WorldWideScience

Sample records for wildfire risk assessment

  1. TA-54 (Area G) Risk Assessment from Extreme Wildfire Scenarios

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Linn, Rodman Ray [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Koo, Eunmo [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Honig, Kristen Ann [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); White, Judith [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Funk, David John [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2016-08-10

    Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and surrounding areas have been exposed to at least four significant wildfires since 1977 and there have been numerous others within 50 miles of LANL. Based on this history, wildfires are considered a risk to LANL facilities and their contents. While many LANL facilities are at risk to wildfire to some degree, they are found in a wide variety of conditions, thus they have varying sensitivities to wildfires. Additionally, LANL facilities have various functions and different assets, so they have a wide range of values or consequences if compromised. Therefore, determining the risks and precautions that are warranted to mitigate these risks must be done on a case-by-case basis. In an effort to assess possible wildfire risks to sensitive materials stored in a Perma-Con® in dome TA-54-0375, a conventional fire risk analysis was performed. This conventional risk analysis is documented in Engineering Evaluation Form AP-FIRE-001-FM1, which is dated 9/28/2015 and was titled ‘Wildland Fire Exposure Evaluation for Building TA-54-0375’ (Hall 2015). This analysis acknowledged that there was significant chance of wildfire in the vicinity of TA-54-0375, but the amount of combustible material surrounding the building was deemed low. The wildland fuels that were closest to the building were largely fine fuels and were not expected to have significant duration of heat release. The prevailing winds at this location are from the south and southwest and the nearest significant upwind fuels (tree crowns or unmown grasses) are at least 300 feet away. Based on these factors the conventional wildland fire risk to TA-54-0375 was deemed minimal, “Acceptable As Is, No Action Required.” This risk evaluation was based on a combined assessment of low probability of wildfires arriving at the site from other directions (where higher fuel loadings might be present) as well as the effective setback of fuels in the direction that fire is

  2. Integrated national-scale assessment of wildfire risk to human and ecological values

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew P. Thompson; David E. Calkin; Mark A. Finney; Alan A. Ager; Julie W. Gilbertson-Day

    2011-01-01

    The spatial, temporal, and social dimensions of wildfire risk are challenging U.S. federal land management agencies to meet societal needs while maintaining the health of the lands they manage. In this paper we present a quantitative, geospatial wildfire risk assessment tool, developed in response to demands for improved risk-based decision frameworks. The methodology...

  3. Wildfire Risk Assessment in a Typical Mediterranean Wildland-Urban Interface of Greece

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    Mitsopoulos, Ioannis; Mallinis, Giorgos; Arianoutsou, Margarita

    2015-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess spatial wildfire risk in a typical Mediterranean wildland-urban interface (WUI) in Greece and the potential effect of three different burning condition scenarios on the following four major wildfire risk components: burn probability, conditional flame length, fire size, and source-sink ratio. We applied the Minimum Travel Time fire simulation algorithm using the FlamMap and ArcFuels tools to characterize the potential response of the wildfire risk to a range of different burning scenarios. We created site-specific fuel models of the study area by measuring the field fuel parameters in representative natural fuel complexes, and we determined the spatial extent of the different fuel types and residential structures in the study area using photointerpretation procedures of large scale natural color orthophotographs. The results included simulated spatially explicit fire risk components along with wildfire risk exposure analysis and the expected net value change. Statistical significance differences in simulation outputs between the scenarios were obtained using Tukey's significance test. The results of this study provide valuable information for decision support systems for short-term predictions of wildfire risk potential and inform wildland fire management of typical WUI areas in Greece.

  4. Wildfire risk assessment in a typical Mediterranean wildland-urban interface of Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitsopoulos, Ioannis; Mallinis, Giorgos; Arianoutsou, Margarita

    2015-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess spatial wildfire risk in a typical Mediterranean wildland-urban interface (WUI) in Greece and the potential effect of three different burning condition scenarios on the following four major wildfire risk components: burn probability, conditional flame length, fire size, and source-sink ratio. We applied the Minimum Travel Time fire simulation algorithm using the FlamMap and ArcFuels tools to characterize the potential response of the wildfire risk to a range of different burning scenarios. We created site-specific fuel models of the study area by measuring the field fuel parameters in representative natural fuel complexes, and we determined the spatial extent of the different fuel types and residential structures in the study area using photointerpretation procedures of large scale natural color orthophotographs. The results included simulated spatially explicit fire risk components along with wildfire risk exposure analysis and the expected net value change. Statistical significance differences in simulation outputs between the scenarios were obtained using Tukey's significance test. The results of this study provide valuable information for decision support systems for short-term predictions of wildfire risk potential and inform wildland fire management of typical WUI areas in Greece.

  5. Advancing effects analysis for integrated, large-scale wildfire risk assessment

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    Matthew P. Thompson; David E. Calkin; Julie W. Gilbertson-Day; Alan A. Ager

    2011-01-01

    In this article, we describe the design and development of a quantitative, geospatial risk assessment tool intended to facilitate monitoring trends in wildfire risk over time and to provide information useful in prioritizing fuels treatments and mitigation measures. The research effort is designed to develop, from a strategic view, a first approximation of how both...

  6. Wildfire risk as a socioecological pathology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, A. Paige; Spies, Thomas A; Steelman, Toddi A; Moseley, Cassandra; Johnson, Bart R.; Bailey, John D.; Ager, Alan A; Bourgeron, Patrick S.; Charnley, Susan; Collins, Brandon M.; Kline, Jeffrey D; Leahy, Jessica E; Littell, Jeremy; Millington, James D. A.; Nielsen-Pincus, Max; Olsen, Christine S; Paveglio, Travis B; Roos, Christopher I.; Steen-Adams, Michelle M; Stevens, Forrest R; Vukomanovic, Jelena; White, Eric M; Bowman, David M J S

    2016-01-01

    Wildfire risk in temperate forests has become a nearly intractable problem that can be characterized as a socioecological “pathology”: that is, a set of complex and problematic interactions among social and ecological systems across multiple spatial and temporal scales. Assessments of wildfire risk could benefit from recognizing and accounting for these interactions in terms of socioecological systems, also known as coupled natural and human systems (CNHS). We characterize the primary social and ecological dimensions of the wildfire risk pathology, paying particular attention to the governance system around wildfire risk, and suggest strategies to mitigate the pathology through innovative planning approaches, analytical tools, and policies. We caution that even with a clear understanding of the problem and possible solutions, the system by which human actors govern fire-prone forests may evolve incrementally in imperfect ways and can be expected to resist change even as we learn better ways to manage CNHS.

  7. Assessing Watershed-Wildfire Risks on National Forest System Lands in the Rocky Mountain Region of the United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica R. Haas

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Wildfires can cause significant negative impacts to water quality with resultant consequences for the environment and human health and safety, as well as incurring substantial rehabilitation and water treatment costs. In this paper we will illustrate how state-of-the-art wildfire simulation modeling and geospatial risk assessment methods can be brought to bear to identify and prioritize at-risk watersheds for risk mitigation treatments, in both pre-fire and post-fire planning contexts. Risk assessment results can be particularly useful for prioritizing management of hazardous fuels to lessen the severity and likely impacts of future wildfires, where budgetary and other constraints limit the amount of area that can be treated. Specifically we generate spatially resolved estimates of wildfire likelihood and intensity, and couple that information with spatial data on watershed location and watershed erosion potential to quantify watershed exposure and risk. For a case study location we focus on National Forest System lands in the Rocky Mountain Region of the United States. The Region houses numerous watersheds that are critically important to drinking water supplies and that have been impacted or threatened by large wildfires in recent years. Assessment results are the culmination of a broader multi-year science-management partnership intended to have direct bearing on wildfire management decision processes in the Region. Our results suggest substantial variation in the exposure of and likely effects to highly valued watersheds throughout the Region, which carry significant implications for prioritization. In particular we identified the San Juan National Forest as having the highest concentration of at-risk highly valued watersheds, as well as the greatest amount of risk that can be mitigated via hazardous fuel reduction treatments. To conclude we describe future opportunities and challenges for management of wildfire-watershed interactions.

  8. Development and application of a geospatial wildfire exposure and risk calculation tool

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    Matthew P. Thompson; Jessica R. Haas; Julie W. Gilbertson-Day; Joe H. Scott; Paul Langowski; Elise Bowne; David E. Calkin

    2015-01-01

    Applying wildfire risk assessment models can inform investments in loss mitigation and landscape restoration, and can be used to monitor spatiotemporal trends in risk. Assessing wildfire risk entails the integration of fire modeling outputs, maps of highly valued resources and assets (HVRAs), characterization of fire effects, and articulation of relative importance...

  9. Application of Wildfire Risk Assessment Results to Wildfire Response Planning in the Southern Sierra Nevada, California, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew P. Thompson

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  10. Assessing influences on social vulnerability to wildfire using surveys, spatial data and wildfire simulations.

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    Paveglio, Travis B; Edgeley, Catrin M; Stasiewicz, Amanda M

    2018-05-01

    A growing body of research focuses on identifying patterns among human populations most at risk from hazards such as wildfire and the factors that help explain performance of mitigations that can help reduce that risk. Emerging policy surrounding wildfire management emphasizes the need to better understand such social vulnerability-or human populations' potential exposure to and sensitivity from wildfire-related impacts, including their ability to reduce negative impacts from the hazard. Studies of social vulnerability to wildfire often pair secondary demographic data with a variety of vegetation and wildfire simulation models to map potential risk. However, many of the assumptions made by those researchers about the demographic, spatial or perceptual factors that influence social vulnerability to wildfire have not been fully evaluated or tested against objective measures of potential wildfire risk. The research presented here utilizes self-reported surveys, GIS data, and wildfire simulations to test the relationships between select perceptual, demographic, and property characteristics of property owners against empirically simulated metrics for potential wildfire related damages or exposure. We also evaluate how those characteristics relate to property owners' performance of mitigations or support for fire management. Our results suggest that parcel characteristics provide the most significant explanation of variability in wildfire exposure, sensitivity and overall wildfire risk, while the positive relationship between income or property values and components of social vulnerability stands in contrast to typical assumptions from existing literature. Respondents' views about agency or government management helped explain a significant amount of variance in wildfire sensitivity, while the importance of wildfire risk in selecting a residence was an important influence on mitigation action. We use these and other results from our effort to discuss updated

  11. Assessing Climate Change Impacts on Wildfire Exposure in Mediterranean Areas.

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    Lozano, Olga M; Salis, Michele; Ager, Alan A; Arca, Bachisio; Alcasena, Fermin J; Monteiro, Antonio T; Finney, Mark A; Del Giudice, Liliana; Scoccimarro, Enrico; Spano, Donatella

    2017-10-01

    We used simulation modeling to assess potential climate change impacts on wildfire exposure in Italy and Corsica (France). Weather data were obtained from a regional climate model for the period 1981-2070 using the IPCC A1B emissions scenario. Wildfire simulations were performed with the minimum travel time fire spread algorithm using predicted fuel moisture, wind speed, and wind direction to simulate expected changes in weather for three climatic periods (1981-2010, 2011-2040, and 2041-2070). Overall, the wildfire simulations showed very slight changes in flame length, while other outputs such as burn probability and fire size increased significantly in the second future period (2041-2070), especially in the southern portion of the study area. The projected changes fuel moisture could result in a lengthening of the fire season for the entire study area. This work represents the first application in Europe of a methodology based on high resolution (250 m) landscape wildfire modeling to assess potential impacts of climate changes on wildfire exposure at a national scale. The findings can provide information and support in wildfire management planning and fire risk mitigation activities. © 2016 Society for Risk Analysis.

  12. Assessing the hydrologic response to wildfires in mountainous regions

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    Havel, Aaron; Tasdighi, Ali; Arabi, Mazdak

    2018-04-01

    This study aims to understand the hydrologic responses to wildfires in mountainous regions at various spatial scales. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to evaluate the hydrologic responses of the upper Cache la Poudre Watershed in Colorado to the 2012 High Park and Hewlett wildfire events. A baseline SWAT model was established to simulate the hydrology of the study area between the years 2000 and 2014. A procedure involving land use and curve number updating was implemented to assess the effects of wildfires. Application of the proposed procedure provides the ability to simulate the hydrologic response to wildfires seamlessly through mimicking the dynamic of the changes due to wildfires. The wildfire effects on curve numbers were determined comparing the probability distribution of curve numbers after calibrating the model for pre- and post-wildfire conditions. Daily calibration and testing of the model produced very good results. No-wildfire and wildfire scenarios were created and compared to quantify changes in average annual total runoff volume, water budgets, and full streamflow statistics at different spatial scales. At the watershed scale, wildfire conditions showed little impact on the hydrologic responses. However, a runoff increase up to 75 % was observed between the scenarios in sub-watersheds with high burn intensity. Generally, higher surface runoff and decreased subsurface flow were observed under post-wildfire conditions. Flow duration curves developed for burned sub-watersheds using full streamflow statistics showed that less frequent streamflows become greater in magnitude. A linear regression model was developed to assess the relationship between percent burned area and runoff increase in Cache la Poudre Watershed. A strong (R2 > 0.8) and significant (p statistics through application of flow duration curves revealed that the wildfires had a higher effect on peak flows, which may increase the risk of flash floods in post-wildfire

  13. Mitigation of wildfire risk by homeowners

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    Hannah Brenkert; Patricia Champ; Nicholas Flores

    2005-01-01

    In-depth interviews conducted with homeowners in Larimer County's Wildland-Urban Interface revealed that homeowners face difficult decisions regarding the implementation of wildfire mitigation measures. Perceptions of wildfire mitigation options may be as important as perceptions of wildfire risk in determining likelihood of implementation. These mitigation...

  14. A global assessment of wildfire risks to human and environmental water security

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    Robinne, François-Nicolas; Parisien, Marc-André; Flannigan, Mike; Miller, Carol; Bladon, Kevin D.

    2017-04-01

    Extreme wildfire events extensively affect hydrosystem stability and generate an important threat to the reliability of the water supply for human and natural communities. While actively studied at the watershed scale, the development of a global vision of wildfire risk to water security has only been undertaken recently, pointing at potential water security concerns in an era of global changes. In order to address this concern, we propose a global-scale analysis of the wildfire risk to surface water supplies based on the Driving forces-Pressures-States-Impacts-Responses (DPSIR) framework. This framework relies on the cause-and-effect relationships existing between the five categories of the DPSIR chain. Based on the literature, we gathered an extensive set of spatial indicators relevant to fire-induced hydrological hazards and water consumption patterns by human and natural communities. Each indicator was assigned a DPSIR category. Then, we collapsed the information in each category using a principal component analysis in order to extract the most relevant pixel-based information provided by each spatial indicator. Finally, we compiled our five categories using an additive indexation process to produce a spatially-explicit index of the wildfire-water risk (WWR). For comparison purposes, we aggregated index scores by global hydrological regions, or hydrobelts, for analysis. Overall, our results show a distinct pattern of medium-to-high risk levels in areas where sizeable wildfire activity, water resources, and water consumption are concomitant, which mainly encompasses temperate and sub-tropical zones. A closer look at hydrobelts reveals differences in the factors driving the risk, with fire activity being the primary factor of risk in the circumboreal forest, and freshwater resource density being prevalent in tropical areas. We also identified major urban areas across the world whose source waters should be protected from extreme fire events, particularly when

  15. Wildfire Risk Management: Challenges and Opportunities

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    Thompson, M.; Calkin, D. E.; Hand, M. S.; Kreitler, J.

    2014-12-01

    In this presentation we address federal wildfire risk management largely through the lens of economics, targeting questions related to costs, effectiveness, efficiency, and tradeoffs. Beyond risks to resources and assets such as wildlife habitat, watersheds, and homes, wildfires present financial risk and budgetary instability for federal wildfire management agencies due to highly variable annual suppression costs. Despite its variability, the costs of wildfire management have continued to escalate and account for an ever-growing share of overall agency budgets, compromising abilities to attain other objectives related to forest health, recreation, timber management, etc. Trends associated with a changing climate and human expansion into fire-prone areas could lead to additional suppression costs in the future, only further highlighting the need for an ability to evaluate economic tradeoffs in investments across the wildfire management spectrum. Critically, these economic analyses need to accurately capture the complex spatial and stochastic aspects of wildfire, the inherent uncertainty associated with monetizing environmental impacts of wildfire, the costs and effectiveness of alternative management policies, and linkages between pre-fire investments and active incident management. Investing in hazardous fuels reduction and forest restoration in particular is a major policy lever for pre-fire risk mitigation, and will be a primary focus of our presentation. Evaluating alternative fuel management and suppression policies could provide opportunities for significant efficiency improvements in the development of risk-informed management fire management strategies. Better understanding tradeoffs of fire impacts and costs can help inform policy questions such as how much of the landscape to treat and how to balance investments in treating new areas versus maintaining previous investments. We will summarize current data needs, knowledge gaps, and other factors

  16. ArcFuels: an ArcMap toolbar for fuel treatment planning and wildfire risk assessment

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    Nicole M. Vaillant; Alan A. Ager

    2014-01-01

    Fire behavior modeling and geospatial analysis can provide tremendous insight to land managers in defining both the benefits and potential impacts of fuel treatments in the context of land management goals and public expectations. ArcFuels is a streamlined fuel management planning and wildfire risk assessment system that creates a trans-scale (stand to large landscape...

  17. Integrating pixel- and polygon-based approaches to wildfire risk assessment: Application to a high-value watershed on the Pike and San Isabel National Forests, Colorado, USA

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    Matthew P. Thompson; Julie W. Gilbertson-Day; Joe H. Scott

    2015-01-01

    We develop a novel risk assessment approach that integrates complementary, yet distinct, spatial modeling approaches currently used in wildfire risk assessment. Motivation for this work stems largely from limitations of existing stochastic wildfire simulation systems, which can generate pixel-based outputs of fire behavior as well as polygon-based outputs of simulated...

  18. A Monte Carlo Approach to Modeling Wildfire Risk on Changing Landscapes

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    Burzynski, A. M.; Beavers, A.

    2016-12-01

    The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) maintains approximately 28 million acres of land across 420 of their largest installations. These sites harbored 425 federally listed Threatened and Endangered species as of 2013, representing a density of rare species that is several times greater than any other land management agency in the U.S. This is a major driver of DoD natural resources policy and many of these species are affected by wildland fire, both positively and negatively. Military installations collectively experience thousands of wildfires per year, and the majority of ignitions are caused by mission and training activities that can be planned to accommodate fire risk. Motivated by the need for accurately modeled wildfire under the unique land-use conditions of military installations and the assessment of risk exposure at installations throughout the U.S., we developed custom, FARSITE-based scientific software that applies a Monte Carlo approach to wildfire risk analysis. This simulation accounts for the dynamics of vegetation and weather over time, as well as the spatial and temporal distribution of wildfire ignitions, and can be applied to landscapes up to several million acres in size. The data-driven simulation provides insight that feeds directly into mitigation decision-making and can be used to assess future risk scenarios, both real and hypothetical. We highlight an example of a future scenario comparing wildfire behavior between unmitigated fuels and one in which a prescribed burn program is implemented. The same process can be used for a variety of scenarios including changes in vegetation (e.g. new or altered grazing regimes, extreme weather, or drought) and changes in spatiotemporal ignition probability. The modeling capabilities that we apply to predicting wildfire risk on military lands are also relevant to the greater scientific community for modeling wildland fire in the context of environmental change, historical ecology, or climate change.

  19. Risk preferences in strategic wildfire decision making: A choice experiment with U.S. wildfire managers

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    Matthew J. Wibbenmeyer; Michael S. Hand; David E. Calkin; Tyron J. Venn; Matthew P. Thompson

    2013-01-01

    Federal policy has embraced risk management as an appropriate paradigm for wildfire management. Economic theory suggests that over repeated wildfire events, potential economic costs and risks of ecological damage are optimally balanced when management decisions are free from biases, risk aversion, and risk seeking. Of primary concern in this article is how managers...

  20. Risk preferences, probability weighting, and strategy tradeoffs in wildfire management

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    Michael S. Hand; Matthew J. Wibbenmeyer; Dave Calkin; Matthew P. Thompson

    2015-01-01

    Wildfires present a complex applied risk management environment, but relatively little attention has been paid to behavioral and cognitive responses to risk among public agency wildfire managers. This study investigates responses to risk, including probability weighting and risk aversion, in a wildfire management context using a survey-based experiment administered to...

  1. Coupling the Biophysical and Social Dimensions of Wildfire Risk to Improve Wildfire Mitigation Planning.

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    Ager, Alan A; Kline, Jeffrey D; Fischer, A Paige

    2015-08-01

    We describe recent advances in biophysical and social aspects of risk and their potential combined contribution to improve mitigation planning on fire-prone landscapes. The methods and tools provide an improved method for defining the spatial extent of wildfire risk to communities compared to current planning processes. They also propose an expanded role for social science to improve understanding of community-wide risk perceptions and to predict property owners' capacities and willingness to mitigate risk by treating hazardous fuels and reducing the susceptibility of dwellings. In particular, we identify spatial scale mismatches in wildfire mitigation planning and their potential adverse impact on risk mitigation goals. Studies in other fire-prone regions suggest that these scale mismatches are widespread and contribute to continued wildfire dwelling losses. We discuss how risk perceptions and behavior contribute to scale mismatches and how they can be minimized through integrated analyses of landscape wildfire transmission and social factors that describe the potential for collaboration among landowners and land management agencies. These concepts are then used to outline an integrated socioecological planning framework to identify optimal strategies for local community risk mitigation and improve landscape-scale prioritization of fuel management investments by government entities. © 2015 Society for Risk Analysis.

  2. Carbon recovery rates following different wildfire risk mitigation treatments

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. Hurteau; M. North

    2010-01-01

    Sequestered forest carbon can provide a climate change mitigation benefit, but in dry temperate forests, wildfire poses a reversal risk to carbon offset projects. Reducing wildfire risk requires a reduction in and redistribution of carbon stocks, the benefit of which is only realized when wildfire occurs. To estimate the time needed to recover carbon removed and...

  3. Wildfire communication and climate risk mitigation

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    Robyn S. Wilson; Sarah M. McCaffrey; Eric. Toman

    2017-01-01

    Throughout the late 19th century and most of the 20th century, risks associated with wildfire were addressed by suppressing fires as quickly as possible. However, by the 1960s, it became clear that fire exclusion policies were having adverse effects on ecological health, as well as contributing to larger and more damaging wildfires over time. Although federal fire...

  4. Assessing wildfire occurrence probability in Pinus pinaster Ait. stands in Portugal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marques, S.; Garcia-Gonzalo, J.; Botequim, B.; Ricardo, A.; Borges, J. G.; Tome, M.; Oliveira, M. M.

    2012-11-01

    Maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.) is an important conifer from the western Mediterranean Basin extending over 22% of the forest area in Portugal. In the last three decades nearly 4% of Maritime pine area has been burned by wildfires. Yet no wildfire occurrence probability models are available and forest and fire management planning activities are thus carried out mostly independently of each other. This paper presents research to address this gap. Specifically, it presents a model to assess wildfire occurrence probability in regular and pure Maritime pine stands in Portugal. Emphasis was in developing a model based on easily available inventory data so that it might be useful to forest managers. For that purpose, data from the last two Portuguese National Forest Inventories (NFI) and data from wildfire perimeters in the years from 1998 to 2004 and from 2006 to 2007 were used. A binary logistic regression model was build using biometrics data from the NFI. Biometric data included indicators that might be changed by operations prescribed in forest planning. Results showed that the probability of wildfire occurrence in a stand increases in stand located at steeper slopes and with high shrubs load while it decreases with precipitation and with stand basal area. These results are instrumental for assessing the impact of forest management options on wildfire probability thus helping forest managers to reduce the risk of wildfires. (Author) 57 refs.

