.
Keywordsrisk-informed decision making, effects analysis, fire management planning, incident management
- Uncertainty and probability in wildfire management decision support: An example from the United States [Chapter 4]
- Barriers to implementation of risk management for federal wildland fire management agencies in the United States
- Integrated national-scale assessment of wildfire risk to human and ecological values
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