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.
Motivated by the combination of high wildfire risk and the concentration of substantial social and economic values within the study area, a collaboration involving the Rocky Mountain Research Station, the Bureau of Land Management, the University of Colorado, and a local wildfire council conducted research on wildfire risk faced by wildland-urban interface homeowners in western Colorado. The unique research effort pairs parcel level wildfire risk assessments conducted by wildfire professionals with residents’ perceptions of wildfire risk.
Over the last two decades wildfire activity, damage, and management cost within the US have increased substantially. These increases have been associated with a number of factors including climate change and fuel accumulation due to a century of active fire suppression.