  5. Examining alternative fuel management strategies and the relative contribution of National Forest System land to wildfire risk to adjacent homes - A pilot assessment on the Sierra National Forest, California, USA

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    Joe H. Scott; Matthew P. Thompson; Julie W. Gilbertson-Day

    2016-01-01

    Determining the degree of risk that wildfires pose to homes, where across the landscape the risk originates, and who can best mitigate risk are integral elements of effective co-management of wildfire risk. Developing assessments and tools to help provide this information is a high priority for federal land management agencies such as the US Forest Service (...

  6. Provision of a wildfire risk map: informing residents in the wildland urban interface.

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    Mozumder, Pallab; Helton, Ryan; Berrens, Robert P

    2009-11-01

    Wildfires in the wildland urban interface (WUI) are an increasing concern throughout the western United States and elsewhere. WUI communities continue to grow and thus increase the wildfire risk to human lives and property. Information such as a wildfire risk map can inform WUI residents of potential risks and may help to efficiently sort mitigation efforts. This study uses the survey-based contingent valuation (CV) method to examine annual household willingness to pay (WTP) for the provision of a wildfire risk map. Data were collected through a mail survey of the East Mountain WUI area in the State of New Mexico (USA). The integrated empirical approach includes a system of equations that involves joint estimation of WTP values, along with measures of a respondent's risk perception and risk mitigation behavior. The median estimated WTP is around U.S. $12 for the annual wildfire risk map, which covers at least the costs of producing and distributing available risk information. Further, providing a wildfire risk map can help address policy goals emphasizing information gathering and sharing among stakeholders to mitigate the effects of wildfires.

  7. Application of wildfire simulation models for risk analysis

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    Ager, A.; Finney, M.

    2009-04-01

    lakes showed markedly reduced BP. When wildfire probabilities were combined with habitat loss functions for the Northern spotted owl, we observed expected loss from a random wildfire event ranging from 0.0 to 9.4% with a mean value of 1.5%. Expected loss was strongly correlated with BP for owl habitat, apparently because fires at very low intensities caused understory mortality and reduced stand canopy closure below minimum levels. The effect of simulating strategic fuel treatments on a subunit of the area resulted in significant decrease in expected loss of owl habitat. The effect of changing weather from a severe to mild (97th to 70th) percentile weather resulted in a dramatic 8-fold drop in BP and reduced the average wildfire size. However, the reduction was not uniform with the departures well correlated with specific fuel models. In total, this work demonstrated the application of wildfire spread models to quantitative risk assessment for fuels management on federally-managed lands in the U.S. The analyses revealed spatial variation in BP that is useful in prioritizing fuels treatments and guiding other wildfire mitigation activities. The work also illuminated the conflict between biodiversity conservation efforts on federally-managed lands and the high wildfire risk on fire-prone landscapes.

  8. Assessing Landscape Scale Wildfire Exposure for Highly Valued Resources in a Mediterranean Area

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    Alcasena, Fermín J.; Salis, Michele; Ager, Alan A.; Arca, Bachisio; Molina, Domingo; Spano, Donatella

    2015-05-01

    We used a fire simulation modeling approach to assess landscape scale wildfire exposure for highly valued resources and assets (HVR) on a fire-prone area of 680 km2 located in central Sardinia, Italy. The study area was affected by several wildfires in the last half century: some large and intense fire events threatened wildland urban interfaces as well as other socioeconomic and cultural values. Historical wildfire and weather data were used to inform wildfire simulations, which were based on the minimum travel time algorithm as implemented in FlamMap. We simulated 90,000 fires that replicated recent large fire events in the area spreading under severe weather conditions to generate detailed maps of wildfire likelihood and intensity. Then, we linked fire modeling outputs to a geospatial risk assessment framework focusing on buffer areas around HVR. The results highlighted a large variation in burn probability and fire intensity in the vicinity of HVRs, and allowed us to identify the areas most exposed to wildfires and thus to a higher potential damage. Fire intensity in the HVR buffers was mainly related to fuel types, while wind direction, topographic features, and historically based ignition pattern were the key factors affecting fire likelihood. The methodology presented in this work can have numerous applications, in the study area and elsewhere, particularly to address and inform fire risk management, landscape planning and people safety on the vicinity of HVRs.

  9. Assessing landscape scale wildfire exposure for highly valued resources in a Mediterranean area.

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    Alcasena, Fermín J; Salis, Michele; Ager, Alan A; Arca, Bachisio; Molina, Domingo; Spano, Donatella

    2015-05-01

    We used a fire simulation modeling approach to assess landscape scale wildfire exposure for highly valued resources and assets (HVR) on a fire-prone area of 680 km(2) located in central Sardinia, Italy. The study area was affected by several wildfires in the last half century: some large and intense fire events threatened wildland urban interfaces as well as other socioeconomic and cultural values. Historical wildfire and weather data were used to inform wildfire simulations, which were based on the minimum travel time algorithm as implemented in FlamMap. We simulated 90,000 fires that replicated recent large fire events in the area spreading under severe weather conditions to generate detailed maps of wildfire likelihood and intensity. Then, we linked fire modeling outputs to a geospatial risk assessment framework focusing on buffer areas around HVR. The results highlighted a large variation in burn probability and fire intensity in the vicinity of HVRs, and allowed us to identify the areas most exposed to wildfires and thus to a higher potential damage. Fire intensity in the HVR buffers was mainly related to fuel types, while wind direction, topographic features, and historically based ignition pattern were the key factors affecting fire likelihood. The methodology presented in this work can have numerous applications, in the study area and elsewhere, particularly to address and inform fire risk management, landscape planning and people safety on the vicinity of HVRs.

  10. Risk preferences in strategic wildfire decision making: a choice experiment with U.S. wildfire managers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wibbenmeyer, Matthew J; Hand, Michael S; Calkin, David E; Venn, Tyron J; Thompson, Matthew P

    2013-06-01

    Federal policy has embraced risa management as an appropriate paradigm for wildfire management. Economic theory suggests that over repeated wildfire events, potential economic costs and risas of ecological damage are optimally balanced when management decisions are free from biases, risa aversion, and risa seeking. Of primary concern in this article is how managers respond to wildfire risa, including the potential effect of wildfires (on ecological values, structures, and safety) and the likelihood of different fire outcomes. We use responses to a choice experiment questionnaire of U.S. federal wildfire managers to measure attitudes toward several components of wildfire risa and to test whether observed risa attitudes are consistent with the efficient allocation of wildfire suppression resources. Our results indicate that fire managers' decisions are consistent with nonexpected utility theories of decisions under risa. Managers may overallocate firefighting resources when the likelihood or potential magnitude of damage from fires is low, and sensitivity to changes in the probability of fire outcomes depends on whether probabilities are close to one or zero and the magnitude of the potential harm. © 2012 Society for Risk Analysis.

  11. Risk Preferences, Probability Weighting, and Strategy Tradeoffs in Wildfire Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hand, Michael S; Wibbenmeyer, Matthew J; Calkin, David E; Thompson, Matthew P

    2015-10-01

    Wildfires present a complex applied risk management environment, but relatively little attention has been paid to behavioral and cognitive responses to risk among public agency wildfire managers. This study investigates responses to risk, including probability weighting and risk aversion, in a wildfire management context using a survey-based experiment administered to federal wildfire managers. Respondents were presented with a multiattribute lottery-choice experiment where each lottery is defined by three outcome attributes: expenditures for fire suppression, damage to private property, and exposure of firefighters to the risk of aviation-related fatalities. Respondents choose one of two strategies, each of which includes "good" (low cost/low damage) and "bad" (high cost/high damage) outcomes that occur with varying probabilities. The choice task also incorporates an information framing experiment to test whether information about fatality risk to firefighters alters managers' responses to risk. Results suggest that managers exhibit risk aversion and nonlinear probability weighting, which can result in choices that do not minimize expected expenditures, property damage, or firefighter exposure. Information framing tends to result in choices that reduce the risk of aviation fatalities, but exacerbates nonlinear probability weighting. © 2015 Society for Risk Analysis.

  12. Probabilistic assessment of wildfire hazard and municipal watershed exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joe Scott; Don Helmbrecht; Matthew P. Thompson; David E. Calkin; Kate Marcille

    2012-01-01

    The occurrence of wildfires within municipal watersheds can result in significant impacts to water quality and ultimately human health and safety. In this paper, we illustrate the application of geospatial analysis and burn probability modeling to assess the exposure of municipal watersheds to wildfire. Our assessment of wildfire exposure consists of two primary...

  13. The Impact of CO2-Driven Vegetation Changes on Wildfire Risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, C. B.; Poulsen, C. J.

    2017-12-01

    While wildfires are a key component of natural ecological restoration and succession, they also pose tremendous risks to human life, health, and property. Wildfire frequency is expected to increase in many regions as the radiative effects of elevated CO2 drive warmer surface air temperatures, earlier spring snow melt, and more frequent meteorological drought. However, high CO2 concentrations will also directly impact vegetation growth and physiology, potentially altering wildfire characteristics through changes in fuel amount and surface hydrology. Depending on the biome and time of year, these vegetation-driven responses may mitigate or enhance radiative-driven wildfire changes. In this study, we use a suite of earth system models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 with active biogeophysics and biogeochemistry to understand how the vegetation response to high CO2 (CO2 quadrupling) contributes to future changes in wildfire risk across the globe. Across the models, projected CO2 fertilization enhances aboveground biomass (about a 30% leaf area index (LAI) increase averaged across the globe) during the spring and summer months, increasing the availability of wildfire fuel across all biomes. Despite greater LAI, models robustly project widespread reductions in summer season transpiration (about -15% averaged across the globe) in response to reduced stomatal conductance from CO2 physiological forcing. Reduced transpiration warms summer season near surface temperatures and lowers relative humidity across vegetated regions of the mid-to-high latitudes, heightening the risk of wildfire occurrence. However, as transpiration goes down in response to greater plant water use efficiency, a larger fraction of soil water remains in the soil, potentially halting the spread of wildfires in some regions. Given the myriad ways in which the vegetation response to CO2 may alter wildfire risk, and the robustness of the responses across models, an explicit simulation of

  14. Living in a tinderbox: wildfire risk perceptions and mitigating behaviours

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patricia A. Champ; Geoffrey H. Donovan; Christopher M. Barth

    2013-01-01

    The loss of homes to wildfires is an important issue in the USA and other countries. Yet many homeowners living in fire-prone areas do not undertake mitigating actions, such as clearing vegetation, to decrease the risk of losing their home. To better understand the complexity of wildfire risk-mitigation decisions and the role of perceived risk, we conducted a survey of...

  15. Catching fire? Social interactions, beliefs, and wildfire risk mitigation behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katherine Dickinson; Hannah Brenkert-Smith; Patricia Champ; Nicholas Flores

    2015-01-01

    Social interactions are widely recognized as a potential influence on risk-related behaviors. We present a mediation model in which social interactions (classified as formal/informal and generic-fire-specific) are associated with beliefs about wildfire risk and mitigation options, which in turn shape wildfire mitigation behaviors. We test this model using survey data...

  16. Estimation of wildfire size and risk changes due to fuels treatments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochrane, M.A.; Moran, C.J.; Wimberly, M.C.; Baer, A.D.; Finney, M.A.; Beckendorf, K.L.; Eidenshink, J.; Zhu, Z.

    2012-01-01

    Human land use practices, altered climates, and shifting forest and fire management policies have increased the frequency of large wildfires several-fold. Mitigation of potential fire behaviour and fire severity have increasingly been attempted through pre-fire alteration of wildland fuels using mechanical treatments and prescribed fires. Despite annual treatment of more than a million hectares of land, quantitative assessments of the effectiveness of existing fuel treatments at reducing the size of actual wildfires or how they might alter the risk of burning across landscapes are currently lacking. Here, we present a method for estimating spatial probabilities of burning as a function of extant fuels treatments for any wildland fire-affected landscape. We examined the landscape effects of more than 72 000 ha of wildland fuel treatments involved in 14 large wildfires that burned 314 000 ha of forests in nine US states between 2002 and 2010. Fuels treatments altered the probability of fire occurrence both positively and negatively across landscapes, effectively redistributing fire risk by changing surface fire spread rates and reducing the likelihood of crowning behaviour. Trade offs are created between formation of large areas with low probabilities of increased burning and smaller, well-defined regions with reduced fire risk.

  17. Coupling of Bayesian Networks with GIS for wildfire risk assessment on natural and agricultural areas of the Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherb, Anke; Papakosta, Panagiota; Straub, Daniel

    2014-05-01

    Wildfires cause severe damages to ecosystems, socio-economic assets, and human lives in the Mediterranean. To facilitate coping with wildfire risks, an understanding of the factors influencing wildfire occurrence and behavior (e.g. human activity, weather conditions, topography, fuel loads) and their interaction is of importance, as is the implementation of this knowledge in improved wildfire hazard and risk prediction systems. In this project, a probabilistic wildfire risk prediction model is developed, with integrated fire occurrence and fire propagation probability and potential impact prediction on natural and cultivated areas. Bayesian Networks (BNs) are used to facilitate the probabilistic modeling. The final BN model is a spatial-temporal prediction system at the meso scale (1 km2 spatial and 1 day temporal resolution). The modeled consequences account for potential restoration costs and production losses referred to forests, agriculture, and (semi-) natural areas. BNs and a geographic information system (GIS) are coupled within this project to support a semi-automated BN model parameter learning and the spatial-temporal risk prediction. The coupling also enables the visualization of prediction results by means of daily maps. The BN parameters are learnt for Cyprus with data from 2006-2009. Data from 2010 is used as validation data set. A special focus is put on the performance evaluation of the BN for fire occurrence, which is modeled as binary classifier and thus, could be validated by means of Receiver Operator Characteristic (ROC) curves. With the final best models, AUC values of more than 70% for validation could be achieved, which indicates potential for reliable prediction performance via BN. Maps of selected days in 2010 are shown to illustrate final prediction results. The resulting system can be easily expanded to predict additional expected damages in the mesoscale (e.g. building and infrastructure damages). The system can support planning of

  18. Increased Wildfire Risk Driven by Climate and Development Interactions in the Bolivian Chiquitania, Southern Amazonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devisscher, Tahia; Anderson, Liana O; Aragão, Luiz E O C; Galván, Luis; Malhi, Yadvinder

    2016-01-01

    Wildfires are becoming increasingly dominant in tropical landscapes due to reinforcing feedbacks between land cover change and more severe dry conditions. This study focused on the Bolivian Chiquitania, a region located at the southern edge of Amazonia. The extensive, unique and well-conserved tropical dry forest in this region is susceptible to wildfires due to a marked seasonality. We used a novel approach to assess fire risk at the regional level driven by different development trajectories interacting with changing climatic conditions. Possible future risk scenarios were simulated using maximum entropy modelling with presence-only data, combining land cover, anthropogenic and climatic variables. We found that important determinants of fire risk in the region are distance to roads, recent deforestation and density of human settlements. Severely dry conditions alone increased the area of high fire risk by 69%, affecting all categories of land use and land cover. Interactions between extreme dry conditions and rapid frontier expansion further increased fire risk, resulting in potential biomass loss of 2.44±0.8 Tg in high risk area, about 1.8 times higher than the estimates for the 2010 drought. These interactions showed particularly high fire risk in land used for 'extensive cattle ranching', 'agro-silvopastoral use' and 'intensive cattle ranching and agriculture'. These findings have serious implications for subsistence activities and the economy in the Chiquitania, which greatly depend on the forestry, agriculture and livestock sectors. Results are particularly concerning if considering the current development policies promoting frontier expansion. Departmental protected areas inhibited wildfires when strategically established in areas of high risk, even under drought conditions. However, further research is needed to assess their effectiveness accounting for more specific contextual factors. This novel and simple modelling approach can inform fire and land

  19. Creating a spatially-explicit index: a method for assessing the global wildfire-water risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinne, François-Nicolas; Parisien, Marc-André; Flannigan, Mike; Miller, Carol; Bladon, Kevin D.

    2017-04-01

    The wildfire-water risk (WWR) has been defined as the potential for wildfires to adversely affect water resources that are important for downstream ecosystems and human water needs for adequate water quantity and quality, therefore compromising the security of their water supply. While tools and methods are numerous for watershed-scale risk analysis, the development of a toolbox for the large-scale evaluation of the wildfire risk to water security has only started recently. In order to provide managers and policy-makers with an adequate tool, we implemented a method for the spatial analysis of the global WWR based on the Driving forces-Pressures-States-Impacts-Responses (DPSIR) framework. This framework relies on the cause-and-effect relationships existing between the five categories of the DPSIR chain. As this approach heavily relies on data, we gathered an extensive set of spatial indicators relevant to fire-induced hydrological hazards and water consumption patterns by human and natural communities. When appropriate, we applied a hydrological routing function to our indicators in order to simulate downstream accumulation of potentially harmful material. Each indicator was then assigned a DPSIR category. We collapsed the information in each category using a principal component analysis in order to extract the most relevant pixel-based information provided by each spatial indicator. Finally, we compiled our five categories using an additive indexation process to produce a spatially-explicit index of the WWR. A thorough sensitivity analysis has been performed in order to understand the relationship between the final risk values and the spatial pattern of each category used during the indexation. For comparison purposes, we aggregated index scores by global hydrological regions, or hydrobelts, to get a sense of regional DPSIR specificities. This rather simple method does not necessitate the use of complex physical models and provides a scalable and efficient tool

  20. Pathology of wildfire risk: A characterization of social and ecological dimensions

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. Paige Fischer; Thomas A Spies; Toddi A Steelman; Cassandra Moseley; Bart R Johnson; John D Bailey; Alan A Ager; Patrick Bourgeron; Susan Charnley; Brandon M Collins; Jeffrey D Kline; Jessica E Leahy; Jeremy S Littell; James DA Millington; Max Nielsen-Pincus; Christine S Olsen; Travis B Paveglio; Christopher I Roos; Michelle M Steen-Adams; Forrest R Stevens; Jelena Vukomanovic; Eric M White; David M. J. S. Bowman

    2016-01-01

    Despite dramatic increases in suppression spending, the risk of life and property loss associated with wildfire has continued to rise in recent decades. Economic losses from wildfires have doubled in the United States and suppression expenses have tripled between 2002 and 2012 compared to the decade prior. Loss of property to wildfire has outpaced efforts to reduce...

  1. Application of wildfire simulation methods to assess wildfire exposure in a Mediterranean fire-prone area (Sardinia, Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salis, M.; Ager, A.; Arca, B.; Finney, M.; Bacciu, V. M.; Spano, D.; Duce, P.

    2012-12-01

    Spatial and temporal patterns of fire spread and behavior are dependent on interactions among climate, topography, vegetation and fire suppression efforts (Pyne et al. 1996; Viegas 2006; Falk et al. 2007). Humans also play a key role in determining frequency and spatial distribution of ignitions (Bar Massada et al, 2011), and thus influence fire regimes as well. The growing incidence of catastrophic wildfires has led to substantial losses for important ecological and human values within many areas of the Mediterranean basin (Moreno et al. 1998; Mouillot et al. 2005; Viegas et al. 2006a; Riaño et al. 2007). The growing fire risk issue has led to many new programs and policies of fuel management and risk mitigation by environmental and fire agencies. However, risk-based methodologies to help identify areas characterized by high potential losses and prioritize fuel management have been lacking for the region. Formal risk assessment requires the joint consideration of likelihood, intensity, and susceptibility, the product of which estimates the chance of a specific loss (Brillinger 2003; Society of Risk Analysis, 2006). Quantifying fire risk therefore requires estimates of a) the probability of a specific location burning at a specific intensity and location, and b) the resulting change in financial or ecological value (Finney 2005; Scott 2006). When large fires are the primary cause of damage, the application of this risk formulation requires modeling fire spread to capture landscape properties that affect burn probability. Recently, the incorporation of large fire spread into risk assessment systems has become feasible with the development of high performance fire simulation systems (Finney et al. 2011) that permit the simulation of hundreds of thousands of fires to generate fine scale maps of burn probability, flame length, and fire size, while considering the combined effects of weather, fuels, and topography (Finney 2002; Andrews et al. 2007; Ager and Finney 2009

  2. Predicting Geomorphic and Hydrologic Risks after Wildfire Using Harmonic and Stochastic Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikesell, J.; Kinoshita, A. M.; Florsheim, J. L.; Chin, A.; Nourbakhshbeidokhti, S.

    2017-12-01

    Wildfire is a landscape-scale disturbance that often alters hydrological processes and sediment flux during subsequent storms. Vegetation loss from wildfires induce changes to sediment supply such as channel erosion and sedimentation and streamflow magnitude or flooding. These changes enhance downstream hazards, threatening human populations and physical aquatic habitat over various time scales. Using Williams Canyon, a basin burned by the Waldo Canyon Fire (2012) as a case study, we utilize deterministic and statistical modeling methods (Fourier series and first order Markov chain) to assess pre- and post-fire geomorphic and hydrologic characteristics, including of precipitation, enhanced vegetation index (EVI, a satellite-based proxy of vegetation biomass), streamflow, and sediment flux. Local precipitation, terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) scanning, and satellite-based products are used for these time series analyses. We present a framework to assess variability of periodic and nonperiodic climatic and multivariate trends to inform development of a post-wildfire risk assessment methodology. To establish the extent to which a wildfire affects hydrologic and geomorphic patterns, a Fourier series was used to fit pre- and post-fire geomorphic and hydrologic characteristics to yearly temporal cycles and subcycles of 6, 4, 3, and 2.4 months. These cycles were analyzed using least-squares estimates of the harmonic coefficients or amplitudes of each sub-cycle's contribution to fit the overall behavior of a Fourier series. The stochastic variances of these characteristics were analyzed by composing first-order Markov models and probabilistic analysis through direct likelihood estimates. Preliminary results highlight an increased dependence of monthly post-fire hydrologic characteristics on 12 and 6-month temporal cycles. This statistical and probabilistic analysis provides a basis to determine the impact of wildfires on the temporal dependence of

  3. Increased Wildfire Risk Driven by Climate and Development Interactions in the Bolivian Chiquitania, Southern Amazonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tahia Devisscher

    Full Text Available Wildfires are becoming increasingly dominant in tropical landscapes due to reinforcing feedbacks between land cover change and more severe dry conditions. This study focused on the Bolivian Chiquitania, a region located at the southern edge of Amazonia. The extensive, unique and well-conserved tropical dry forest in this region is susceptible to wildfires due to a marked seasonality. We used a novel approach to assess fire risk at the regional level driven by different development trajectories interacting with changing climatic conditions. Possible future risk scenarios were simulated using maximum entropy modelling with presence-only data, combining land cover, anthropogenic and climatic variables. We found that important determinants of fire risk in the region are distance to roads, recent deforestation and density of human settlements. Severely dry conditions alone increased the area of high fire risk by 69%, affecting all categories of land use and land cover. Interactions between extreme dry conditions and rapid frontier expansion further increased fire risk, resulting in potential biomass loss of 2.44±0.8 Tg in high risk area, about 1.8 times higher than the estimates for the 2010 drought. These interactions showed particularly high fire risk in land used for 'extensive cattle ranching', 'agro-silvopastoral use' and 'intensive cattle ranching and agriculture'. These findings have serious implications for subsistence activities and the economy in the Chiquitania, which greatly depend on the forestry, agriculture and livestock sectors. Results are particularly concerning if considering the current development policies promoting frontier expansion. Departmental protected areas inhibited wildfires when strategically established in areas of high risk, even under drought conditions. However, further research is needed to assess their effectiveness accounting for more specific contextual factors. This novel and simple modelling approach can

  4. Earth, wind, and fire: Wildfire risk perceptions in a hurricane-prone environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soren M. Newman; Matthew S. Carroll; Pamela J. Jakes; Daniel R. Williams; Lorie L. Higgins

    2014-01-01

    Wildfire is one of several potential disturbances that could have extraordinary impacts on individuals and communities in fire-prone areas. In this article we describe disturbance risk perceptions from interviews with residents in three Florida communities that face significant wildfire and hurricane risk. Although they live in areas characterized by emergency managers...

