Skip to Main Content
Using risk analysis to reveal opportunities for the management of unplanned ignitions in wildernessAuthor(s): Kevin Barnett; Carol Miller; Tyron J. Venn
Source: Journal of Forestry. 114(6): 610-618.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
Download Publication (1.0 MB)
DescriptionA goal of fire management in wilderness is to allow fire to play its natural ecological role without intervention. Unfortunately, most unplanned ignitions in wilderness are suppressed, in part because of the risk they might pose to values outside of the wilderness. We capitalize on recent advances in fire risk analysis to demonstrate a risk-based approach for revealing where unplanned ignitions in wilderness pose little risk to nonwilderness values and therefore where fire can be managed for its longer term ecological benefits. Using a large wilderness area as a case study, we conduct an exposure analysis and quantify the potential for unplanned ignitions inside the wilderness area to spread outside the wilderness boundary onto adjacent lands. Results show that, in general, ignitions that occur inside a large core area of the wilderness have very low likelihoods of escaping the wilderness boundary, especially early and late in the fire season. These "windows" may thus represent opportunities for allowing natural fire to occur. We discuss our approach in the broader context of spatial fire risk management and planning across public lands.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- 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.
CitationBarnett, Kevin; Miller, Carol; Venn, Tyron J. 2016. Using risk analysis to reveal opportunities for the management of unplanned ignitions in wilderness. Journal of Forestry. 114(6): 610-618.
Keywordswildland fire, exposure analysis, spatial fire planning, escape probability
- Wildland fire use: the dilemma of managing and restoring natural fire and fuels in United States wilderness
- Social and institutional influences on wilderness fire stewardship
- Proposed wildland fire amendment to the Coronado National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan
XML: View XML