  5. Coupling the biophysical and social dimensions of wildfire risk to improve wildfire mitigation planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alan A. Ager; Jeffrey D. Kline; A. Paige Fisher

    2015-01-01

    We describe recent advances in biophysical and social aspects of risk and their potential combined contribution to improve mitigation planning on fire-prone landscapes. The methods and tools provide an improved method for defining the spatial extent of wildfire risk to communities compared to current planning processes. They also propose an expanded role for social...

  6. College's hot topics? Wildfire and Hazards' risk perception among university's population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wuerzer, T.

    2014-12-01

    This research presents a novel perspective on college students and their risk perception in a fire prone US State; Idaho. Idaho was "top #1" in burned lands by acreage in 2012 with approximate 15% of all US burned lands; in 2013 "top #2". Past studies have conducted surveys on residents in high wildfire risk communities to learn what factors make homeowners more likely to engage in mitigation activities and therefore increase communities' resiliency. This research emphasis is on a population that deals with the threat of fire but is likely less invested through property ownership and other investment of risk; yet, equally threatened in quality of life. Are college students the left-out population in the 'planning for wildfires' and its communication process? Main hypothesis is that a college population will have a different perception and awareness (and therefore mitigation actions) than i.e. residents invested in the wild land urban interface (WUI). Dominant research methodologies in past studies are identified as surveys, focus groups, or interviews focusing on homeowners in fire prone areas that have witnessed wildfire or are exposed to increasing fire risk. Yet again, research on population that has no property ownership, investments at stake, and therefore no direct monetary values associated (but potentially non-monetary), is found little to none in these studies. The university population based study and its findings offers a contrast to current literature related to these traditional residents surveys/interviews. The study's survey and interactive spatial assessment of risk perception with allocation of perceived hazards zones promotes understanding of where risk is apparent for participants. Results are used to inform agencies such as campus emergency management, regional wild fire mitigation efforts, and to enhance public communication. Lessons learned include the challenges of a comprehensive inclusion process when mitigating for hazards and building

  7. Wildfire disturbance, erosion and sedimentation risks following the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, K.; Kinoshita, A. M.; Chin, A.; Florsheim, J. L.; Nourbakhshbeidokhti, S.

    2016-12-01

    Wildfire is a landscape-scale disturbance that causes abrupt changes to hydrological responses and sediment flux during subsequent storms. Burning hillslope vegetation during wildfires induces changes to sediment supply and stream flow magnitude. Altered post-fire processes such as channel erosion and sedimentation or flooding enhance downstream hazards that may threaten human populations and physical aquatic habitat over various time scales. Using data from a small drainage basin (Williams Canyon, 4.7 km2) in the Colorado front range burned by the 2012 Waldo Fire as a case study, we investigate post-fire recovery and assess changes in fire-related risks to downstream areas. Our local ground-based precipitation, field measurements, terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) scanning together with satellite-based remote sensing data (i.e. Landsat) provide a basis for time series analyses of reach-scale erosion and sedimentation response to rainfall patterns as vegetation patterns change following the wildfire. As a first step in quantifying the likelihood and consequences of specific risk scenarios, we examine changes in the combined probability of storm flows and post-fire erosion and sedimentation as vegetation recovers within the study watershed. We explore possible feedbacks and thresholds related to vegetation-hydrology-sediment interactions following wildfire under changing climate regimes. This information is needed to assist in post-fire management to promote sustainability of wildland fluvial systems.

  8. A conceptual framework for coupling the biophysical and social dimensions of wildfire to improve fireshed planning and risk mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeff Kline; Alan A. Ager; Paige Fischer

    2015-01-01

    The need for improved methods for managing wildfire risk is becoming apparent as uncharacteristically large wildfires in the western US and elsewhere exceed government capacities for their control and suppression. We propose a coupled biophysical-social framework to managing wildfire risk that relies on wildfire simulation to identify spatial patterns of wildfire risk...

  9. Social amplification of wildfire risk: The role of social interactions and information sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannah Brenkert-Smith; Katherine L. Dickinson; Patricia A. Champ; Nicholas Flores

    2013-01-01

    Wildfire is a persistent and growing threat across much of the western United States. Understanding how people living in fire-prone areas perceive this threat is essential to the design of effective risk management policies. Drawing on the social amplification of risk framework, we develop a conceptual model of wildfire risk perceptions that incorporates the social...

  10. Incentives for Ex Ante wildfire risk mitigation in the wildland-urban interface: The relationship between contingent wildfire insurance and fuel management subsidies

    OpenAIRE

    Lankoande, Mariam D.; Yoder, Jonathan K.; Wandschneider, Philip R.

    2006-01-01

    Contingent wildfire insurance and fuel management cost-sharing programs are becoming more prevalent in western states. This paper develops a model to examine the incentive effects of these two mechanisms for private investment in wildfire risk mitigation. The model shows that contingent insurance contracts strengthen incentives for risk mitigation relative to pooled contracts and subsidies induce more risk mitigation effort by reducing margin private costs of mitigation. With pooled insurance...

  11. Wildfire risk in the wildland-urban interface: A simulation study in northwestern Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massada, Avi Bar; Radeloff, Volker C.; Stewart, Susan I.; Hawbaker, Todd J.

    2009-01-01

    The rapid growth of housing in and near the wildland–urban interface (WUI) increases wildfirerisk 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 wildfirerisk to a 60,000 ha WUI area in northwesternWisconsin 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 wildfirerisk to structures in the study area. As expected, the extreme weather conditions yielded higher burn probabilities over the entire landscape, as well as to different land cover classes and individual structures. Moreover, the spatial pattern of risk was significantly different between extreme and normal weather conditions. The results highlight the fact that extreme weather conditions not only produce higher fire risk than normal weather conditions, but also change the fine-scale locations of high risk areas in the landscape, which is of great importance for fire management in WUI areas. In addition, the choice of weather data may limit the potential for comparisons of risk maps for different areas and for extrapolating risk maps to future scenarios where weather conditions are unknown. Our approach to modeling wildfirerisk to structures can aid fire risk reduction management

  12. Assessing Wildfire Risk in Cultural Heritage Properties Using High Spatial and Temporal Resolution Satellite Imagery and Spatially Explicit Fire Simulations: The Case of Holy Mount Athos, Greece

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giorgos Mallinis

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Fire management implications and the design of conservation strategies on fire prone landscapes within the UNESCO World Heritage Properties require the application of wildfire risk assessment at landscape level. The objective of this study was to analyze the spatial variation of wildfire risk on Holy Mount Athos in Greece. Mt. Athos includes 20 monasteries and other structures that are threatened by increasing frequency of wildfires. Site-specific fuel models were created by measuring in the field several fuel parameters in representative natural fuel complexes, while the spatial extent of the fuel types was determined using a synergy of high-resolution imagery and high temporal information from medium spatial resolution imagery classified through object-based analysis and a machine learning classifier. The Minimum Travel Time (MTT algorithm, as it is embedded in FlamMap software, was applied in order to evaluate Burn Probability (BP, Conditional Flame Length (CFL, Fire Size (FS, and Source-Sink Ratio (SSR. The results revealed low burn probabilities for the monasteries; however, nine out of the 20 monasteries have high fire potential in terms of fire intensity, which means that if an ignition occurs, an intense fire is expected. The outputs of this study may be used for decision-making for short-term predictions of wildfire risk at an operational level, contributing to fire suppression and management of UNESCO World Heritage Properties.

  13. Estimating wildfire risk on a Mojave Desert landscape using remote sensing and field sampling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Linn, Peter F.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.; DeFalco, Lesley A.; Inman, Richard D.; Abella, Scott R.

    2013-01-01

    Predicting wildfires that affect broad landscapes is important for allocating suppression resources and guiding land management. Wildfire prediction in the south-western United States is of specific concern because of the increasing prevalence and severe effects of fire on desert shrublands and the current lack of accurate fire prediction tools. We developed a fire risk model to predict fire occurrence in a north-eastern Mojave Desert landscape. First we developed a spatial model using remote sensing data to predict fuel loads based on field estimates of fuels. We then modelled fire risk (interactions of fuel characteristics and environmental conditions conducive to wildfire) using satellite imagery, our model of fuel loads, and spatial data on ignition potential (lightning strikes and distance to roads), topography (elevation and aspect) and climate (maximum and minimum temperatures). The risk model was developed during a fire year at our study landscape and validated at a nearby landscape; model performance was accurate and similar at both sites. This study demonstrates that remote sensing techniques used in combination with field surveys can accurately predict wildfire risk in the Mojave Desert and may be applicable to other arid and semiarid lands where wildfires are prevalent.

  14. Is timber insurable? A study of wildfire Risks in the U.S. forest sector using spatio-temporal models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xuan Chen; Barry K. Goodwin; Jeffrey P. Prestemon

    2014-01-01

    In the U.S. forest products industry, wildfire is one of the leading causes of damage and economic losses. While individual wildfire behavior is well studied, new literature is emerging on broad-scale (e.g., county-level) wildfire risks. Our paper studies wildfire risks using crucial informational vari­ ables across both spatio units and time periods....

  15. Post-wildfire recovery of water yield in the Sydney Basin water supply catchments: An assessment of the 2001/2002 wildfires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, J. T.; Chafer, C. J.; van Ogtrop, F. F.; Bishop, T. F. A.

    2014-11-01

    Wildfire is a recurring event which has been acknowledged by the literature to impact the hydrological cycle of a catchment. Hence, wildfire may have a significant impact on water yield levels within a catchment. In Australia, studies of the effect of fire on water yield have been limited to obligate seeder vegetation communities. These communities regenerate from seed banks in the ground or within woody fruits and are generally activated by fire. In contrast, the Sydney Basin is dominated by obligate resprouter communities. These communities regenerate from fire resistant buds found on the plant and are generally found in regions where wildfire is a regular occurrence. The 2001/2002 wildfires in the Sydney Basin provided an opportunity to investigate the impacts of wildfire on water yield in a number of catchments dominated by obligate resprouting communities. The overall aim of this study was to investigate whether there was a difference in water yield post-wildfire. Four burnt subcatchments and 3 control subcatchments were assessed. A general additive model was calibrated using pre-wildfire data and then used to predict post-wildfire water yield using post-wildfire data. The model errors were analysed and it was found that the errors for all subcatchments showed similar trends for the post-wildfire period. This finding demonstrates that wildfires within the Sydney Basin have no significant medium-term impact on water yield.

  16. Research and development supporting risk-based wildfire effects prediction for fuels and fire management: Status and needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin Hyde; Matthew B. Dickinson; Gil Bohrer; David Calkin; Louisa Evers; Julie Gilbertson-Day; Tessa Nicolet; Kevin Ryan; Christina Tague

    2013-01-01

    Wildland fire management has moved beyond a singular focus on suppression, calling for wildfire management for ecological benefit where no critical human assets are at risk. Processes causing direct effects and indirect, long-term ecosystem changes are complex and multidimensional. Robust risk-assessment tools are required that account for highly variable effects on...

  17. Wildfire risk and home purchase decisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patricia Champ; Geoffrey Donovan; Christopher Barth

    2008-01-01

    In the last 20 years, wildfire damages and the costs of wildfire suppression have risen dramatically. This trend has been attributed to three main factors: climate change, increased fuel loads from a century of wildfire suppression, and increased housing development in fire-prone areas., There is little that fire managers can do about climate change, and current fuel...

  18. Appendix 2: Risk-based framework and risk case studies. Risk assessment for wildfire in the Western United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    David L. Peterson; Jeremy S. Littell

    2012-01-01

    Wildfire is one of the two most significant disturbance agents (the other being insects) in forest ecosystems of the Western United States, and in a warmer climate, will drive changes in forest composition, structure, and function (Dale et al. 2001, McKenzie et al. 2004). Although wildfire is highly stochastic in space and time, sufficient data exist to establish clear...

  19. A polygon-based modeling approach to assess exposure of resources and assets to wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew P. Thompson; Joe Scott; Jeffrey D. Kaiden; Julie W. Gilbertson-Day

    2013-01-01

    Spatially explicit burn probability modeling is increasingly applied to assess wildfire risk and inform mitigation strategy development. Burn probabilities are typically expressed on a per-pixel basis, calculated as the number of times a pixel burns divided by the number of simulation iterations. Spatial intersection of highly valued resources and assets (HVRAs) with...

  20. Development of multi-year land cover data to assess wildfire impacts to coastal watersheds and the nearshore environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Katherine D.

    In the Mediterranean ecosystems of coastal California, wildfire is a common disturbance that can significantly alter vegetation in watersheds that transport sediment and nutrients to the adjacent nearshore oceanic environment. We assess the impact of two wildfires that burned in 2008 on land cover and to the nearshore environment along the Big Sur coast in central California. We created a multi-year land cover dataset to assess changes to coastal watersheds as a result of fire. This land cover dataset was then used to model changes in nonpoint source pollutants transported to the nearshore environment. Results indicate post-fire increases in percent export compared to pre-fire years and also link wildfire severity to the specific land cover changes that subsequently increase exports of pollutants and sediment to the nearshore environment. This approach is a replicable across watersheds and also provides a framework for including the nearshore environment as a value at risk terrestrial land management revolving around wildfire, including suppression, thinning, and other activities that change land cover at a landscape scale.

  1. Cost shared wildfire risk mitigation in Log Hill Mesa, Colorado: Survey evidence on participation and willingness to pay

    Science.gov (United States)

    James R. Meldrum; Patricia A. Champ; Travis Warziniack; Hannah Brenkert-Smith; Christopher M. Barth; Lilia C. Falk

    2014-01-01

    Wildland-urban interface (WUI) homeowners who do not mitigate the wildfire risk on their properties impose a negative externality on society. To reduce the social costs of wildfire and incentivise homeowners to take action, cost sharing programs seek to reduce the barriers that impede wildfire risk mitigation. Using survey data from a WUI community in western Colorado...

  2. The role of risk perceptions in the risk mitigation process: The case of wildfire in high risk communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade E. Martin; Ingrid M. Martin; Brian Kent

    2009-01-01

    An important policy question receiving considerable attention concerns the risk perception-risk mitigation process that guides how individuals choose to address natural hazard risks. This question is considered in the context of wildfire. We analyze the factors that influence risk reduction behaviors by homeowners living in the wildland-urban interface. The factors...

  3. Rapid growth of the US wildland-urban interface raises wildfire risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radeloff, Volker C; Helmers, David P; Kramer, H Anu; Mockrin, Miranda H; Alexandre, Patricia M; Bar-Massada, Avi; Butsic, Van; Hawbaker, Todd J; Martinuzzi, Sebastián; Syphard, Alexandra D; Stewart, Susan I

    2018-03-27

    The wildland-urban interface (WUI) is the area where houses and wildland vegetation meet or intermingle, and where wildfire problems are most pronounced. Here we report that the WUI in the United States grew rapidly from 1990 to 2010 in terms of both number of new houses (from 30.8 to 43.4 million; 41% growth) and land area (from 581,000 to 770,000 km 2 ; 33% growth), making it the fastest-growing land use type in the conterminous United States. The vast majority of new WUI areas were the result of new housing (97%), not related to an increase in wildland vegetation. Within the perimeter of recent wildfires (1990-2015), there were 286,000 houses in 2010, compared with 177,000 in 1990. Furthermore, WUI growth often results in more wildfire ignitions, putting more lives and houses at risk. Wildfire problems will not abate if recent housing growth trends continue.

  4. Race and wildfire risk perceptions among rural forestland owners in north-central Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miriam Wyman; Sparkle Malone; Taylor Stein; Cassandra Johnson

    2012-01-01

    The southern United States is susceptible to wildfire, from its climate, growing seasons, lightning frequency, and decades of fire suppression. With much known about wildfire’s biophysical risks, less is understood about sociodemographic obstacles, including race, income, and education. Blacks in the rural southeastern United States are typically among the most...

  5. Probabilistic risk models for multiple disturbances: an example of forest insects and wildfires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haiganoush K. Preisler; Alan A. Ager; Jane L. Hayes

    2010-01-01

    Building probabilistic risk models for highly random forest disturbances like wildfire and forest insect outbreaks is a challenging. Modeling the interactions among natural disturbances is even more difficult. In the case of wildfire and forest insects, we looked at the probability of a large fire given an insect outbreak and also the incidence of insect outbreaks...

  6. Wildfire exposure analysis on the national forests in the Pacific Northwest, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ager, Alan A; Buonopane, Michelle; Reger, Allison; Finney, Mark A

    2013-06-01

    We analyzed wildfire exposure for key social and ecological features on the national forests in Oregon and Washington. The forests contain numerous urban interfaces, old growth forests, recreational sites, and habitat for rare and endangered species. Many of these resources are threatened by wildfire, especially in the east Cascade Mountains fire-prone forests. The study illustrates the application of wildfire simulation for risk assessment where the major threat is from large and rare naturally ignited fires, versus many previous studies that have focused on risk driven by frequent and small fires from anthropogenic ignitions. Wildfire simulation modeling was used to characterize potential wildfire behavior in terms of annual burn probability and flame length. Spatial data on selected social and ecological features were obtained from Forest Service GIS databases and elsewhere. The potential wildfire behavior was then summarized for each spatial location of each resource. The analysis suggested strong spatial variation in both burn probability and conditional flame length for many of the features examined, including biodiversity, urban interfaces, and infrastructure. We propose that the spatial patterns in modeled wildfire behavior could be used to improve existing prioritization of fuel management and wildfire preparedness activities within the Pacific Northwest region. © 2012 Society for Risk Analysis.

  7. Using community archetypes to better understand differential community adaptation to wildfire risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Matthew; Paveglio, Travis

    2016-06-05

    One of the immediate challenges of wildfire management concerns threats to human safety and property in residential areas adjacent to non-cultivated vegetation. One approach for relieving this problem is to increase human community 'adaptiveness' to deal with the risk and reality of fire in a variety of landscapes. The challenge in creating 'fire-adapted communities' (FACs) is the great diversity in character and make-up of populations at risk from wildfire. This paper outlines a recently developed categorization scheme for Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) communities based on a larger conceptual approach for understanding how social diversity is likely to influence the creation of FACs. The WUI categorization scheme situates four community archetypes on a continuum that recognizes dynamic change in human community functioning. We use results from the WUI classification scheme to outline key characteristics associated with each archetype and results from recent case studies to demonstrate the diversity across WUI communities. Differences among key characteristics of local social context will likely result in the need for different adaptation strategies to wildfire. While the WUI archetypes described here may not be broadly applicable to other parts of the world, we argue that the conceptual approach and strategies for systematically documenting local influences on wildfire adaptation have potential for broad application.This article is part of the themed issue 'The interaction of fire and mankind'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  8. Wildfire risk for main vegetation units in a biodiversity hotspot: modeling approach in New Caledonia, South Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, Céline; Mangeas, Morgan; Curt, Thomas; Ibanez, Thomas; Munzinger, Jérôme; Dumas, Pascal; Jérémy, André; Despinoy, Marc; Hély, Christelle

    2015-01-01

    Wildfire has been recognized as one of the most ubiquitous disturbance agents to impact on natural environments. In this study, our main objective was to propose a modeling approach to investigate the potential impact of wildfire on biodiversity. The method is illustrated with an application example in New Caledonia where conservation and sustainable biodiversity management represent an important challenge. Firstly, a biodiversity loss index, including the diversity and the vulnerability indexes, was calculated for every vegetation unit in New Caledonia and mapped according to its distribution over the New Caledonian mainland. Then, based on spatially explicit fire behavior simulations (using the FLAMMAP software) and fire ignition probabilities, two original fire risk assessment approaches were proposed: a one-off event model and a multi-event burn probability model. The spatial distribution of fire risk across New Caledonia was similar for both indices with very small localized spots having high risk. The patterns relating to highest risk are all located around the remaining sclerophyll forest fragments and are representing 0.012% of the mainland surface. A small part of maquis and areas adjacent to dense humid forest on ultramafic substrates should also be monitored. Vegetation interfaces between secondary and primary units displayed high risk and should represent priority zones for fire effects mitigation. Low fire ignition probability in anthropogenic-free areas decreases drastically the risk. A one-off event associated risk allowed localizing of the most likely ignition areas with potential for extensive damage. Emergency actions could aim limiting specific fire spread known to have high impact or consist of on targeting high risk areas to limit one-off fire ignitions. Spatially explicit information on burning probability is necessary for setting strategic fire and fuel management planning. Both risk indices provide clues to preserve New Caledonia hot spot of

  9. Science You Can Use Bulletin: Fire on the mountain: What motivates homeowners to reduce their wildfire risk?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sue Miller; Patty Champ; Hannah Brenkert-Smith

    2013-01-01

    New home building in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) continues unabated, despite the high financial and human costs of fighting fires in these areas. The goal of this research is to understand, through surveys and expert assessments, the attitudes and perceptions of WUI homeowners as they relate to taking action to reduce wildfire risk on their property. It also...

  10. Combining ungrouped and grouped wildfire data to estimate fire risk

    KAUST Repository

    Hernandez-Magallanes, I.

    2013-10-11

    © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Frequently, models are required to combine information obtained from different data sources and on different scales. In this work, we are interested in estimating the risk of wildfire ignition in the USA for a particular time and location by merging two levels of data, namely, individual points and aggregate count of points into areas. The data for federal lands consist of the point location and time of each fire. Nonfederal fires are aggregated by county for a particular year. The probability model is based on the wildfire point process. Assuming a smooth intensity function, a locally weighted likelihood fit is used, which incorporates the group effect. A logit model is used under the assumption of the existence of a latent process, and fuel conditions are included as a covariate. The model assessment is based on a residual analysis, while the False Discovery Rate detects spatial patterns. A benefit of the proposed model is that there is no need of arbitrary aggregation of individual fires into counts. A map of predicted probability of ignition for the Midwest US in 1990 is included. The predicted ignition probabilities and the estimated total number of expected fires are required for the allocation of resources.

  11. Assessing wildfire exposure in the Wildland-Urban Interface area of the mountains of central Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argañaraz, J P; Radeloff, V C; Bar-Massada, A; Gavier-Pizarro, G I; Scavuzzo, C M; Bellis, L M

    2017-07-01

    Wildfires are a major threat to people and property in Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) communities worldwide, but while the patterns of the WUI in North America, Europe and Oceania have been studied before, this is not the case in Latin America. Our goals were to a) map WUI areas in central Argentina, and b) assess wildfire exposure for WUI communities in relation to historic fires, with special emphasis on large fires and estimated burn probability based on an empirical model. We mapped the WUI in the mountains of central Argentina (810,000 ha), after digitizing the location of 276,700 buildings and deriving vegetation maps from satellite imagery. The areas where houses and wildland vegetation intermingle were classified as Intermix WUI (housing density > 6.17 hu/km 2 and wildland vegetation cover > 50%), and the areas where wildland vegetation abuts settlements were classified as Interface WUI (housing density > 6.17 hu/km 2 , wildland vegetation cover planning aimed at reducing wildfire risk in WUI communities. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Evaluation of forest management systems under risk of wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kari Hyytiainen; Robert G. Haight

    2010-01-01

    We evaluate the economic efficiency of even- and uneven-aged management systems under risk of wildfire. The management problems are formulated for a mixed-conifer stand and approximations of the optimal solutions are obtained using simulation optimization. The Northern Idaho variant of the Forest Vegetation Simulator and its Fire and Fuels Extension is used to predict...

  13. Assessing Lebanon's wildfire potential in association with current and future climatic conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    George H. Mitri; Mireille G. Jazi; David McWethy

    2015-01-01

    The increasing occurrence and extent of large-scale wildfires in the Mediterranean have been linked to extended periods of warm and dry weather. We set out to assess Lebanon's wildfire potential in association with current and future climatic conditions. The Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) was the primary climate variable used in our evaluation of climate/fire...

  14. Israel wildfires: future trends, impacts and mitigation strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittenberg, Lea

    2017-04-01

    potential risks and management strategic. Moreover, national agencies and local authorities must decide on a range of post-fire measures to mitigate risks quickly since most large fires occur late in summer shortly before the winter season. Possible climate changes, socio-economic trends, and intense land use pressures are contributing factors in a national challenge to deal with forest fires along the WUI. However, in order to support integrated fire preparedness, response, management and recovery at the national, regional and local scales, stronger research and planning effort are required. This includes long-term monitoring programs and a systematic, standardized data acquisition scheme, compiling fire history, landscape-fire spread, mitigation and assessment of the immediate fire effects, land use changes and weather data. Knowledge of both short and long-term impacts of wildfire is essential for effective risk assessment, policy formulation and wildfire management.

  15. Preventing erosive risks after wildfire in Spain: advances and gaps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández Filgueira, Cristina; Vega Hidalgo, José A.; Fontúrbel Lliteras, Teresa

    2017-04-01

    Galicia (NW Spain) is one of the most wildfire-affected areas in Western Europe and where the highest soil losses following fire are recorded in the Iberian Peninsula. During the last decade, mitigation of hydrological and erosive risk has been an important objective for researchers and forest managers. For this reason, research carried out has focused on three main issues: i) the development of operational tools to prioritize post-fire soil stabilization actions, based on soil burn severity indicators and remote sensed information, and testing of their ability to reflect degradation risk in relevant soil properties and subsequent soil erosion, ii) the development and testing of different soil stabilization treatments and their effectiveness for reducing erosion, following their application at broad scale, under the specific environmental conditions of Galicia and iii) the assessment of the performance of current erosion models as well as the development of empirical models to predict post-fire soil losses. On the other hand, the use of forest resources is an essential component of the regional incomes in NW Spain and consequently there is a pressing necessity for investigation on techniques suitable for reconciling soil conservation and sustainable use of those resources. In the framework of wildfire impacts this involve many and complex challenges. This scenario contrast with most of the Iberian Peninsula under Mediterranean influence where salvage logging is not a priority. As in other regions, post-fire hydrologic and erosive risk modeling, including threatened resources vulnerability evaluation is also a capital research need, particularly in a climate change context where dramatic changes in drivers such as precipitation, evapotranspiration and fire regime are expected. The study was funded by the National Institute of Agricultural Research of Spain (INIA) through project RTA2014-00011-C06-02, cofunded by FEDER and the Plan de Mejora e Innovación Forestal de

  16. Minority Households' Willingness-to-Pay for Public and Private Wildfire Risk Reduction in Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Caban, A.; Sanchez, J. J.

    2017-12-01

    The purpose of this work is to estimate willingness-to-pay (WTP) for minority (African-American and Hispanic) homeowners in Florida for private and public wildfire risk reduction programs and also to test for differences in response between the two groups. A random parameter logit and latent class models allowed us to determine if there is difference in wildfire mitigation program preferences, whether WTP is higher for public or private actions for wildfire risk reduction, and whether households with personal experience and who perceive that they live in higher-risk areas have significantly higher WTP. We also compare FL minority homeowners' WTP values with Florida original homeowners' estimates. Results suggest that FL minority homeowners are willing to invest in public programs, with African-Americans WTP values at a higher rate than Hispanics. In addition, the highest priority for cost sharing funds would go to low-income homeowners, especially to cost-share private actions on their own land. These results may help fire managers optimize allocation of scarce cost-sharing funds for public versus private actions.

  17. Application of wildfire risk assessment results to wildfire response planning in the southern Sierra Nevada, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew P. Thompson; Phil Bowden; April Brough; Joe H. Scott; Julie Gilbertson-Day; Alan Taylor; Jennifer Anderson; Jessica Haas

    2016-01-01

    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...

  18. Living with wildfire in Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patricia A. Champ; Nicholas Flores; Hannah Brenkert-Smith

    2010-01-01

    In this presentation, we describe results of a survey to homeowners living in wildfire-prone areas of two counties along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. The survey was designed to elicit information on homeowners' experience with wildfire, perceptions of wildfire risk on their property and neighboring properties, mitigation efforts undertaken...

  19. Risk analysis procedure for post-wildfire natural hazards in British Columbia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Peter

    2010-05-01

    Following a severe wildfire season in 2003, and several subsequent damaging debris flow and flood events, the British Columbia Forest Service developed a procedure for analysing risks to public safety and infrastructure from such events. At the same time, the Forest Service undertook a research program to determine the extent of post-wildfire hazards, and examine the hydrologic and geomorphic processes contributing to the hazards. The risk analysis procedure follows the Canadian Standards Association decision-making framework for risk management (which in turn is based on international standards). This has several steps: identification of risk, risk analysis and estimation, evaluation of risk tolerability, developing control or mitigation strategies, and acting on these strategies. The Forest Service procedure deals only with the first two steps. The results are passed on to authorities such as the Provincial Emergency Program and local government, who are responsible for evaluating risks, warning residents, and applying mitigation strategies if appropriate. The objective of the procedure is to identify and analyse risks to public safety and infrastructure. The procedure is loosely based on the BAER (burned area emergency response) program in the USA, with some important differences. Our procedure focuses on identifying risks and warning affected parties, not on mitigation activities such as broadcast erosion control measures. Partly this is due to limited staff and financial resources. Also, our procedure is not multi-agency, but is limited to wildfires on provincial forest land; in British Columbia about 95% of forest land is in the publicly-owned provincial forest. Each fire season, wildfires are screened by size and proximity to values at risk such as populated areas. For selected fires, when the fire is largely contained, the procedure begins with an aerial reconnaissance of the fire, and photography with a hand-held camera, which can be used to make a

  20. Analyzing wildfire exposure on Sardinia, Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salis, Michele; Ager, Alan A.; Arca, Bachisio; Finney, Mark A.; Alcasena, Fermin; Bacciu, Valentina; Duce, Pierpaolo; Munoz Lozano, Olga; Spano, Donatella

    2014-05-01

    We used simulation modeling based on the minimum travel time algorithm (MTT) to analyze wildfire exposure of key ecological, social and economic features on Sardinia, Italy. Sardinia is the second largest island of the Mediterranean Basin, and in the last fifty years experienced large and dramatic wildfires, which caused losses and threatened urban interfaces, forests and natural areas, and agricultural productions. Historical fires and environmental data for the period 1995-2009 were used as input to estimate fine scale burn probability, conditional flame length, and potential fire size in the study area. With this purpose, we simulated 100,000 wildfire events within the study area, randomly drawing from the observed frequency distribution of burn periods and wind directions for each fire. Estimates of burn probability, excluding non-burnable fuels, ranged from 0 to 1.92x10-3, with a mean value of 6.48x10-5. Overall, the outputs provided a quantitative assessment of wildfire exposure at the landscape scale and captured landscape properties of wildfire exposure. We then examined how the exposure profiles varied among and within selected features and assets located on the island. Spatial variation in modeled outputs resulted in a strong effect of fuel models, coupled with slope and weather. In particular, the combined effect of Mediterranean maquis, woodland areas and complex topography on flame length was relevant, mainly in north-east Sardinia, whereas areas with herbaceous fuels and flat areas were in general characterized by lower fire intensity but higher burn probability. The simulation modeling proposed in this work provides a quantitative approach to inform wildfire risk management activities, and represents one of the first applications of burn probability modeling to capture fire risk and exposure profiles in the Mediterranean basin.

  1. Assessing increasing susceptibility to wildfire at the wildland-urban fringe in the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinoshita, A. M.; Hogue, T. S.

    2013-05-01

    Much of the western U.S. is increasingly susceptible to wildfire activity due to drier conditions, elevated fuel loads, and expanding urbanization. As population increases, development pushes the urban boundary further into wildlands, creating more potential for human interaction at the wildland-urban interface (WUI), primarily from human ignitions and fire suppression policies. The immediate impacts of wildfires include vulnerability to debris flows, flooding, and impaired water quality. Fires also alter longer-term hydrological and ecosystem behavior. The current study utilizes geospatial datasets to investigate historical wildfire size and frequency relative to the WUI for a range of cities across western North America. California, the most populous state in the U.S., has an extensive fire history. The decennial population and acres burned for four major counties (Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Shasta) in California show that increasing wildfire size and frequency follow urbanization trends, with high correlation between the last decade of burned area, urban-fringe proximity, and increasing population. Ultimately, results will provide information on urban fringe communities that are most vulnerable to the risks associated with wildfire and post-fire impacts. In light of evolving land use policies (i.e. forest management and treatment, development at the urban-fringe) and climate change, it is critical to advance our knowledge of the implications that these conditions pose to urban centers, communicate risks to the public, and ultimately provide guidance for wildfire management.

  2. Application of wildfire spread and behavior models to assess fire probability and severity in the Mediterranean region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salis, Michele; Arca, Bachisio; Bacciu, Valentina; Spano, Donatella; Duce, Pierpaolo; Santoni, Paul; Ager, Alan; Finney, Mark

    2010-05-01

    Characterizing the spatial pattern of large fire occurrence and severity is an important feature of the fire management planning in the Mediterranean region. The spatial characterization of fire probabilities, fire behavior distributions and value changes are key components for quantitative risk assessment and for prioritizing fire suppression resources, fuel treatments and law enforcement. Because of the growing wildfire severity and frequency in recent years (e.g.: Portugal, 2003 and 2005; Italy and Greece, 2007 and 2009), there is an increasing demand for models and tools that can aid in wildfire prediction and prevention. Newer wildfire simulation systems offer promise in this regard, and allow for fine scale modeling of wildfire severity and probability. Several new applications has resulted from the development of a minimum travel time (MTT) fire spread algorithm (Finney, 2002), that models the fire growth searching for the minimum time for fire to travel among nodes in a 2D network. The MTT approach makes computationally feasible to simulate thousands of fires and generate burn probability and fire severity maps over large areas. The MTT algorithm is imbedded in a number of research and fire modeling applications. High performance computers are typically used for MTT simulations, although the algorithm is also implemented in the FlamMap program (www.fire.org). In this work, we described the application of the MTT algorithm to estimate spatial patterns of burn probability and to analyze wildfire severity in three fire prone areas of the Mediterranean Basin, specifically Sardinia (Italy), Sicily (Italy) and Corsica (France) islands. We assembled fuels and topographic data for the simulations in 500 x 500 m grids for the study areas. The simulations were run using 100,000 ignitions under weather conditions that replicated severe and moderate weather conditions (97th and 70th percentile, July and August weather, 1995-2007). We used both random ignition locations

  3. Globally-Applicable Predictive Wildfire Model   a Temporal-Spatial GIS Based Risk Analysis Using Data Driven Fuzzy Logic Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Dool, G.

    2017-11-01

    This study (van den Dool, 2017) is a proof of concept for a global predictive wildfire model, in which the temporal-spatial characteristics of wildfires are placed in a Geographical Information System (GIS), and the risk analysis is based on data-driven fuzzy logic functions. The data sources used in this model are available as global datasets, but subdivided into three pilot areas: North America (California/Nevada), Europe (Spain), and Asia (Mongolia), and are downscaled to the highest resolution (3-arc second). The GIS is constructed around three themes: topography, fuel availability and climate. From the topographical data, six derived sub-themes are created and converted to a fuzzy membership based on the catchment area statistics. The fuel availability score is a composite of four data layers: land cover, wood loads, biomass, biovolumes. As input for the climatological sub-model reanalysed daily averaged, weather-related data is used, which is accumulated to a global weekly time-window (to account for the uncertainty within the climatological model) and forms the temporal component of the model. The final product is a wildfire risk score (from 0 to 1) by week, representing the average wildfire risk in an area. To compute the potential wildfire risk the sub-models are combined usinga Multi-Criteria Approach, and the model results are validated against the area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve.

  4. Outreach Programs, Peer Pressure, and Common Sense: What Motivates Homeowners to Mitigate Wildfire Risk?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCaffrey, Sarah M.; Stidham, Melanie; Toman, Eric; Shindler, Bruce

    2011-09-01

    In recent years, altered forest conditions, climate change, and the increasing numbers of homes built in fire prone areas has meant that wildfires are affecting more people. An important part of minimizing the potential negative impacts of wildfire is engaging homeowners in mitigating the fire hazard on their land. It is therefore important to understand what makes homeowners more or less willing to take action. The research presented here comes from a study that interviewed a total of 198 homeowners in six communities in the western United States about the activities they had undertaken to mitigate their fire risk, the factors that contributed to their decisions, and their future intentions. The current paper reports on findings from the first half of the longitudinal study, after 3 years we will return to interview the current homeowner on the same properties to assess maintenance actions and facilitating and limiting factors. Overall we found a body of individuals who understand the fire risk, are taking numerous mitigation actions, and think that these actions have reduced their risk. These homeowners typically did not expect the government to do it for them: they wanted information about what to do and, in some cases, assistance with the work, but saw taking care of their property primarily as their responsibility. Responses also show that key information sources and motivating factors vary by location and that it is not inherently necessary to have relationships between community members to create defensible space.

  5. Assessment of Wildfire Risk in Southern California with Live Fuel Moisture Measurement and Remotely Sensed Vegetation Water Content Proxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, S.; Kim, S. H.; Nghiem, S. V.; Kafatos, M.

    2017-12-01

    Live fuel moisture (LFM) is the water content of live herbaceous plants expressed as a percentage of the oven-dry weight of plant. It is a critical parameter in fire ignition in Mediterranean climate and routinely measured in sites selected by fire agencies across the U.S. Vegetation growing cycle, meteorological metrics, soil type, and topography all contribute to the seasonal and inter-annual variation of LFM, and therefore, the risk of wildfire. The optical remote sensing-based vegetation indices (VIs) have been used to estimate the LFM. Comparing to the VIs, microwave remote sensing products have advantages like less saturation effect in greenness and representing the water content of the vegetation cover. In this study, we established three models to evaluate the predictability of LFM in Southern California using MODIS NDVI, vegetation temperature condition index (VTCI) from downscaled Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) products, and vegetation optical depth (VOD) derived by Land Parameter Retrieval Model. Other ancillary variables, such as topographic factors (aspects and slope) and meteorological metrics (air temperature, precipitation, and relative humidity), are also considered in the models. The model results revealed an improvement of LFM estimation from SMAP products and VOD, despite the uncertainties introduced in the downscaling and parameter retrieval. The estimation of LFM using remote sensing data can provide an assessment of wildfire danger better than current methods using NDVI-based growing seasonal index. Future study will test the VOD estimation from SMAP data using the multi-temporal dual channel algorithm (MT-DCA) and extend the LFM modeling to a regional scale.

  6. The spatial domain of wildfire risk and response in the wildland urban interface in Sydney, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, O. F.; Bradstock, R. A.

    2013-12-01

    In order to quantify the risks from fire at the wildland urban interface (WUI), it is important to understand where fires occur and their likelihood of spreading to the WUI. For each of the 999 fires in the Sydney region we calculated the distance between the ignition and the WUI, the fire's weather and wind direction and whether it spread to the WUI. The likelihood of burning the WUI was analysed using binomial regression. Weather and distance interacted such that under mild weather conditions, the model predicted only a 5% chance that a fire starting >2.5 km from the interface would reach it, whereas when the conditions are extreme the predicted chance remained above 30% even at distances >10 km. Fires were more likely to spread to the WUI if the wind was from the west and in the western side of the region. We examined whether the management responses to wildfires are commensurate with risk by comparing the distribution of distance to the WUI of wildfires with roads and prescribed fires. Prescribed fires and roads were concentrated nearer to the WUI than wildfires as a whole, but further away than wildfires that burnt the WUI under extreme weather conditions (high risk fires). Overall, 79% of these high risk fires started within 2 km of the WUI, so there is some argument for concentrating more management effort near the WUI. By substituting climate change scenario weather into the statistical model, we predicted a small increase in the risk of fires spreading to the WUI, but the increase will be greater under extreme weather. This approach has a variety of uses, including mapping fire risk and improving the ability to match fire management responses to the threat from each fire. They also provide a baseline from which a cost-benefit analysis of complementary fire management strategies can be conducted.

  7. Measuring the efficacy of a wildfire education program in Colorado Springs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    G.H. Donovan; P.A. Champ; D.T. Butry

    2007-01-01

    We examine an innovative wildfire risk education program in Colorado Springs, which rated the wildfire risk of 35,000 homes in the city's wildland urban interface. Evidence from home sales before and after the program's implementation suggests that the program was successful at changing homebuyers' attitudes toward wildfire risk, particularly preferences...

  8. Optimal timing of wildfire prevention education

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. T. Butry; J. P. Prestemon; K. L. Abt

    2010-01-01

    Public outreach and wildfire education activities have been shown to limit the number of unintentional human-caused ignitions (i.e., 'accidental' wildfires). Such activities include the airing of public service announcements, visiting with homeowners in at-risk areas, distributing informative brochures and flyers, hosting of public forums (with presentations...

  9. Decision making for wildfires: A guide for applying a risk management process at the incident level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mary A. Taber; Lisa M. Elenz; Paul G. Langowski

    2013-01-01

    This publication focuses on the thought processes and considerations surrounding a risk management process for decision making on wildfires. The publication introduces a six element risk management cycle designed to encourage sound risk-informed decision making in accordance with Federal wildland fire policy, although the process is equally applicable to non-Federal...

  10. Assessing off-site impacts of wildfires on aquatic organisms using in-situ assays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ré, Ana; Saraiva, MariaJoão; Puga, João; Campos, Isabel; Pereira, Joana; Keizer, Jacob; Goncalves, Fernando; Abrantes, Nelson

    2017-04-01

    in situ bioassays were a suitable tool to assess the risks of wildfire to aquatic species and that the post-fire runoff rich in concerning substances as PAHs and metals can sub-lethally impair the aquatic organisms in water bodies located within or downstream the burnt area.

  11. Analyzing seasonal patterns of wildfire exposure factors in Sardinia, Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salis, Michele; Ager, Alan A; Alcasena, Fermin J; Arca, Bachisio; Finney, Mark A; Pellizzaro, Grazia; Spano, Donatella

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we applied landscape scale wildfire simulation modeling to explore the spatiotemporal patterns of wildfire likelihood and intensity in the island of Sardinia (Italy). We also performed wildfire exposure analysis for selected highly valued resources on the island to identify areas characterized by high risk. We observed substantial variation in burn probability, fire size, and flame length among time periods within the fire season, which starts in early June and ends in late September. Peak burn probability and flame length were observed in late July. We found that patterns of wildfire likelihood and intensity were mainly related to spatiotemporal variation in ignition locations, fuel moisture, and wind vectors. Our modeling approach allowed consideration of historical patterns of winds, ignition locations, and live and dead fuel moisture on fire exposure factors. The methodology proposed can be useful for analyzing potential wildfire risk and effects at landscape scale, evaluating historical changes and future trends in wildfire exposure, as well as for addressing and informing fuel management and risk mitigation issues.

  12. Quantification of annual wildfire risk; A spatio-temporal point process approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Pereira

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Policy responses for local and global firemanagement depend heavily on the proper understanding of the fire extent as well as its spatio-temporal variation across any given study area. Annual fire risk maps are important tools for such policy responses, supporting strategic decisions such as location-allocation of equipment and human resources. Here, we define risk of fire in the narrow sense as the probability of its occurrence without addressing the loss component. In this paper, we study the spatio-temporal point patterns of wildfires and model them by a log Gaussian Cox processes. Themean of predictive distribution of randomintensity function is used in the narrow sense, as the annual fire risk map for next year.

  13. Assessing fire risk in the wildland-urban interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert G. Haight; David T. Cleland; Roger B. Hammer; Volker B. Radeloff; T. Scott Rupp

    2004-01-01

    Identifying areas of the wildland-urban interface (WUI) that are prone to severe wildfire is an important step in prioritizing fire prevention and preparedness projects. Our objective is to determine at a regional scale the relative risk of severe wildfire in WUI areas and the numbers of people and houses in high-risk areas. For a study area in northern lower Michigan...

  14. Wildfires and tourist behaviors in Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brijesh Thapa; Ignatius Cahyanto; Stephen M. Holland; James D. Absher

    2013-01-01

    The impacts of wildfires on tourism have largely been examined with emphasis on economic losses and recovery strategies. Given the limited research from a demand perspective, this study examined tourist risk perceptions and reactionary behaviors toward wildfires in Florida. Data (N ¼ 771) was collected among a U.S. sample of non-resident overnight leisure travelers...

  15. Capacity to adapt to environmental change: evidence from a network of organizations concerned with increasing wildfire risk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Paige. Fischer

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Because wildfire size and frequency are expected to increase in many forested areas in the United States, organizations involved in forest and wildfire management could arguably benefit from working together and sharing information to develop strategies for how to adapt to this increasing risk. Social capital theory suggests that actors in cohesive networks are positioned to build trust and mutual understanding of problems and act collectively to address these problems, and that actors engaged with diverse partners are positioned to access new information and resources that are important for innovation and complex problem solving. We investigated the patterns of interaction within a network of organizations involved in forest and wildfire management in Oregon, USA, for evidence of structural conditions that create opportunities for collective action and learning. We used descriptive statistical analysis of social network data gathered through interviews to characterize the structure of the network and exponential random graph modeling to identify key factors in the formation of network ties. We interpreted our findings through the lens of social capital theory to identify implications for the network's capacity to engage in collective action and complex problem-solving about how to adapt to environmental change. We found that tendencies to associate with others with similar management goals, geographic emphases, and attitudes toward wildfire were strong mechanisms shaping network structure, potentially constraining interactions among organizations with diverse information and resources and limiting opportunities for learning and complex problem-solving needed for adaptation. In particular, we found that organizations with fire protection and forest restoration goals comprised distinct networks despite sharing concern about the problem of increasing wildfire risk.

  16. Multiple UAV Cooperation for Wildfire Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Zhongjie

    Wildfires have been a major factor in the development and management of the world's forest. An accurate assessment of wildfire status is imperative for fire management. This thesis is dedicated to the topic of utilizing multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to cooperatively monitor a large-scale wildfire. This is achieved through wildfire spreading situation estimation based on on-line measurements and wise cooperation strategy to ensure efficiency. First, based on the understanding of the physical characteristics of the wildfire propagation behavior, a wildfire model and a Kalman filter-based method are proposed to estimate the wildfire rate of spread and the fire front contour profile. With the enormous on-line measurements from on-board sensors of UAVs, the proposed method allows a wildfire monitoring mission to benefit from on-line information updating, increased flexibility, and accurate estimation. An independent wildfire simulator is utilized to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method. Second, based on the filter analysis, wildfire spreading situation and vehicle dynamics, the influence of different cooperation strategies of UAVs to the overall mission performance is studied. The multi-UAV cooperation problem is formulated in a distributed network. A consensus-based method is proposed to help address the problem. The optimal cooperation strategy of UAVs is obtained through mathematical analysis. The derived optimal cooperation strategy is then verified in an independent fire simulation environment to verify its effectiveness.

  17. Understanding the transmission of wildfire risk on a fire prone landscape - A Case study from Central Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ager, Alan; Barros, Ana; Day, Michelle; Preisler, Haiganoush; Evers, Cody

    2015-04-01

    We develop the idea of risk transmission from large wildfires and apply network analyses to understand its importance within the 3.2 million ha Fire-People-Forest study area in central Oregon, US. Historic wildfires within the study and elsewhere in the western US frequently burn over long distances (e.g., 20-50 km) through highly fragmented landscapes with respect to ownership, fuels, management intensity, population density, and ecological conditions. The collective arrangement of fuel loadings in concert with weather and suppression efforts ultimately determines containment and the resulting fire perimeter. While spatial interactions among land parcels in terms of fire spread and intensity have been frequently noted by fire managers, quantifying risk and exposure transmission is not well understood. In this paper we used simulation modeling to quantify wildfire transmission and built a transmission network among and within land owners and communities within the study area. The results suggested that 84% of the predicted area burned within the 25 communities in the study area was from simulated fires that ignited on federal lands. The wildland urban interface surrounding the communities was predicted to burn at a rate of 2 % per year, with 57% of the area burned from fires ignited on federal lands. The node degree for communities indicated that simulated fires originated on about 6 different landowners. Network analyses in general revealed independent variation in transmitted fire among landowners in terms of both node degree (diversity of landowners exchanging fire) and transmitted fire, indicating that both the spatial grain of land ownership and wildfire topology contribute to transmission among land parcels. We discuss how network analyses of wildfire transmission can inform fire management goals for creating fire adapted communities, conserving biodiversity, and resolving competing demands for fire-prone ecosystem services. We also discuss how biophysical

  18. Appendix 2: Risk-based framework and risk case studies. Risk case study: a framework for assessing climate change risks to forest carbon stocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher W. Woodall; Grant M. Domke

    2012-01-01

    Forest ecosystems have the ability to reduce the effects of climate change through the sequestration of carbon (C) (Pan et al. 2011) as well as contribute to net emissions through disturbance events such as wildfires and widespread tree mortality (Kurz et al. 2008). A conceptual framework for assessing climate-change risks to forest ecosystem C stocks facilitates...

  19. Managing wildfire events: risk-based decision making among a group of federal fire managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robyn S. Wilson; Patricia L. Winter; Lynn A. Maguire; Timothy. Ascher

    2011-01-01

    Managing wildfire events to achieve multiple management objectives involves a high degree of decision complexity and uncertainty, increasing the likelihood that decisions will be informed by experience-based heuristics triggered by available cues at the time of the decision. The research reported here tests the prevalence of three risk-based biases among 206...

  20. Wildfires and post-fire erosion risk in a coastal area under severe anthropic pressure associated with the touristic fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canu, Annalisa; Arca, Bachisio; Pellizzaro, Grazia; Valeriano Pintus, Gian; Ferrara, Roberto; Duce, Pierpaolo

    2017-04-01

    In the last decades a rapid and intense development of the tourism industry led to an increasing of anthropic pressure on several coastal areas of Sardinia. This fact not only modified the coastal aesthetics, but has also generated an increase of risk for the environment. This phenomenon affected also the ancient structure of the landscape with a negative impact mainly caused by the following factors: land abandonment, wildfire occurrence, post-fire erosion, urbanization. These regional changes can be analyzed in detail by considering the geo-diachronic dynamics. The main objectives of this work were i) to perform a diachronic analysis of land use and land cover dynamics, ii) to analyse the recent dynamics of wildfires, and iii) to predict the soil erosion risk in relation to land use change occurred between the 1950s and the 2000s. The study was realized in a coastal area located in North-East Sardinia where the geo-historical processes were summarized and organized in a geographic information system that has been employed to examine the landscape variations at three different time steps: 1954, 1977 and 2000. In addition, different scenarios of wildfire propagation were simulated by FlamMap in order to estimate the spatial pattern of fire danger factors in the study area. Afterwards, maps of post-fire soil erosion were produced to identify the temporal and spatial variations of the erosion risk. The results show how the changes in land use and the significant and rapid increase of the residential areas affect the risk of both wildfires and post-fire soil erosion. The study reveals the capabilities of this type of approach and can be used by management agencies and policy makers e in sustainable landscape management planning. This approach can be extended to other regions of the Mediterranean basin characterized by complex interactions among landscape and anthropic factors affecting the environmental risk.

  1. Wildfire air pollution hazard during the 21st century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knorr, Wolfgang; Dentener, Frank; Lamarque, Jean-François; Jiang, Leiwen; Arneth, Almut

    2017-07-01

    Wildfires pose a significant risk to human livelihoods and are a substantial health hazard due to emissions of toxic smoke. Previous studies have shown that climate change, increasing atmospheric CO2, and human demographic dynamics can lead to substantially altered wildfire risk in the future, with fire activity increasing in some regions and decreasing in others. The present study re-examines these results from the perspective of air pollution risk, focussing on emissions of airborne particulate matter (PM2. 5), combining an existing ensemble of simulations using a coupled fire-dynamic vegetation model with current observation-based estimates of wildfire emissions and simulations with a chemical transport model. Currently, wildfire PM2. 5 emissions exceed those from anthropogenic sources in large parts of the world. We further analyse two extreme sets of future wildfire emissions in a socio-economic, demographic climate change context and compare them to anthropogenic emission scenarios reflecting current and ambitious air pollution legislation. In most regions of the world, ambitious reductions of anthropogenic air pollutant emissions have the potential to limit mean annual pollutant PM2. 5 levels to comply with World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines for PM2. 5. Worst-case future wildfire emissions are not likely to interfere with these annual goals, largely due to fire seasonality, as well as a tendency of wildfire sources to be situated in areas of intermediate population density, as opposed to anthropogenic sources that tend to be highest at the highest population densities. However, during the high-fire season, we find many regions where future PM2. 5 pollution levels can reach dangerous levels even for a scenario of aggressive reduction of anthropogenic emissions.

  2. Assessing exposure of human and ecological values to wildfire in Sardinia, Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michele Salis; Alan A. Ager; Bachisio Arca; Mark A. Finney; Valentina Bacciu; Pierpaolo Duce; Donatella. Spano

    2012-01-01

    We used simulation modelling to analyze spatial variation in wildfire exposure relative to key social and economic features on the island of Sardinia, Italy. Sardinia contains a high density of urban interfaces, recreational values and highly valued agricultural areas that are increasingly being threatened by severe wildfires. Historical fire data and wildfire...

  3. Evaluating Alternative Prescribed Burning Policies to Reduce Net Economic Damages from Wildfire

    OpenAIRE

    D. Evan Mercer; Jeffrey P. Prestemon; David T. Butry; John M. Pye

    2007-01-01

    We estimate a wildfire risk model with a new measure of wildfire output, intensity-weighted risk and use it in Monte Carlo simulations to estimate welfare changes from alternative prescribed burning policies. Using Volusia County, Florida as a case study, an annual prescribed burning rate of 13% of all forest lands maximizes net welfare; ignoring the effects on wildfire intensity may underestimate optimal rates of prescribed burning. Our estimated supply function for prescribed fire services ...

  4. Wildfire risk reduction in the United States: Leadership staff perceptions of local fire department roles and responsibilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rachel S. Madsen; Hylton J. G. Haynes; Sarah M. McCaffrey

    2018-01-01

    As wildland fires have had increasing negative impacts on a range of human values, in many parts of the United States (U.S.) and around the world, collaborative risk reduction efforts among agencies, homeowners, and fire departments are needed to improve wildfire safety and mitigate risk. Using interview data from 46 senior officers from local fire departments around...

  5. Comparing resource values at risk from wildfires with Forest Service fire suppression expenditures: Examples from 2003 western Montana wildfire season

    Science.gov (United States)

    David Calkin; Kevin Hyde; Krista Gebert; Greg Jones

    2005-01-01

    Determining the economic effectiveness of wildfire suppression activities is complicated by difficulties in identifying the area that would have burned and the associated resource value changes had suppression resources not been employed. We developed a case study using break-even analysis for two large wildfires from the 2003 fire season in western Montana -- the...

  6. Social assessment for the Wenatchee National Forest wildfires of 1994: targeted analysis for the Leavenworth, Entiat, and Chelan Ranger Districts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew S. Carroll; Angela J. Findley; Keith A. Blatner; Sandra Rodriguez Mendez; Steven E. Daniels; Gregg B. Walker

    2000-01-01

    A purposive social assessment across three communities explored reactions of local residents to wildfires in the Wenatchee National Forest in north-central Washington. Research concentrated on identifying the diversity of fundamental beliefs and values held by local residents about wildfire and forest management. Particular emphasis was given to investigating community...

  7. Does personal experience affect choice-based preferences for wildfire protection programs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armando González-Cabán; Thomas P. Holmes; John B. Loomis; José J. Sánchez

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate homeowner preferences and willingness to pay for wildfire protection programs using a choice experiment with three attributes: risk, loss, and cost. A phone-mail-phone survey was used to collect data from homeowners predominantly living in medium and high wildfire risk communities in Florida. We tested three hypotheses: (1) homeowner...

  8. Wildfire air pollution hazard during the 21st century

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Knorr

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Wildfires pose a significant risk to human livelihoods and are a substantial health hazard due to emissions of toxic smoke. Previous studies have shown that climate change, increasing atmospheric CO2, and human demographic dynamics can lead to substantially altered wildfire risk in the future, with fire activity increasing in some regions and decreasing in others. The present study re-examines these results from the perspective of air pollution risk, focussing on emissions of airborne particulate matter (PM2. 5, combining an existing ensemble of simulations using a coupled fire–dynamic vegetation model with current observation-based estimates of wildfire emissions and simulations with a chemical transport model. Currently, wildfire PM2. 5 emissions exceed those from anthropogenic sources in large parts of the world. We further analyse two extreme sets of future wildfire emissions in a socio-economic, demographic climate change context and compare them to anthropogenic emission scenarios reflecting current and ambitious air pollution legislation. In most regions of the world, ambitious reductions of anthropogenic air pollutant emissions have the potential to limit mean annual pollutant PM2. 5 levels to comply with World Health Organization (WHO air quality guidelines for PM2. 5. Worst-case future wildfire emissions are not likely to interfere with these annual goals, largely due to fire seasonality, as well as a tendency of wildfire sources to be situated in areas of intermediate population density, as opposed to anthropogenic sources that tend to be highest at the highest population densities. However, during the high-fire season, we find many regions where future PM2. 5 pollution levels can reach dangerous levels even for a scenario of aggressive reduction of anthropogenic emissions.

  9. A Mixed Logit Model of Homeowner Preferences for Wildfire Hazard Reduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas P. Holmes; John Loomis; Armando Gonzalez-Caban

    2010-01-01

    People living in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) are at greater risk of suffering major losses of property and life from wildfires. Over the past several decades the prevailing view has been that wildfire risk in rural areas was exogenous to the activities of homeowners. In response to catastrophic fires in the WUI over the past few years, recent approaches to fire...

  10. Situating Hazard Vulnerability: People's Negotiations with Wildfire Environments in the U.S. Southwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Timothy W.; Bolin, Bob

    2009-09-01

    This article is based on a multimethod study designed to clarify influences on wildfire hazard vulnerability in Arizona’s White Mountains, USA. Findings reveal that multiple factors operating across scales generate socially unequal wildfire risks. At the household scale, conflicting environmental values, reliance on fire insurance and firefighting institutions, a lack of place dependency, and social vulnerability (e.g., a lack of financial, physical, and/or legal capacity to reduce risks) were found to be important influences on wildfire risk. At the regional-scale, the shift from a resource extraction to environmental amenity-based economy has transformed ecological communities, produced unequal social distributions of risks and resources, and shaped people’s social and environmental interactions in everyday life. While working-class locals are more socially vulnerable than amenity migrants to wildfire hazards, they have also been more active in attempting to reduce risks in the aftermath of the disastrous 2002 Rodeo-Chediski fire. Social tensions between locals and amenity migrants temporarily dissolved immediately following the disaster, only to be exacerbated by the heightened perception of risk and the differential commitment to hazard mitigation displayed by these groups over a 2-year study period. Findings suggest that to enhance wildfire safety, environmental managers should acknowledge the environmental benefits associated with hazardous landscapes, the incentives created by risk management programs, and the specific constraints to action for relevant social groups in changing human-environmental context.

  11. Evaluating alternative prescribed burning policies to reduce net economic damages from wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Evan Mercer; Jeffrey P. Prestemon; David T. Butry; John M. Pye

    2007-01-01

    We estimate a wildfire risk model with a new measure of wildfire output, intensity-weighted risk and use it in Monte Carlo simulations to estimate welfare changes from alternative prescribed burning policies. Using Volusia County, Florida as a case study, an annual prescribed burning rate of 13% of all forest lands maximizes net welfare; ignoring the effects on...

  12. Explore inhabitants’ perceptions of wildfire and mitigation behaviours in the Cerrado biome, a fire-prone area of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanni Santopuoli

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Fire represents an important natural feature of Brazilian landscape, especially in the Cerrado biome. The Cerrado is the economic livelihood of thousands of people from rural areas in Brazil. It is one of the most important hotspot of biodiversity in the world but also it is a fire-prone area thanks to the high flammability index of the vegetation. Residents and native people of this environment use fire very frequently. The majority of wildfires are caused by humans, though there are some aggravating natural factors affecting the risk, intensity and severity of wildfires. Since residents are continuously involved in fire suppression activities, understanding their perceptions is important for the decision makers who must assess the local capacity to preserve natural resources. This study explores perceptions about wildfire risk and fire mitigation behaviors within three municipalities of the state of Tocantins (Brazil. The study demonstrates that survey participants perceived wildfire risk as rather high, although the perceptions were complex and conflicting among interviewees. A wide range of confused perceptions about fire ignition and heterogeneous point of view have carried out form the survey. However, the residence of interviewees and their educational attainment result the variables that significantly (p-value <0.05 affect the inhabitants’ perceptions.

  13. Forecasting European Wildfires Today and in the Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro Abellan, Maria; Porras Alegre, Ignasi; María Sole, Josep; Gálvez, Pedro; Bielski, Conrad; Nurmi, Pertti

    2017-04-01

    Society as a whole is increasingly exposed and vulnerable to natural disasters due to extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change. The increased frequency of wildfires is not only a result of a changing climate, but wildfires themselves also produce a significant amount of greenhouse gases that, in-turn, further contribute to global warming. I-REACT (Improving Resilience to Emergencies through Advanced Cyber Technologies) is an innovation project funded by the European Commission , which aims to use social media, smartphones and wearables to improve natural disaster management by integrating existing services, both local and European, into a platform that supports the entire emergency management cycle. In order to assess the impact of climate change on wildfire hazards, METEOSIM designed two different System Processes (SP) that will be integrated into the I-REACT service that can provide information on a variety of time scales. SP1 - Climate Change Impact The climate change impact on climate variables related to fires is calculated by building an ensemble based on the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) and CORDEX data. A validation and an Empirical-Statistical Downscaling (ESD) calibration are done to assess the changes in the past of the climatic variables related to wildfires (temperature, precipitation, wind, relative humidity and Fire Weather Index). Calculations in the trend and the frequency of extreme events of those variables are done for three time scales: near-term (2011-2040), mid-term (2041-2070) and long term (2071-2100). SP2 - Operational daily forecast of the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI) Using ensemble data from the ECMWF and from the GLAMEPS (multi-model ensemble) models, both supplied by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), the Fire Weather Index (FWI) and its index components are produced for each ensemble member within a wide forecast time range, from a few hours up to 10 days resulting in a

  14. The effect of personal experience on choice-based preferences for wildfire protection programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tom Holmes; Armando Gonzalez-Caban; John Loomis; Jose Sanchez

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate homeowner preferences and willingness to pay for wildfire protection programs using a choice experiment with three attributes: risk, loss and cost. Preference heterogeneity among survey respondents was examined using three econometric models and risk preferences were evaluated by comparing willingness to pay for wildfire protection...

  15. Mortality related to air pollution with the moscow heat wave and wildfire of 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaposhnikov, Dmitry; Revich, Boris; Bellander, Tom; Bedada, Getahun Bero; Bottai, Matteo; Kharkova, Tatyana; Kvasha, Ekaterina; Lezina, Elena; Lind, Tomas; Semutnikova, Eugenia; Pershagen, Göran

    2014-05-01

    Prolonged high temperatures and air pollution from wildfires often occur together, and the two may interact in their effects on mortality. However, there are few data on such possible interactions. We analyzed day-to-day variations in the number of deaths in Moscow, Russia, in relation to air pollution levels and temperature during the disastrous heat wave and wildfire of 2010. Corresponding data for the period 2006-2009 were used for comparison. Daily average levels of PM10 and ozone were obtained from several continuous measurement stations. The daily number of nonaccidental deaths from specific causes was extracted from official records. Analyses of interactions considered the main effect of temperature as well as the added effect of prolonged high temperatures and the interaction with PM10. The major heat wave lasted for 44 days, with 24-hour average temperatures ranging from 24°C to 31°C and PM10 levels exceeding 300 μg/m on several days. There were close to 11,000 excess deaths from nonaccidental causes during this period, mainly among those older than 65 years. Increased risks also occurred in younger age groups. The most pronounced effects were for deaths from cardiovascular, respiratory, genitourinary, and nervous system diseases. Continuously increasing risks following prolonged high temperatures were apparent during the first 2 weeks of the heat wave. Interactions between high temperatures and air pollution from wildfires in excess of an additive effect contributed to more than 2000 deaths. Interactions between high temperatures and wildfire air pollution should be considered in risk assessments regarding health consequences of climate change.

  16. Investigating the Impacts of Wildfires on Air Quality in the Western US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, E. L.; Iraci, L. T.; Singh, H. B.; Ambrosia, V. G.; Clements, C. B.; Gore, W.; Lareau, N.; Quayle, B.; Ryoo, J. M.; Schroeder, W.; Tanaka, T.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfire emissions are an important source of a wide range of trace gases and particles that can impact local, regional and global air quality, climate forcing, biogeochemical cycles and human health. In the western US, wildfires dominate over prescribed fires. However, limited sampling of wildfire emissions means western US emission estimates rely largely on data from prescribed fires, which may not be a suitable proxy for wildfire emissions. Further, interactions of wildfire emissions with urban pollution, commonly the case with California wildfires, are complex and poorly understood. The Alpha Jet Atmospheric eXperiment (AJAX) sampled a variety of Californian wildfire plumes during 2013 and 2014. In addition to wildfire plumes, flights sample upwind, background conditions allowing for an assessment of enhancement ratios of trace gas species (carbon dioxide, methane and ozone). This paper presents airborne measurements of multiple trace constituents downwind of a variety of Californian wildfires, with a focus on the exceptionally large Yosemite Rim wildfire during summer 2013. During its intense burning phases, the Rim wildfire was sampled by AJAX on 29 August as well as by the NASA DC-8, as part of its SEAC4RS mission, on 26 and 27 August. AJAX revisited the wildfire on 10 September when it had reached its smoldering phase. The more extensive payload of the DC-8 helped to bridge key measurements that were not available as part of the AJAX payload (e. g. carbon monoxide). The emission ratios (ER), emission factors (EF) and combustion efficiency are compared with previous wildfire studies. Integration of AJAX data with other available datasets, such as SEAC4RS, Lidar data from the California State University Mobile Atmospheric Profiling System (CSU-MAPS), MODIS/VIIRS Fire Radiative Power (FRP) and surface ozone and meteorology measurements is explored to assess the impacts of wildfires on downwind air quality including the densely populated California central

  17. Restoring forest structure and process stabilizes forest carbon in wildfire-prone southwestern ponderosa pine forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurteau, Matthew D; Liang, Shuang; Martin, Katherine L; North, Malcolm P; Koch, George W; Hungate, Bruce A

    2016-03-01

    Changing climate and a legacy of fire-exclusion have increased the probability of high-severity wildfire, leading to an increased risk of forest carbon loss in ponderosa pine forests in the southwestern USA. Efforts to reduce high-severity fire risk through forest thinning and prescribed burning require both the removal and emission of carbon from these forests, and any potential carbon benefits from treatment may depend on the occurrence of wildfire. We sought to determine how forest treatments alter the effects of stochastic wildfire events on the forest carbon balance. We modeled three treatments (control, thin-only, and thin and burn) with and without the occurrence of wildfire. We evaluated how two different probabilities of wildfire occurrence, 1% and 2% per year, might alter the carbon balance of treatments. In the absence of wildfire, we found that thinning and burning treatments initially reduced total ecosystem carbon (TEC) and increased net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB). In the presence of wildfire, the thin and burn treatment TEC surpassed that of the control in year 40 at 2%/yr wildfire probability, and in year 51 at 1%/yr wildfire probability. NECB in the presence of wildfire showed a similar response to the no-wildfire scenarios: both thin-only and thin and burn treatments increased the C sink. Treatments increased TEC by reducing both mean wildfire severity and its variability. While the carbon balance of treatments may differ in more productive forest types, the carbon balance benefits from restoring forest structure and fire in southwestern ponderosa pine forests are clear.

  18. Fire spread estimation on forest wildfire using ensemble kalman filter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syarifah, Wardatus; Apriliani, Erna

    2018-04-01

    Wildfire is one of the most frequent disasters in the world, for example forest wildfire, causing population of forest decrease. Forest wildfire, whether naturally occurring or prescribed, are potential risks for ecosystems and human settlements. These risks can be managed by monitoring the weather, prescribing fires to limit available fuel, and creating firebreaks. With computer simulations we can predict and explore how fires may spread. The model of fire spread on forest wildfire was established to determine the fire properties. The fire spread model is prepared based on the equation of the diffusion reaction model. There are many methods to estimate the spread of fire. The Kalman Filter Ensemble Method is a modified estimation method of the Kalman Filter algorithm that can be used to estimate linear and non-linear system models. In this research will apply Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) method to estimate the spread of fire on forest wildfire. Before applying the EnKF method, the fire spread model will be discreted using finite difference method. At the end, the analysis obtained illustrated by numerical simulation using software. The simulation results show that the Ensemble Kalman Filter method is closer to the system model when the ensemble value is greater, while the covariance value of the system model and the smaller the measurement.

  19. A Bayesian approach to landscape ecological risk assessment applied to the upper Grande Ronde watershed, Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimberley K. Ayre; Wayne G. Landis

    2012-01-01

    We present a Bayesian network model based on the ecological risk assessment framework to evaluate potential impacts to habitats and resources resulting from wildfire, grazing, forest management activities, and insect outbreaks in a forested landscape in northeastern Oregon. The Bayesian network structure consisted of three tiers of nodes: landscape disturbances,...

  20. Land use planning and wildfire: development policies influence future probability of housing loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syphard, Alexandra D.; Massada, Avi Bar; Butsic, Van; Keeley, Jon E.

    2013-01-01

    Increasing numbers of homes are being destroyed by wildfire in the wildland-urban interface. With projections of climate change and housing growth potentially exacerbating the threat of wildfire to homes and property, effective fire-risk reduction alternatives are needed as part of a comprehensive fire management plan. Land use planning represents a shift in traditional thinking from trying to eliminate wildfires, or even increasing resilience to them, toward avoiding exposure to them through the informed placement of new residential structures. For land use planning to be effective, it needs to be based on solid understanding of where and how to locate and arrange new homes. We simulated three scenarios of future residential development and projected landscape-level wildfire risk to residential structures in a rapidly urbanizing, fire-prone region in southern California. We based all future development on an econometric subdivision model, but we varied the emphasis of subdivision decision-making based on three broad and common growth types: infill, expansion, and leapfrog. Simulation results showed that decision-making based on these growth types, when applied locally for subdivision of individual parcels, produced substantial landscape-level differences in pattern, location, and extent of development. These differences in development, in turn, affected the area and proportion of structures at risk from burning in wildfires. Scenarios with lower housing density and larger numbers of small, isolated clusters of development, i.e., resulting from leapfrog development, were generally predicted to have the highest predicted fire risk to the largest proportion of structures in the study area, and infill development was predicted to have the lowest risk. These results suggest that land use planning should be considered an important component to fire risk management and that consistently applied policies based on residential pattern may provide substantial benefits for

  1. AEGIS: a wildfire prevention and management information system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalabokidis, Kostas; Ager, Alan; Finney, Mark; Athanasis, Nikos; Palaiologou, Palaiologos; Vasilakos, Christos

    2016-03-01

    We describe a Web-GIS wildfire prevention and management platform (AEGIS) developed as an integrated and easy-to-use decision support tool to manage wildland fire hazards in Greece (http://aegis.aegean.gr). The AEGIS platform assists with early fire warning, fire planning, fire control and coordination of firefighting forces by providing online access to information that is essential for wildfire management. The system uses a number of spatial and non-spatial data sources to support key system functionalities. Land use/land cover maps were produced by combining field inventory data with high-resolution multispectral satellite images (RapidEye). These data support wildfire simulation tools that allow the users to examine potential fire behavior and hazard with the Minimum Travel Time fire spread algorithm. End-users provide a minimum number of inputs such as fire duration, ignition point and weather information to conduct a fire simulation. AEGIS offers three types of simulations, i.e., single-fire propagation, point-scale calculation of potential fire behavior, and burn probability analysis, similar to the FlamMap fire behavior modeling software. Artificial neural networks (ANNs) were utilized for wildfire ignition risk assessment based on various parameters, training methods, activation functions, pre-processing methods and network structures. The combination of ANNs and expected burned area maps are used to generate integrated output map of fire hazard prediction. The system also incorporates weather information obtained from remote automatic weather stations and weather forecast maps. The system and associated computation algorithms leverage parallel processing techniques (i.e., High Performance Computing and Cloud Computing) that ensure computational power required for real-time application. All AEGIS functionalities are accessible to authorized end-users through a web-based graphical user interface. An innovative smartphone application, AEGIS App, also

  2. On the effects of wildfires on precipitation in Southern Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Sales, Fernando; Okin, Gregory S.; Xue, Yongkang; Dintwe, Kebonye

    2018-03-01

    This study investigates the impact of wildfire on the climate of Southern Africa. Moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer derived burned area fraction data was implemented in a set of simulations to assess primarily the role of wildfire-induced surface changes on monthly precipitation. Two post-fire scenarios are examined namely non-recovering and recovering vegetation scenarios. In the former, burned vegetation fraction remains burned until the end of the simulations, whereas in the latter it is allowed to regrow following a recovery period. Control simulations revealed that the model can dependably capture the monthly precipitation and surface temperature averages in Southern Africa thus providing a reasonable basis against which to assess the impacts of wildfire. In general, both wildfire scenarios have a negative impact on springtime precipitation. September and October were the only months with statistically significant precipitation changes. During these months, precipitation in the region decreases by approximately 13 and 9% in the non-recovering vegetation scenario, and by about 10 and 6% in the recovering vegetation wildfire scenario, respectively. The primary cause of precipitation deficit is the decrease in evapotranspiration resulting from a reduction in surface net radiation. Areas impacted by the precipitation reduction includes the Luanda, Kinshasa, and Brazzaville metropolitan areas, The Angolan Highlands, which are the source of the Okavango Rive, and the Okavango Delta region. This study suggests that a probable intensification in wildfire frequency and extent resulting from projected population increase and global warming in Southern Africa could potentially exacerbate the impacts of wildfires in the region's seasonal precipitation.

  3. Examining heterogeneity and wildfire management expenditures using spatially and temporally descriptive data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael S. Hand; Matthew P. Thompson; Dave Calkin

    2016-01-01

    Increasing costs of wildfire management have highlighted the need to better understand suppression expenditures and potential tradeoffs of land management activities that may affect fire risks. Spatially and temporally descriptive data is used to develop a model of wildfire suppression expenditures, providing new insights into the role of spatial and temporal...

  4. Science You Can Use Bulletin: Wildfire triage: Targeting mitigation based on social, economic, and ecological values

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karl Malcolm; Matthew Thompson; Dave Calkin; Mark Finney; Alan Ager

    2012-01-01

    Evaluating the risks of wildfire relative to the valuable resources found in any managed landscape requires an interdisciplinary approach. Researchers at the Rocky Mountain Research Station and Western Wildland Threat Assessment Center developed such a process, using a combination of techniques rooted in fire modeling and ecology, economics, decision sciences, and the...

  5. Economics of wildfire management: The development and application of suppression expenditure models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael S. Hand; Krista M. Gebert; Jingjing Liang; David E. Calkin; Matthew P. Thompson; Mo Zhou

    2014-01-01

    In the United States, increased wildland fire activity over the last 15 years has resulted in increased pressure to balance the cost, benefits, and risks of wildfire management. Amid increased public scrutiny and a highly variable wildland fire environment, a substantial body of research has developed to study factors affecting the cost-effectiveness of wildfire...

  6. Wildfire smoke exposure and human health: Significant gaps in research for a growing public health issue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Carolyn; Tesfaigzi, Yohannes; Bassein, Jed A; Miller, Lisa A

    2017-10-01

    Understanding the effect of wildfire smoke exposure on human health represents a unique interdisciplinary challenge to the scientific community. Population health studies indicate that wildfire smoke is a risk to human health and increases the healthcare burden of smoke-impacted areas. However, wildfire smoke composition is complex and dynamic, making characterization and modeling difficult. Furthermore, current efforts to study the effect of wildfire smoke are limited by availability of air quality measures and inconsistent air quality reporting among researchers. To help address these issues, we conducted a substantive review of wildfire smoke effects on population health, wildfire smoke exposure in occupational health, and experimental wood smoke exposure. Our goal was to evaluate the current literature on wildfire smoke and highlight important gaps in research. In particular we emphasize long-term health effects of wildfire smoke, recovery following wildfire smoke exposure, and health consequences of exposure in children. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. The Human and Physical Determinants of Wildfires and Burnt Areas in Israel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Noam; Tessler, Naama; Smith, Andrew; McAlpine, Clive

    2016-09-01

    Wildfires are expected to increase in Mediterranean landscapes as a result of climate change and changes in land-use practices. In order to advance our understanding of human and physical factors shaping spatial patterns of wildfires in the region, we compared two independently generated datasets of wildfires for Israel that cover approximately the same study period. We generated a site-based dataset containing the location of 10,879 wildfires (1991-2011), and compared it to a dataset of burnt areas derived from MODIS imagery (2000-2011). We hypothesized that the physical and human factors explaining the spatial distribution of burnt areas derived from remote sensing (mostly large fires, >100 ha) will differ from those explaining site-based wildfires recorded by national agencies (mostly small fires, human activities, improving the management of forest areas and raising public awareness to fire risk are key considerations in reducing fire danger.

  8. Outreach programs, peer pressure, and common sense: What motivates homeowners to mitigate wildfire risk?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarah M. McCaffrey; Melanie Stidham; Eric Toman; Bruce. Shindler

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, altered forest conditions, climate change, and the increasing numbers of homes built in fire prone areas has meant that wildfires are affecting more people. An important part of minimizing the potential negative impacts of wildfire is engaging homeowners in mitigating the fire hazard on their land. It is therefore important to understand what makes...

  9. Regional variation in fire weather controls the reported occurrence of Scottish wildfires

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Matt Davies

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Fire is widely used as a traditional habitat management tool in Scotland, but wildfires pose a significant and growing threat. The financial costs of fighting wildfires are significant and severe wildfires can have substantial environmental impacts. Due to the intermittent occurrence of severe fire seasons, Scotland, and the UK as a whole, remain somewhat unprepared. Scotland currently lacks any form of Fire Danger Rating system that could inform managers and the Fire and Rescue Services (FRS of periods when there is a risk of increased of fire activity. We aimed evaluate the potential to use outputs from the Canadian Fire Weather Index system (FWI system to forecast periods of increased fire risk and the potential for ignitions to turn into large wildfires. We collated four and a half years of wildfire data from the Scottish FRS and examined patterns in wildfire occurrence within different regions, seasons, between urban and rural locations and according to FWI system outputs. We used a variety of techniques, including Mahalanobis distances, percentile analysis and Thiel-Sen regression, to scope the best performing FWI system codes and indices. Logistic regression showed significant differences in fire activity between regions, seasons and between urban and rural locations. The Fine Fuel Moisture Code and the Initial Spread Index did a tolerable job of modelling the probability of fire occurrence but further research on fuel moisture dynamics may provide substantial improvements. Overall our results suggest it would be prudent to ready resources and avoid managed burning when FFMC > 75 and/or ISI > 2.

  10. Regional variation in fire weather controls the reported occurrence of Scottish wildfires.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, G Matt; Legg, Colin J

    2016-01-01

    Fire is widely used as a traditional habitat management tool in Scotland, but wildfires pose a significant and growing threat. The financial costs of fighting wildfires are significant and severe wildfires can have substantial environmental impacts. Due to the intermittent occurrence of severe fire seasons, Scotland, and the UK as a whole, remain somewhat unprepared. Scotland currently lacks any form of Fire Danger Rating system that could inform managers and the Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) of periods when there is a risk of increased of fire activity. We aimed evaluate the potential to use outputs from the Canadian Fire Weather Index system (FWI system) to forecast periods of increased fire risk and the potential for ignitions to turn into large wildfires. We collated four and a half years of wildfire data from the Scottish FRS and examined patterns in wildfire occurrence within different regions, seasons, between urban and rural locations and according to FWI system outputs. We used a variety of techniques, including Mahalanobis distances, percentile analysis and Thiel-Sen regression, to scope the best performing FWI system codes and indices. Logistic regression showed significant differences in fire activity between regions, seasons and between urban and rural locations. The Fine Fuel Moisture Code and the Initial Spread Index did a tolerable job of modelling the probability of fire occurrence but further research on fuel moisture dynamics may provide substantial improvements. Overall our results suggest it would be prudent to ready resources and avoid managed burning when FFMC > 75 and/or ISI > 2.

  11. Combining ungrouped and grouped wildfire data to estimate fire risk

    KAUST Repository

    Hernandez-Magallanes, I.

    2013-01-01

    particular year. The probability model is based on the wildfire point process. Assuming a smooth intensity function, a locally weighted likelihood fit is used, which incorporates the group effect. A logit model is used under the assumption of the existence

  12. Just blowing smoke? Residents’ social construction of communication about wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travis Paveglio; Matthew S. Carroll; James D. Absher; Todd. Norton

    2009-01-01

    This study uses social constructionism as a basis for understanding the effectiveness of communication about wildfire risk between agency officials and wildland-urban interface (WUI) residents. Risk communication literature demonstrates a welldocumented difference in the way land managers and stakeholders conceptualize risk. This is especially true of fire because...

  13. The impact of wildfire on stream fishes in an Atlantic-Mediterranean climate: evidence from an 18-year chronosequence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monaghan K.A.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The predicted increase in wildfires associated with climate change poses a risk to freshwater biodiversity that may be exacerbated by river regulation. We studied the effects of wildfire and river management on the fish assemblages of Atlantic-Mediterranean streams in northern Portugal. Employing a chronosquence survey covering an 18-year gradient of impact-recovery from major fire events (ca. 100% catchment burnt, we assessed the ecological response with respect to time since wildfire, interpreting fish assemblages in the context of species traits and characteristics of the river habitat. Non-burnt sites (N = 18; surveyed 4 years previously were compared to burnt sites (N = 14, two of which were part of the non-burnt set, thus providing a Before-After Impact comparison (BAI; N = 2. Across burnt sites richness and abundance were not related to time since wildfire. BAI revealed a contrast in the response of different species that corresponded to descriptive evidence from the chronosequence of burnt sites. As resource specialists, Salmo trutta were negatively impacted by wildfire; Iberian endemic cyprinids, characterized by generalist traits, demonstrated resistance. Habitat structure was a key determinant of wildfire-impact, increasing with channel slope and the degree of channelization. The low abundance of migratory taxa (S. trutta and Anguilla anguilla at burnt sites suggested the importance of fish mobility to post-fire recovery. These data demonstrate that trait profiles and habitat descriptions provide pragmatic information for the management of rivers in fire-susceptible regions and suggest that the rehabilitation of these upland stream habitats might enhance ecological resistance and resilience to catchment wildfire.

  14. Adapt to more wildfire in western North American forests as climate changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoennagel, Tania; Balch, Jennifer K; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Dennison, Philip E; Harvey, Brian J; Krawchuk, Meg A; Mietkiewicz, Nathan; Morgan, Penelope; Moritz, Max A; Rasker, Ray; Turner, Monica G; Whitlock, Cathy

    2017-05-02

    Wildfires across western North America have increased in number and size over the past three decades, and this trend will continue in response to further warming. As a consequence, the wildland-urban interface is projected to experience substantially higher risk of climate-driven fires in the coming decades. Although many plants, animals, and ecosystem services benefit from fire, it is unknown how ecosystems will respond to increased burning and warming. Policy and management have focused primarily on specified resilience approaches aimed at resistance to wildfire and restoration of areas burned by wildfire through fire suppression and fuels management. These strategies are inadequate to address a new era of western wildfires. In contrast, policies that promote adaptive resilience to wildfire, by which people and ecosystems adjust and reorganize in response to changing fire regimes to reduce future vulnerability, are needed. Key aspects of an adaptive resilience approach are ( i ) recognizing that fuels reduction cannot alter regional wildfire trends; ( ii ) targeting fuels reduction to increase adaptation by some ecosystems and residential communities to more frequent fire; ( iii ) actively managing more wild and prescribed fires with a range of severities; and ( iv ) incentivizing and planning residential development to withstand inevitable wildfire. These strategies represent a shift in policy and management from restoring ecosystems based on historical baselines to adapting to changing fire regimes and from unsustainable defense of the wildland-urban interface to developing fire-adapted communities. We propose an approach that accepts wildfire as an inevitable catalyst of change and that promotes adaptive responses by ecosystems and residential communities to more warming and wildfire.

  15. Wildfire spread, hazard and exposure metric raster grids for central Catalonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fermín J. Alcasena

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available We provide 40 m resolution wildfire spread, hazard and exposure metric raster grids for the 0.13 million ha fire-prone Bages County in central Catalonia (northeastern Spain corresponding to node influence grid (NIG, crown fraction burned (CFB and fire transmission to residential houses (TR. Fire spread and behavior data (NIG, CFB and fire perimeters were generated with fire simulation modeling considering wildfire season extreme fire weather conditions (97th percentile. Moreover, CFB was also generated for prescribed fire (Rx mild weather conditions. The TR smoothed grid was obtained with a geospatial analysis considering large fire perimeters and individual residential structures located within the study area. We made these raster grids available to assist in the optimization of wildfire risk management plans within the study area and to help mitigate potential losses from catastrophic events. Keywords: Catalonia, Wildfire exposure, Fire transmission, Crown fire activity, Prescribed fires

  16. Metagenomic assessment of the potential microbial nitrogen pathways in the rhizosphere of a mediterranean forest after a wildfire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobo-Díaz, José F; Fernández-González, Antonio J; Villadas, Pablo J; Robles, Ana B; Toro, Nicolás; Fernández-López, Manuel

    2015-05-01

    Wildfires are frequent in the forests of the Mediterranean Basin and have greatly influenced this ecosystem. Changes to the physical and chemical properties of the soil, due to fire and post-fire conditions, result in alterations of both the bacterial communities and the nitrogen cycle. We explored the effects of a holm oak forest wildfire on the rhizospheric bacterial communities involved in the nitrogen cycle. Metagenomic data of the genes involved in the nitrogen cycle showed that both the undisturbed and burned rhizospheres had a conservative nitrogen cycle with a larger number of sequences related to the nitrogen incorporation pathways and a lower number for nitrogen output. However, the burned rhizosphere showed a statistically significant increase in the number of sequences for nitrogen incorporation (allantoin utilization and nitrogen fixation) and a significantly lower number of sequences for denitrification and dissimilatory nitrite reductase subsystems, possibly in order to compensate for nitrogen loss from the soil after burning. The genetic potential for nitrogen incorporation into the ecosystem was assessed through the diversity of the nitrogenase reductase enzyme, which is encoded by the nifH gene. We found that nifH gene diversity and richness were lower in burned than in undisturbed rhizospheric soils. The structure of the bacterial communities involved in the nitrogen cycle showed a statistically significant increase of Actinobacteria and Firmicutes phyla after the wildfire. Both approaches showed the important role of gram-positive bacteria in the ecosystem after a wildfire.

  17. Synoptic patterns associated with wildfires caused by lightning in Castile and Leon, Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. García-Ortega

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The Iberian Peninsula presents the highest number of wildfires in Europe. In the NW of Spain in particular, wildfires are the natural risk with the greatest economic impact in this region. Wildfires caused by lightning are closely related to the triggering of convective phenomena. The prediction of thunderstorms is a very complex task because these weather events have a local character and are highly dependent on mesoscale atmospheric conditions. The development of convective storms is directly linked to the existence of a synoptic environment favoring convection. The aim of this study is to classify the atmospheric patterns that provide favorable environments for the occurrence of wildfires caused by lightning in the region of Castile and Leon, Spain. The database used for the study contains 376 wildfire days from the period 1987–2006. NCEP data reanalysis has been used. The atmospheric fields used to characterise each day were: geopotential heights and temperatures at 500 hPa and 850 hPa, relative humidity and the horizontal wind at 850 hPa. A Principal Component Analysis in T-mode followed by a Cluster Analysis resulted in a classification of wildfire days into five clusters. The characteristics of these clusters were analysed and described, focusing particularly on the study of those wildfire days in which more than one wildfire was detected. In these cases the main feature observed was the intensification of the disturbance typical of the cluster to which the wildfire belongs.

  18. Economics of wildfire management the development and application of suppression expenditure models

    CERN Document Server

    Hand, Michael S; Liang, Jingjing; Thompson, Matthew P

    2014-01-01

    In this age of climatic and financial uncertainty, it becomes increasingly important to balance the cost, benefits and risk of wildfire management. In the United States, increased wildland fire activity over the last 15 years has resulted in drastic damage and loss of life. An associated rapid increase in fire management costs has consumed higher portions of budgets of public entities involved in wildfire management, challenging their ability to fulfill other responsibilities. Increased public scrutiny highlights the need to improve wildland fire management for cost effectiveness. This book closely examines the development of basic wildfire suppression cost models for the United States and their application to a wide range of settings from informing incident decision making to programmatic review. The book also explores emerging trends in suppression costs and introduces new spatially explicit cost models to account for characteristics of the burned landscape. Finally, it discusses how emerging risk assessmen...

  19. Particulate Air Pollution from Wildfires in the Western US under Climate Change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jia Coco; Mickley, Loretta J; Sulprizio, Melissa P; Dominici, Francesca; Yue, Xu; Ebisu, Keita; Anderson, Georgiana Brooke; Khan, Rafi F A; Bravo, Mercedes A; Bell, Michelle L

    2016-10-01

    Wildfire can impose a direct impact on human health under climate change. While the potential impacts of climate change on wildfires and resulting air pollution have been studied, it is not known who will be most affected by the growing threat of wildfires. Identifying communities that will be most affected will inform development of fire management strategies and disaster preparedness programs. We estimate levels of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5 ) directly attributable to wildfires in 561 western US counties during fire seasons for the present-day (2004-2009) and future (2046-2051), using a fire prediction model and GEOS-Chem, a 3-D global chemical transport model. Future estimates are obtained under a scenario of moderately increasing greenhouse gases by mid-century. We create a new term "Smoke Wave," defined as ≥2 consecutive days with high wildfire-specific PM 2.5 , to describe episodes of high air pollution from wildfires. We develop an interactive map to demonstrate the counties likely to suffer from future high wildfire pollution events. For 2004-2009, on days exceeding regulatory PM 2.5 standards, wildfires contributed an average of 71.3% of total PM 2.5 . Under future climate change, we estimate that more than 82 million individuals will experience a 57% and 31% increase in the frequency and intensity, respectively, of Smoke Waves. Northern California, Western Oregon and the Great Plains are likely to suffer the highest exposure to widlfire smoke in the future. Results point to the potential health impacts of increasing wildfire activity on large numbers of people in a warming climate and the need to establish or modify US wildfire management and evacuation programs in high-risk regions. The study also adds to the growing literature arguing that extreme events in a changing climate could have significant consequences for human health.

  20. Wild Fire Risk Map in the Eastern Steppe of Mongolia Using Spatial Multi-Criteria Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasanbat, Elbegjargal; Lkhamjav, Ochirkhuyag

    2016-06-01

    Grassland fire is a cause of major disturbance to ecosystems and economies throughout the world. This paper investigated to identify risk zone of wildfire distributions on the Eastern Steppe of Mongolia. The study selected variables for wildfire risk assessment using a combination of data collection, including Social Economic, Climate, Geographic Information Systems, Remotely sensed imagery, and statistical yearbook information. Moreover, an evaluation of the result is used field validation data and assessment. The data evaluation resulted divided by main three group factors Environmental, Social Economic factor, Climate factor and Fire information factor into eleven input variables, which were classified into five categories by risk levels important criteria and ranks. All of the explanatory variables were integrated into spatial a model and used to estimate the wildfire risk index. Within the index, five categories were created, based on spatial statistics, to adequately assess respective fire risk: very high risk, high risk, moderate risk, low and very low. Approximately more than half, 68 percent of the study area was predicted accuracy to good within the very high, high risk and moderate risk zones. The percentages of actual fires in each fire risk zone were as follows: very high risk, 42 percent; high risk, 26 percent; moderate risk, 13 percent; low risk, 8 percent; and very low risk, 11 percent. The main overall accuracy to correct prediction from the model was 62 percent. The model and results could be support in spatial decision making support system processes and in preventative wildfire management strategies. Also it could be help to improve ecological and biodiversity conservation management.

  1. Post-wildfire soil erosion in the Mediterranean: Review and future research directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shakesby, R. A.

    2011-04-01

    erosion) arising from future climatic change. Different future wildfire mitigation responses and likely erosional consequences are outlined. Research gaps are identified, and more research effort is suggested to: (1) improve assessment of post-wildfire erosion impact on soil fertility, through further quantification of soil nutrient depletion resulting from single and multiple fire cycles, and on soil longevity; (2) investigate prescribed fire impacts on carbon release, air pollution and nutrient losses as well as on soil loss; (3) isolate hillslope- and catchment-scale impacts of soil water repellency under Mediterranean post-wildfire conditions; (4) test and refine application of cosmogenic radionuclides to post-wildfire hillslope-scale soil redistribution at different temporal scales; (5) use better temporal resolution of sedimentary sequences to understand palaeofire-erosion-sedimentation links; (6) quantify post-wildfire wind erosion; (7) improve the integration of wildfire into an overall assessment of the processes and impacts of land degradation in the Mediterranean; and (8) raise public awareness of wildfire impact on soil degradation.

  2. Vegetation recovery assessment following large wildfires in the Mediterranean Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastos, A.; Gouveia, C. M.; Trigo, R. M.; DaCamara, C. C.

    2012-04-01

    Mediterranean ecosystems have evolved along with fire, adapting to quick recovering following wildfire events. However, vegetation species respond differently to the changes in fire regimes that have been observed in the past decades in the Mediterranean. These changes, which occurred mainly due to socio-economic and climatic changes, led to dramatic modifications of landscape composition and structure (Malkinson et al., 2011). Post-fire vegetation recovery depends on environmental factors such as landscape features and climatic variables and on specific plant traits; however it also depends on the differentiated response of each species to the characteristics of fire regimes, such as recurrence, severity and extent. The complexity of the interactions between these factors emphasizes the importance of assessing quantitatively post-fire recovery as well as the role of driving factors of regeneration over different regions in the Mediterranean. In 2006, Spain experienced the fire season with larger fires, restricted to a relatively small region of the province of Galicia, that represents more than 60% of total burned area of this fire season (92000ha out of 148827 ha). The 2007 fire season in Greece was remarkably severe, registering the highest value of burnt area (225734 ha) since 1980. Finally, in 2010 a very large wildfire of about 5000 ha occurred in Mount Carmel, Israel, with major social and environmental impacts. The work relies on monthly NDVI data from SPOT/VEGETATION at 1km spatial resolution over the period from September 1998 - August 2011 for Spain, Greece and Israel. Here we have applied the same sequential methodology developed at our laboratory, starting by the identification of very large burnt scars by means of a spatial cluster analysis followed by the application of the monoparametric model (Gouveia et al., 2010; Bastos et al., 2011) in order to study post-fire vegetation dynamics. Post-fire recovery times were estimated for burnt scars from each

  3. Future respiratory hospital admissions from wildfire smoke under climate change in the Western US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coco Liu, Jia; Mickley, Loretta J.; Sulprizio, Melissa P.; Yue, Xu; Peng, Roger D.; Dominici, Francesca; Bell, Michelle L.

    2016-12-01

    Background. Wildfires are anticipated to be more frequent and intense under climate change. As a result, wildfires may emit more air pollutants that can harm health in communities in the future. The health impacts of wildfire smoke under climate change are largely unknown. Methods. We linked projections of future levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) specifically from wildfire smoke under the A1B climate change scenario using the GEOS-Chem model for 2046-2051, present-day estimates of hospital admission impacts from wildfire smoke, and future population projections to estimate the change in respiratory hospital admissions for persons ≥65 years by county (n = 561) from wildfire PM2.5 under climate change in the Western US. Results. The increase in intense wildfire smoke days from climate change would result in an estimated 178 (95% confidence interval: 6.2, 361) additional respiratory hospital admissions in the Western US, accounting for estimated future increase in the elderly population. Climate change is estimated to impose an additional 4990 high-pollution smoke days. Central Colorado, Washington and southern California are estimated to experience the highest percentage increase in respiratory admissions from wildfire smoke under climate change. Conclusion. Although the increase in number of respiratory admissions from wildfire smoke seems modest, these results provide important scientific evidence of an often-ignored aspect of wildfire impact, and information on their anticipated spatial distribution. Wildfires can cause serious social burdens such as property damage and suppression cost, but can also raise health problems. The results provide information that can be incorporated into development of environmental and health policies in response to climate change. Climate change adaptation policies could incorporate scientific evidence on health risks from natural disasters such as wildfires.

  4. UAS Developments Supporting Wildfire Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambrosia, V. G.; Dahlgren, R. P.; Watts, A.; Reynolds, K. W.; Ball, T.

    2014-12-01

    Wildfires are regularly occurring emergency events that threaten life, property, and natural resources in every U.S. State and many countries around the world. Despite projections that $1.8 billion will be spent by U.S. Federal agencies alone on wildfires in 2014, the decades-long trend of increasing fire size, severity, and cost is expected to continue. Furthermore, the enormous potential for UAS (and concomitant sensor systems) to serve as geospatial intelligence tools to improve the safety and effectiveness of fire management, and our ability to forecast fire and smoke movements, remains barely tapped. Although orbital sensor assets are can provide the geospatial extent of wildfires, generally those resources are limited in use due to their spatial and temporal resolution limitations. These two critical elements make orbital assets of limited utility for tactical, real-time wildfire management, or for continuous scientific analysis of the temporal dynamics related to fire energy release rates and plume concentrations that vary significantly thru a fire's progression. Large UAS platforms and sensors can and have been used to monitor wildfire events at improved temporal, spatial and radiometric scales, but more focus is being placed on the use of small UAS (sUAS) and sensors to support wildfire observation strategies. The use of sUAS is therefore more critical for TACTICAL management purposes, rather than strategic observations, where small-scale fire developments are critical to understand. This paper will highlight the historical development and use of UAS for fire observations, as well as the current shift in focus to smaller, more affordable UAS for more rapid integration into operational use on wildfire events to support tactical observation strategies, and support wildfire science measurement inprovements.

  5. Preliminary results from a survey of U.S. Forest Service wildfire managers' attitudes toward aviation personnel exposure and risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew Wibbenmeyer; Michael Hand; David Calkin

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (USFS) has, in recent years, increasingly emphasized the importance of safety to its employees, but wildfire management remains a risky endeavor. While wildfire management decisions affecting safety and exposure of firefighters to the wildland fire environment may be aided by decision support tools such the Wildfire...

  6. Examining Atmospheric and Ecological Drivers of Wildfires, Modeling Wildfire Occurrence in the Southwest United States, and Using Atmospheric Sounding Observations to Verify National Weather Service Spot Forecasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nauslar, Nicholas J.

    of wildfires and large wildfires identified days or time periods with increased wildfire activity for each PSA and the SWA. Self-organizing maps utilizing 500 and 700 hPa geopotential heights and precipitable water were implemented to identify atmospheric patterns contributing to the NAM onset and busy days/periods for each PSA and the SWA. Resulting SOM map types also showed the transition to, during, and from the NAM. Northward and eastward displacements of the subtropical ridge (i.e., four-corners high) over the SWA were associated with NAM onset, and a suppressed subtropical ridge and breakdown of the subtropical ridge map types over the SWA were associated with increased wildfire activity. We implemented boosted regression trees (BRT) to model wildfire occurrence for all and large wildfires for different wildfire types (i.e., lightning, human) across the SWA by PSA. BRT models for all wildfires demonstrated relatively small mean and mean absolute errors and showed better predictability on days with wildfires. Cross-validated accuracy assessments for large wildfires demonstrated the ability to discriminate between large wildfire and non-large wildfire days across all wildfire types. Measurements describing fuel conditions (i.e., 100 and 1000-hour dead fuel moisture, energy release component) were the most important predictors when considering all wildfire types and sizes. However, a combination of fuels and atmospheric predictors (i.e., lightning, temperature) proved most predictive for large wildfire occurrence, and the number of relevant predictors increases for large wildfires indicating more conditions need to align to support large wildfires.

  7. Policy change and governance at the wildland-urban interface: the case of post-wildfire impacts in Boise, Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindquist, Eric

    2013-04-01

    In the summer of 2012 over 1.7 million acres (approximately 6900 sq kilometers) were burned from wildfires in the state of Idaho in the Western United States. While most of the these fires were in rural and wilderness areas, several significant fires occurred at the wildland-urban interface (WUI), threatening houses, communities and the built environment as never before. As the population of the Mountain West in the United States grows, the WUI (the area where homes are being built adjacent to traditionally wild or rural areas and the built environment encroaches on wildlands) is rapidly becoming an at risk area for human habitation. Efforts to make these areas more resilient and sustainable in the face of increasing fire risk, due to increasing drought and climate change, are resulting in efforts to change or adapt disaster response and planning policy. An increase in stakeholders, however, with diverse objectives and resources presents an opportunity to assess the current governance situation for policy change in response to wildland fires in the dynamic and complex context of the WUI. The research presented here will focus on the case of Treasure Valley region of southwest Idaho and Boise, the capitol city of Idaho. This region is illustrative of the growing urban western United States and the pressures from a growing population pushing into the WUI. This research frames fire policy and decision making at the wildland-urban interface within public policy process theory using the example of the summer of 2012 forest fires in Idaho (USA) and focuses on subsequents impact these fires are having on fire planning and policy in the Boise metropolitan region. The focus is on the diverse stakeholders (federal, state and regional agencies, tourism, agriculture and private sector interests, homeowner organizations, and fire response and recovery agencies) and their roles and responsibilities, their interactions, decision and policy processes, the use of science in

  8. Rebuilding and new housing development after wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patricia M. Alexandre; Miranda H. Mockrin; Susan I. Stewart; Roger B. Hammer; Volker C. Radeloff

    2015-01-01

    The number of wildland-urban interface communities affected by wildfire is increasing, and both wildfire suppression and losses are costly. However, little is known about post-wildfire response by homeowners and communities after buildings are lost. Our goal was to characterise rebuilding and new development after wildfires across the conterminous United States. We...

  9. Analyzing the transmission of wildfire exposure on a fire-prone landscape in Oregon, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alan A. Ager; Michelle A. Day; Mark A. Finney; Ken Vance-Borland; Nicole M. Vaillant

    2014-01-01

    We develop the idea of risk transmission from large wildfires and apply network analyses to understand its importance on a 0.75 million ha US national forest. Wildfires in the western US frequently burn over long distances (e.g., 20–50 km) through highly fragmented landscapes with respect to ownership, fuels, management intensity, population density, and ecological...

  10. Simulating wildfire spread behavior between two NASA Active Fire data timeframes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhikari, B.; Hodza, P.; Xu, C.; Minckley, T. A.

    2017-12-01

    Although NASA's Active Fire dataset is considered valuable in mapping the spatial distribution and extent of wildfires across the world, the data is only available at approximately 12-hour time intervals, creating uncertainties and risks associated with fire spread and behavior between the two Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Satellite (VIIRS) data collection timeframes. Our study seeks to close the information gap for the United States by using the latest Active Fire data collected for instance around 0130 hours as an ignition source and critical inputs to a wildfire model by uniquely incorporating forecasted and real-time weather conditions for predicting fire perimeter at the next 12 hour reporting time (i.e. around 1330 hours). The model ingests highly dynamic variables such as fuel moisture, temperature, relative humidity, wind among others, and prompts a Monte Carlo simulation exercise that uses a varying range of possible values for evaluating all possible wildfire behaviors. The Monte Carlo simulation implemented in this model provides a measure of the relative wildfire risk levels at various locations based on the number of times those sites are intersected by simulated fire perimeters. Model calibration is achieved using data at next reporting time (i.e. after 12 hours) to enhance the predictive quality at further time steps. While initial results indicate that the calibrated model can predict the overall geometry and direction of wildland fire spread, the model seems to over-predict the sizes of most fire perimeters possibly due to unaccounted fire suppression activities. Nonetheless, the results of this study show great promise in aiding wildland fire tracking, fighting and risk management.

  11. WILD FIRE RISK MAP IN THE EASTERN STEPPE OF MONGOLIA USING SPATIAL MULTI-CRITERIA ANALYSIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Nasanbat

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Grassland fire is a cause of major disturbance to ecosystems and economies throughout the world. This paper investigated to identify risk zone of wildfire distributions on the Eastern Steppe of Mongolia. The study selected variables for wildfire risk assessment using a combination of data collection, including Social Economic, Climate, Geographic Information Systems, Remotely sensed imagery, and statistical yearbook information. Moreover, an evaluation of the result is used field validation data and assessment. The data evaluation resulted divided by main three group factors Environmental, Social Economic factor, Climate factor and Fire information factor into eleven input variables, which were classified into five categories by risk levels important criteria and ranks. All of the explanatory variables were integrated into spatial a model and used to estimate the wildfire risk index. Within the index, five categories were created, based on spatial statistics, to adequately assess respective fire risk: very high risk, high risk, moderate risk, low and very low. Approximately more than half, 68 percent of the study area was predicted accuracy to good within the very high, high risk and moderate risk zones. The percentages of actual fires in each fire risk zone were as follows: very high risk, 42 percent; high risk, 26 percent; moderate risk, 13 percent; low risk, 8 percent; and very low risk, 11 percent. The main overall accuracy to correct prediction from the model was 62 percent. The model and results could be support in spatial decision making support system processes and in preventative wildfire management strategies. Also it could be help to improve ecological and biodiversity conservation management.

  12. Are wildfire management resources in the United States efficiently allocated to protect resources at risk? A case study from Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derek T. O' Donnell; Tyron J. Venna; David E. Calkin

    2014-01-01

    Federal wildfire management agencies in the United States are under substantial pressure to reduce and economically justify their expenditures. To support economically efficient management of wildfires, managers need better estimates of the resource benefits and avoided damage costs associated with alternative wildfire management strategies. This paper reports findings...

  13. Wildfires in Siberian Mountain Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kharuk, V.; Ponomarev, E. I.; Antamoshkina, O.

    2017-12-01

    The annual burned area in Russia was estimated as 0.55 to 20 Mha with >70% occurred in Siberia. We analyzed Siberian wildfires distribution with respect to elevation, slope steepness and exposure. In addition, wildfires temporal dynamic and latitudinal range were analyzed. We used daily thermal anomalies derived from NOAA/AVHRR and Terra/MODIS satellites (1990-2016). Fire return intervals were (FRI) calculated based on the dendrochronology analysis of samples taken from trees with burn marks. Spatial distribution of wildfires dependent on topo features: relative burned area increase with elevation increase (ca. 1100 m), switching to following decrease. The wildfires frequency exponentially decreased within lowlands - highlands transition. Burned area is increasing with slope steepness increase (up to 5-10°). Fire return intervals (FRI) on the southfacing slopes are about 30% longer than on the north facing. Wildfire re-occurrence is decreasing exponentially: 90% of burns were caused by single fires, 8.5% by double fires, 1% burned three times, and on about 0.05% territory wildfires occurred four times (observed period: 75 yr.). Wildfires area and number, as well as FRI, also dependent on latitude: relative burned area increasing exponentially in norward direction, whereas relative fire number is exponentially decreasing. FRI increases in the northward direction: from 80 years at 62°N to 200 years at the Arctic Circle, and to 300 years at the northern limit of closed forests ( 71+°N). Fire frequency, fire danger period and FRI are strongly correlated with incoming solar radiation (r = 0.81 - 0.95). In 21-s century, a positive trend of wildfires number and area observed in mountain areas in all Siberia. Thus, burned area and number of fires in Siberia are significantly increased since 1990th (R2 =0.47, R2 =0.69, respectively), and that increase correlated with air temperatures and climate aridity increases. However, wildfires are essential for supporting fire

  14. Collaborative Approaches to Increase the Utility of Spatial Data for the Wildfire Management Community Through NASA's Applied Remote Sensing Training Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCullum, A. J. K.; Schmidt, C.; Blevins, B.; Weber, K.; Schnase, J. L.; Carroll, M.; Prados, A. I.

    2015-12-01

    The utility of spatial data products and tools to assess risk and effectively manage wildfires has increased, highlighting the need for communicating information about these new capabilities to decision makers, resource managers, and community leaders. NASA's Applied Remote Sensing Training (ARSET) program works directly with agencies and policy makers to develop in-person and online training courses that teach end users how to access, visualize, and apply NASA Earth Science data in their profession. The expansion of ARSET into wildfire applications began in 2015 with a webinar and subsequent in-person training hosted in collaboration with Idaho State University's (ISU) GIS Training and Research Center (TReC). These trainings featured presentations from the USDA Forest Service's Remote Sensing Training and Applications Center, the Land Processes DAAC, Northwest Nazarene University, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and ISU's GIS TReC. The webinar focused on providing land managers, non-governmental organizations, and international management agencies with an overview of 1) remote sensing platforms for wildfire applications, 2) products for pre- and post-fire planning and assessment, 3) the use of terrain data, 4) new techniques and technologies such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems and the Soil Moisture Active Passive Mission (SMAP), and 5) the RECOVER Decision Support System. This training highlighted online tools that engage the wildfire community through collaborative monitoring and assessment efforts. Webinar attendance included 278 participants from 178 organizations in 42 countries and 33 US states. The majority of respondents (93%) from a post-webinar survey indicated they displayed improvement in their understanding of specific remote-sensing data products appropriate for their work needs. With collaborative efforts between federal, state, and local agencies and academic institutions, increased use of NASA Earth Observations may lead to improved near real

  15. Wildfires in Chile: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Úbeda, Xavier; Sarricolea, Pablo

    2016-11-01

    This paper reviews the literature examining the wildfire phenomenon in Chile. Since ancient times, Chile's wildfires have shaped the country's landscape, but today, as in many other parts of the world, the fire regime - pattern, frequency and intensity - has grown at an alarming rate. In 2014, > 8000 fires were responsible for burning c. 130,000 ha, making it the worst year in Chile's recent history. The reasons for this increase appear to be the increment in the area planted with flammable species; the rejection of these landscape modifications on the part of local communities that target these plantations in arson attacks; and, the adoption of intensive forest management practices resulting in the accumulation of a high fuel load. These trends have left many native species in a precarious situation and forest plantation companies under considerable financial pressure. An additional problem is posed by fires at the wildland urban interface (WUI), threatening those inhabitants that live in Chile's most heavily populated cities. The prevalence of natural fires in Chile; the relationship between certain plant species and fire in terms of seed germination strategies and plant adaptation; the relationship between fire and invasive species; and, the need for fire prevention systems and territorial plans that include fire risk assessments are some of the key aspects discussed in this article. Several of the questions raised will require further research, including just how fire-dependent the ecosystems in Chile are, how the forest at the WUI can be better managed to prevent human and material damage, and how best to address the social controversy that pits the Mapuche population against the timber companies.

  16. Economic optimisation of wildfire intervention activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    David T. Butry; Jeffrey P. Prestemon; Karen L. Abt; Ronda Sutphen

    2010-01-01

    We describe how two important tools of wildfire management, wildfire prevention education and prescribed fire for fuels management, can be coordinated to minimise the combination of management costs and expected societal losses resulting from wildland fire. We present a long-run model that accounts for the dynamics of wildfire, the effects of fuels management on...

  17. Wildfire Detection and Tracking over Greece Using MSG‑SEVIRI Satellite Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolaos I. Sifakis

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Greece is a high risk Mediterranean country with respect to wildfires. This risk has been increasing under the impact of climate change, and in summer 2007 approximately 200,000 ha of vegetated land were burnt. The SEVIRI sensor, on board the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG geostationary satellite, is the only spaceborne sensor providing five and 15-minute observations of Europe in 12 spectral channels, including a short-wave infrared band sensitive to fire radiative temperature. In August 2007, when the bulk of the destructive wildfires started in Greece, the receiving station, operated by the Institute for Space Applications and Remote Sensing, provided us with a time series of MSG-SEVIRI images. These images were processed in order to test the reliability of a real‑time detection and tracking system and its complementarity to conventional means provided by the Fire Brigade. EUMETSAT’s Active Fire Monitoring (FIR image processing algorithm for fire detection and monitoring was applied to SEVIRI data, then fine-tuned according to Greek conditions, and evaluated. Alarm announcements from the Fire Brigade’s archives were used as ground truthing data in order to assess detection reliability and system performance. During the examined period, MSG-SEVIRI data successfully detected 82% of the fire events in Greek territory with less than 1% false alarms.

  18. Dormant season grazing may decrease wildfire probability by increasing fuel moisture and reducing fuel amount and continuity

    Science.gov (United States)

    1. Wildfire is an ecological and economic risk for many semi-arid rangelands across the globe. This coupled with extreme wildfire seasons and mega-fires over the last decade have resulted in a call for more pre-suppression management actions. Dormant season grazing has been suggested as a treatment...

  19. Wildfire Smoke Health Watch

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2012-07-23

    Smoke from wildfires can be dangerous to your health. In this podcast, you will learn the health threats of wildfire smoke and steps you can take to minimize these effects.  Created: 7/23/2012 by Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHPR).   Date Released: 7/23/2012.

  20. Estimation of wildfire size and risk changes due to fuels treatments

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. A. Cochrane; C. J. Moran; M. C. Wimberly; A. D. Baer; M. A. Finney; K. L. Beckendorf; J. Eidenshink; Z. Zhu

    2012-01-01

    Human land use practices, altered climates, and shifting forest and fire management policies have increased the frequency of large wildfires several-fold. Mitigation of potential fire behaviour and fire severity have increasingly been attempted through pre-fire alteration of wildland fuels using mechanical treatments and prescribed fires. Despite annual treatment of...

  1. What are the most fire-dangerous atmospheric circulations in the Eastern-Mediterranean? Analysis of the synoptic wildfire climatology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paschalidou, A K; Kassomenos, P A

    2016-01-01

    Wildfire management is closely linked to robust forecasts of changes in wildfire risk related to meteorological conditions. This link can be bridged either through fire weather indices or through statistical techniques that directly relate atmospheric patterns to wildfire activity. In the present work the COST-733 classification schemes are applied in order to link wildfires in Greece with synoptic circulation patterns. The analysis reveals that the majority of wildfire events can be explained by a small number of specific synoptic circulations, hence reflecting the synoptic climatology of wildfires. All 8 classification schemes used, prove that the most fire-dangerous conditions in Greece are characterized by a combination of high atmospheric pressure systems located N to NW of Greece, coupled with lower pressures located over the very Eastern part of the Mediterranean, an atmospheric pressure pattern closely linked to the local Etesian winds over the Aegean Sea. During these events, the atmospheric pressure has been reported to be anomalously high, while anomalously low 500hPa geopotential heights and negative total water column anomalies were also observed. Among the various classification schemes used, the 2 Principal Component Analysis-based classifications, namely the PCT and the PXE, as well as the Leader Algorithm classification LND proved to be the best options, in terms of being capable to isolate the vast amount of fire events in a small number of classes with increased frequency of occurrence. It is estimated that these 3 schemes, in combination with medium-range to seasonal climate forecasts, could be used by wildfire risk managers to provide increased wildfire prediction accuracy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Regional modeling of large wildfires under current and potential future climates in Colorado and Wyoming, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Amanda; Kumar, Sunil; Jarnevich, Catherine S.

    2016-01-01

    Regional analysis of large wildfire potential given climate change scenarios is crucial to understanding areas most at risk in the future, yet wildfire models are not often developed and tested at this spatial scale. We fit three historical climate suitability models for large wildfires (i.e. ≥ 400 ha) in Colorado andWyoming using topography and decadal climate averages corresponding to wildfire occurrence at the same temporal scale. The historical models classified points of known large wildfire occurrence with high accuracies. Using a novel approach in wildfire modeling, we applied the historical models to independent climate and wildfire datasets, and the resulting sensitivities were 0.75, 0.81, and 0.83 for Maxent, Generalized Linear, and Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines, respectively. We projected the historic models into future climate space using data from 15 global circulation models and two representative concentration pathway scenarios. Maps from these geospatial analyses can be used to evaluate the changing spatial distribution of climate suitability of large wildfires in these states. April relative humidity was the most important covariate in all models, providing insight to the climate space of large wildfires in this region. These methods incorporate monthly and seasonal climate averages at a spatial resolution relevant to land management (i.e. 1 km2) and provide a tool that can be modified for other regions of North America, or adapted for other parts of the world.

  3. Before, During, and After a Wildfire

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    More and more people are making their homes in woodland settings – in or near forests, rural areas, or remote mountain sites - areas in which wildfires are more likely to occur. Wildfires often begin unnoticed. They spread quickly, igniting brush, trees, and homes. CDC recommends taking steps before, during, and after local wildfires to reduce the effect they have on your life.

  4. Development and application of a probabilistic method for wildfire suppression cost modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew P. Thompson; Jessica R. Haas; Mark A. Finney; David E. Calkin; Michael S. Hand; Mark J. Browne; Martin Halek; Karen C. Short; Isaac C. Grenfell

    2015-01-01

    Wildfire activity and escalating suppression costs continue to threaten the financial health of federal land management agencies. In order to minimize and effectively manage the cost of financial risk, agencies need the ability to quantify that risk. A fundamental aim of this research effort, therefore, is to develop a process for generating risk-based metrics for...

  5. Modeling Wildfire Hazard in the Western Hindu Kush-Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bylow, D.

    2012-12-01

    Wildfire regimes are a leading driver of global environmental change affecting a diverse array of global ecosystems. Particulates and aerosols produced by wildfires are a primary source of air pollution making the early detection and monitoring of wildfires crucial. The objectives of this study were to model regional wildfire potential and identify environmental, topological, and sociological factors that contribute to the ignition of wildfire events in the Western Hindu Kush-Himalayas of South Asia. The environmental, topological, and sociological factors were used to model regional wildfire potential through multi-criteria evaluation using a method of weighted linear combination. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and geographic information systems (GIS) data were integrated to analyze regional wildfires and construct the model. Model validation was performed using a holdout cross validation method. The study produced a significant model of wildfire potential in the Western Hindu Kush-Himalayas.; Western Hindu Kush-Himalayas ; Western Hindu Kush-Himalayas Wildfire Potential

  6. Spatial and temporal changes in land cover and its relation to the wildfire risk in Montes de Zuera (NE-Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iñiguez-Remón, E.; Badía-Villas, D.; Ibarra-Benlloch, P.

    2012-04-01

    Land cover changes in a territory can be as result of the diverse human activities, and also, by the dynamic natural ecosystem. The analysis of these changes constitutes a fundamental indicator in improving the knowledge towards a potential sustainable development (OSE, 2006). This paper analyzes the evolution of the land cover at detailed scale 1:5000, along the years 1957, 1984, and 2005, in the Montes de Zuera (UTM: 665000-680000 East /4640000-4650000 North), nearby Zaragoza city (NE-Spain). Despite they are located in the midst of the semiarid Central Ebro Basin, the area have an uncommon, extensive and dense forest cover. For these reasons, Montes de Zuera form part of the "Natura 2000 Network" of Aragon. Because this region has a high incidence of wildfires and, as a measure to prevent them, land cover changes have been analyzed in this study. To get this objective, a methodology is developed based on GIS and Remote Sensing tools, and this makes it possible to establish the relationship between the dynamic land cover and "fire hazard". According to FAO (1986), fire hazard is the measure of risk of wildfire, which is explained by the presence of combustible materials available to burn (Chuvieco et al, 2004). It is understood that the areas with major fire hazard present a high vulnerability to suffer vast wildfires. To develop this work, the type of vegetation, its distribution and the state of maturity of the forest masses are analyzed. Moreover, the wildfires that occurred during the last five decades have been located, and the forest masses and the processes (anthropic and natural) associated to them have been characterized in the regions affected by vast wildfires. Moreover, the cartography of fire hazard is obtained, and this is useful tool to fre prevention and to promote the sustainable management of the forest masses. Two regions with high rate of fire hazards are differentiated (region 1 and region 2). The Aleppo pine cover occupies the majority of

  7. Pattern and process of prescribed fires influence effectiveness at reducing wildfire severity in dry coniferous forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arkle, Robert S.; Pilliod, David S.; Welty, Justin L.

    2012-01-01

    We examined the effects of three early season (spring) prescribed fires on burn severity patterns of summer wildfires that occurred 1–3 years post-treatment in a mixed conifer forest in central Idaho. Wildfire and prescribed fire burn severities were estimated as the difference in normalized burn ratio (dNBR) using Landsat imagery. We used GIS derived vegetation, topography, and treatment variables to generate models predicting the wildfire burn severity of 1286–5500 30-m pixels within and around treated areas. We found that wildfire severity was significantly lower in treated areas than in untreated areas and significantly lower than the potential wildfire severity of the treated areas had treatments not been implemented. At the pixel level, wildfire severity was best predicted by an interaction between prescribed fire severity, topographic moisture, heat load, and pre-fire vegetation volume. Prescribed fire severity and vegetation volume were the most influential predictors. Prescribed fire severity, and its influence on wildfire severity, was highest in relatively warm and dry locations, which were able to burn under spring conditions. In contrast, wildfire severity peaked in cooler, more mesic locations that dried later in the summer and supported greater vegetation volume. We found considerable evidence that prescribed fires have landscape-level influences within treatment boundaries; most notable was an interaction between distance from the prescribed fire perimeter and distance from treated patch edges, which explained up to 66% of the variation in wildfire severity. Early season prescribed fires may not directly target the locations most at risk of high severity wildfire, but proximity of these areas to treated patches and the discontinuity of fuels following treatment may influence wildfire severity and explain how even low severity treatments can be effective management tools in fire-prone landscapes.

  8. Multitemporal Modelling of Socio-Economic Wildfire Drivers in Central Spain between the 1980s and the 2000s: Comparing Generalized Linear Models to Machine Learning Algorithms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilar, Lara; Gómez, Israel; Martínez-Vega, Javier; Echavarría, Pilar; Riaño, David; Martín, M Pilar

    2016-01-01

    The socio-economic factors are of key importance during all phases of wildfire management that include prevention, suppression and restoration. However, modeling these factors, at the proper spatial and temporal scale to understand fire regimes is still challenging. This study analyses socio-economic drivers of wildfire occurrence in central Spain. This site represents a good example of how human activities play a key role over wildfires in the European Mediterranean basin. Generalized Linear Models (GLM) and machine learning Maximum Entropy models (Maxent) predicted wildfire occurrence in the 1980s and also in the 2000s to identify changes between each period in the socio-economic drivers affecting wildfire occurrence. GLM base their estimation on wildfire presence-absence observations whereas Maxent on wildfire presence-only. According to indicators like sensitivity or commission error Maxent outperformed GLM in both periods. It achieved a sensitivity of 38.9% and a commission error of 43.9% for the 1980s, and 67.3% and 17.9% for the 2000s. Instead, GLM obtained 23.33, 64.97, 9.41 and 18.34%, respectively. However GLM performed steadier than Maxent in terms of the overall fit. Both models explained wildfires from predictors such as population density and Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), but differed in their relative contribution. As a result of the urban sprawl and an abandonment of rural areas, predictors like WUI and distance to roads increased their contribution to both models in the 2000s, whereas Forest-Grassland Interface (FGI) influence decreased. This study demonstrates that human component can be modelled with a spatio-temporal dimension to integrate it into wildfire risk assessment.

  9. Net benefits of wildfire prevention education efforts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffrey P. Prestemon; David T. Butry; Karen L. Abt; Ronda Sutphen

    2010-01-01

    Wildfire prevention education efforts involve a variety of methods, including airing public service announcements, distributing brochures, and making presentations, which are intended to reduce the occurrence of certain kinds of wildfires. A Poisson model of preventable Florida wildfires from 2002 to 2007 by fire management region was developed. Controlling for...

  10. The economic benefits of wildfire prevention education

    Science.gov (United States)

    L.A. Hermansen-Baez; J.P. Prestemon; D.T. Butry; K.L. Abt; R. Sutphen

    2011-01-01

    While there are many activities that can limit damages from wildfires, such as firefighting efforts and prescribed burning, wildfire prevention education programs can be particularly beneficial. This was confirmed through a study conducted by the Southern Research Station and the National Institute of Standards and Technology that demonstrated that wildfire prevention...

  11. Wildfires in Chernobyl-contaminated forests and risks to the population and the environment: a new nuclear disaster about to happen?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evangeliou, Nikolaos; Balkanski, Yves; Cozic, Anne; Hao, Wei Min; Møller, Anders Pape

    2014-12-01

    Radioactive contamination in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia after the Chernobyl accident left large rural and forest areas to their own fate. Forest succession in conjunction with lack of forest management started gradually transforming the landscape. During the last 28 years dead wood and litter have dramatically accumulated in these areas, whereas climate change has increased temperature and favored drought. The present situation in these forests suggests an increased risk of wildfires, especially after the pronounced forest fires of 2010, which remobilized Chernobyl-deposited radioactive materials transporting them thousand kilometers far. For the aforementioned reasons, we study the consequences of different forest fires on the redistribution of (137)Cs. Using the time frequency of the fires that occurred in the area during 2010, we study three scenarios assuming that 10%, 50% and 100% of the area are burnt. We aim to sensitize the scientific community and the European authorities for the foreseen risks from radioactivity redistribution over Europe. The global model LMDZORINCA that reads deposition density of radionuclides and burnt area from satellites was used, whereas risks for the human and animal population were calculated using the Linear No-Threshold (LNT) model and the computerized software ERICA Tool, respectively. Depending on the scenario, whereas between 20 and 240 humans may suffer from solid cancers, of which 10-170 may be fatal. ERICA predicts insignificant changes in animal populations from the fires, whereas the already extreme radioactivity background plays a major role in their living quality. The resulting releases of (137)Cs after hypothetical wildfires in Chernobyl's forests are classified as high in the International Nuclear Events Scale (INES). The estimated cancer incidents and fatalities are expected to be comparable to those predicted for Fukushima. This is attributed to the fact that the distribution of radioactive fallout after the

  12. Wildfires in Chernobyl-contaminated forests and risks to the population and the environment: A new nuclear disaster about to happen?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Evangeliou, Nikolaos; Balkanski, Yves; Cozic, Anne

    2014-01-01

    Radioactive contamination in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia after the Chernobyl accident left large rural and forest areas to their own fate. Forest succession in conjunction with lack of forest management started gradually transforming the landscape. During the last 28 years dead wood and litter have dramatically accumulated in these areas, whereas climate change has increased temperature and favored drought. The present situation in these forests suggests an increased risk of wildfires, especially after the pronounced forest fires of 2010, which re-mobilized Chernobyl-deposited radioactive materials transporting them thousand kilometers far. For the aforementioned reasons, we study the consequences of different forest fires on the redistribution of 137 Cs. Using the time frequency of the fires that occurred in the area during 2010, we study three scenarios assuming that 10%, 50% and 100% of the area are burnt. We aim to sensitize the scientific community and the European authorities for the foreseen risks from radioactivity redistribution over Europe. The global model LMDZORINCA that reads deposition density of radionuclides and burnt area from satellites was used, whereas risks for the human and animal population were calculated using the Linear No-Threshold (LNT) model and the computerized software ERICA Tool, respectively. Depending on the scenario, whereas between 20 and 240 humans may suffer from solid cancers, of which 10-170 may be fatal. ERICA predicts insignificant changes in animal populations from the fires, whereas the already extreme radioactivity background plays a major role in their living quality. The resulting releases of 137 Cs after hypothetical wildfires in Chernobyl's forests are classified as high in the International Nuclear Events Scale (INES). The estimated cancer incidents and fatalities are expected to be comparable to those predicted for Fukushima. This is attributed to the fact that the distribution of radioactive fallout after the

  13. Transboundary Collaborations to Enhance Wildfire Suppression in Protected Areas of the Black Sea Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. N. Zaimes

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available For the most effective and efficient management of certain natural resources (e.g. protected areas and disasters (e.g. wildfires transboundary approaches are needed. In addition in the management of protected areas, the role of wildfire should be incorporated, something that was ignored in the past and led to catastrophic wildfires. The Black Sea is a region that wildfires in the protected areas are expected to increase. This has to do with the abandonment of rural areas and the higher temperatures, especially during summer, due to climate change. Interesting is also the fact that some countries of the region have extensive experience while other do not have neither the experience nor the necessary infrastructures to face large wildfires. A transboundary collaboration would be very beneficial to the countries with limited experiences and capacities to suppress wildfires. The objective of this study is to be proactive by developing innovative tools to help suppress wildfires and enhancing the knowledge on wildfires and protected areas. The innovative tools included 4 different research activities and products. Firstly, an online Digital Geodatabase for the six pilot areas was developed. Next forest fire fuels and maps were developed while a forest fire behavior model was run to create the overall fire risk maps for the pilot areas. To estimate water resources and watershed streamflows the hydrologic model SWAT was validated and calibrated for the pilot areas. The final activities included a multi-criteria decision analysis to select the optimal location of the water reservoirs and the use of spatial analyst to provide the optimal routes to reach reservoirs by the fire vehicles. To enhance the responsible agency personnel along with stakeholders knowledge of the region, a Neighborhood Network with regular quarterly meetings was established. Participants for all six project countries were present in the meetings. Overall, new tool that will enhance

  14. Wildfire ignition resistant home design(WIRHD) program: Full-scale testing and demonstration final report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quarles, Stephen, L.; Sindelar, Melissa

    2011-12-13

    The primary goal of the Wildfire ignition resistant home design(WIRHD) program was to develop a home evaluation tool that could assess the ignition potential of a structure subjected to wildfire exposures. This report describes the tests that were conducted, summarizes the results, and discusses the implications of these results with regard to the vulnerabilities to homes and buildings.

  15. Understanding change: Wildfire in Larimer County, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannah Brenkert-Smith; Patricia A. Champ

    2013-01-01

    Wildfire activity continues to plague communities in the American West. Three causes are often identified as key contributors to the wildfire problem: accumulated fuels on public lands due to a history of suppressing wildfires; climate change; and an influx of residents into fire prone areas referred to as the wildland-urban interface (WUI). The latter of these...

  16. Understanding change: Wildfire in Boulder County, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannah Brenkert-Smith; Patricia A. Champ; Amy L. Telligman

    2013-01-01

    Wildfire activity continues to plague communities in the American West. Three causes are often identified as key contributors to the wildfire problem: accumulated fuels on public lands due to a history of suppressing wildfires; climate change; and an influx of residents into fire prone areas referred to as the wildland-urban interface (WUI). The latter of these...

  17. Mitigating wildfire carbon loss in managed northern peatlands through restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granath, Gustaf; Moore, Paul A.; Lukenbach, Maxwell C.; Waddington, James M.

    2016-06-01

    Northern peatlands can emit large amounts of carbon and harmful smoke pollution during a wildfire. Of particular concern are drained and mined peatlands, where management practices destabilize an array of ecohydrological feedbacks, moss traits and peat properties that moderate water and carbon losses in natural peatlands. Our results demonstrate that drained and mined peatlands in Canada and northern Europe can experience catastrophic deep burns (>200 t C ha-1 emitted) under current weather conditions. Furthermore, climate change will cause greater water losses in these peatlands and subject even deeper peat layers to wildfire combustion. However, the rewetting of drained peatlands and the restoration of mined peatlands can effectively lower the risk of these deep burns, especially if a new peat moss layer successfully establishes and raises peat moisture content. We argue that restoration efforts are a necessary measure to mitigate the risk of carbon loss in managed peatlands under climate change.

  18. Before, During, and After a Wildfire

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2007-11-01

    More and more people are making their homes in woodland settings – in or near forests, rural areas, or remote mountain sites - areas in which wildfires are more likely to occur. Wildfires often begin unnoticed. They spread quickly, igniting brush, trees, and homes. CDC recommends taking steps before, during, and after local wildfires to reduce the effect they have on your life.  Created: 11/1/2007 by Emergency Communications System.   Date Released: 11/1/2007.

  19. Amphibian responses to wildfire in the western united states: Emerging patterns from short-term studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, B.R.; Pilliod, D.S.

    2011-01-01

    The increased frequency and severity of large wildfires in the western United States is an important ecological and management issue with direct relevance to amphibian conservation. Although the knowledge of fire effects on amphibians in the region is still limited relative to most other vertebrate species, we reviewed the current literature to determine if there are evident patterns that might be informative for conservation or management strategies. Of the seven studies that compared pre- and post-wildfire data on a variety of metrics, ranging from amphibian occupancy to body condition, two reported positive responses and five detected negative responses by at least one species. Another seven studies used a retrospective approach to compare effects of wildfire on populations: two studies reported positive effects, three reported negative effects from wildfire, and two reported no effects. All four studies that included plethodontid salamanders reported negative effects on populations or individuals; these effects were greater in forests where fire had been suppressed and in areas that burned with high severity. Species that breed in streams are also vulnerable to post-wildfire changes in habitat, especially in the Southwest. Wildfire is also important for maintaining suitable habitat for diverse amphibian communities, although those results may not be evident immediately after an area burns. We expect that wildfire will extirpate few healthy amphibian populations, but it is still unclear how populations will respond to wildfire in the context of land management (including pre- and post-fire timber harvest) and fragmentation. Wildfire may also increase the risk of decline or extirpation for small, isolated, or stressed (e.g., from drought or disease) populations. Improved understanding of how these effects vary according to changes in fire frequency and severity are critical to form more effective conservation strategies for amphibians in the western United States.

  20. Effects of forest management on California Spotted Owls: implications for reducing wildfire risk in fire‐prone forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tempel, Douglas J; Gutiérrez, R J; Whitmore, Sheila A; Reetz, Matthew J; Stoelting, Ricka E; Berigan, William J; Seamans, Mark E; Zachariah Peery, M

    Management of many North American forests is challenged by the need to balance the potentially competing objectives of reducing risks posed by high-severity wildfires and protecting threatened species. In the Sierra Nevada, California, concern about high-severity fires has increased in recent decades but uncertainty exists over the effects of fuel-reduction treatments on species associated with older forests, such as the California Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis). Here, we assessed the effects of forest conditions, fuel reductions, and wildfire on a declining population of Spotted Owls in the central Sierra Nevada using 20 years of demographic data collected at 74 Spotted Owl territories. Adult survival and territory colonization probabilities were relatively high, while territory extinction probability was relatively low, especially in territories that had relatively large amounts of high canopy cover (≥70%) forest. Reproduction was negatively associated with the area of medium-intensity timber harvests characteristic of proposed fuel treatments. Our results also suggested that the amount of edge between older forests and shrub/sapling vegetation and increased habitat heterogeneity may positively influence demographic rates of Spotted Owls. Finally, high-severity fire negatively influenced the probability of territory colonization. Despite correlations between owl demographic rates and several habitat variables, life stage simulation (sensitivity) analyses indicated that the amount of forest with high canopy cover was the primary driver of population growth and equilibrium occupancy at the scale of individual territories. Greater than 90% of medium-intensity harvests converted high-canopy-cover forests into lower-canopy-cover vegetation classes, suggesting that landscape-scale fuel treatments in such stands could have short-term negative impacts on populations of California Spotted Owls. Moreover, high-canopy-cover forests declined by an average of

  1. Rapid growth of the US wildland-urban interface raises wildfire risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volker C. Radeloff; David P. Helmers; H. Anu Kramer; Miranda H. Mockrin; Patricia M. Alexandre; Avi Bar-Massada; Van Butsic; Todd J. Hawbaker; Sebastián Martinuzzi; Alexandra D. Syphard; Susan I. Stewart

    2018-01-01

    The wildland-urban interface (WUI) is the area where houses and wildland vegetation meet or intermingle, and where wildfire problems are most pronounced. Here we report that the WUI in the United States grew rapidly from 1990 to 2010 in terms of both number of new houses (from 30.8 to 43.4 million; 41% growth) and land area (from 581,000 to 770,000 km2...

  2. WILDFIRE IGNITION RESISTANCE ESTIMATOR WIZARD SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT REPORT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Phillips, M.; Robinson, C.; Gupta, N.; Werth, D.

    2012-10-10

    This report describes the development of a software tool, entitled “WildFire Ignition Resistance Estimator Wizard” (WildFIRE Wizard, Version 2.10). This software was developed within the Wildfire Ignition Resistant Home Design (WIRHD) program, sponsored by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, Infrastructure Protection & Disaster Management Division. WildFIRE Wizard is a tool that enables homeowners to take preventive actions that will reduce their home’s vulnerability to wildfire ignition sources (i.e., embers, radiant heat, and direct flame impingement) well in advance of a wildfire event. This report describes the development of the software, its operation, its technical basis and calculations, and steps taken to verify its performance.

  3. Measuring the consequences of wildfires in a Bayesian network with vulnerability and exposure indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papakosta, Panagiota; Botzler, Sebastian; Krug, Kai; Straub, Daniel

    2013-04-01

    Mediterranean climate type areas have always been experiencing fire events. However, population growth and expansion of urban centers into wildland areas during the 20th century (expansion of wildland-urban interface) has increased the threat to humans and their activities. Life and property losses, damage on infrastructure and crops, and forest degradation are some of the damages caused by wildfires. Although fires repeatedly occur along the Mediterranean basin, not all areas have experienced severe consequences. The extent of damage by wildfires is influenced by several factors, such as population density, vegetation type, topography, weather conditions and social preparedness [1]. Wildfire consequence estimation by means of vulnerability and exposure indicators is an essential part of wildfire risk analysis. Vulnerability indicators express the conditions that increase the susceptibility of a site to the impact of wildfires and exposure indicators describe the elements at risk [2],[3]. Appropriate indicators to measure wildfire vulnerability and exposure can vary with scale and site. The consequences can be classified into economic, social, environmental and safety, and they can be tangible (human life losses, buildings damaged) or intangible (damage of cultural heritage site). As a consequence, a variety of approaches exist and there is a lack of generalized unified easy-to-implement methodologies. In this study we present a methodology for measuring consequences of wildfires in a Mediterranean area in the mesoscale (1 km² spatial resolution). Vulnerability and exposure indicators covering all consequence levels are identified and their interrelations are stressed. Variables such as building materials, roofing type, and average building values are included in the economic vulnerability level. Safety exposure is expressed by population density, demographic structure, street density and distance to closest fire station. Environmental vulnerability of protected

  4. A burning problem: social dynamics of disaster risk reduction through wildfire mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan Charnley; Melissa R. Poe; Alan A. Ager; Thomas A. Spies; Emily K. Platt; Keith A. Olsen

    2015-01-01

    Disasters result from hazards affecting vulnerable people. Most disasters research by anthropologists focuses on vulnerability; this article focuses on natural hazards. We use the case of wildfire mitigation on United States Forest Service lands in the northwestern United States to examine social, political, and economic variables at multiple scales that influence fire...

  5. Modeling the impacts of wildfire on runoff and pollutant transport from coastal watersheds to the nearshore environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Katherine D; Kolden, Crystal A

    2015-03-15

    Wildfire is a common disturbance that can significantly alter vegetation in watersheds and affect the rate of sediment and nutrient transport to adjacent nearshore oceanic environments. Changes in runoff resulting from heterogeneous wildfire effects are not well-understood due to both limitations in the field measurement of runoff and temporally-limited spatial data available to parameterize runoff models. We apply replicable, scalable methods for modeling wildfire impacts on sediment and nonpoint source pollutant export into the nearshore environment, and assess relationships between wildfire severity and runoff. Nonpoint source pollutants were modeled using a GIS-based empirical deterministic model parameterized with multi-year land cover data to quantify fire-induced increases in transport to the nearshore environment. Results indicate post-fire concentration increases in phosphorus by 161 percent, sediments by 350 percent and total suspended solids (TSS) by 53 percent above pre-fire years. Higher wildfire severity was associated with the greater increase in exports of pollutants and sediment to the nearshore environment, primarily resulting from the conversion of forest and shrubland to grassland. This suggests that increasing wildfire severity with climate change will increase potential negative impacts to adjacent marine ecosystems. The approach used is replicable and can be utilized to assess the effects of other types of land cover change at landscape scales. It also provides a planning and prioritization framework for management activities associated with wildfire, including suppression, thinning, and post-fire rehabilitation, allowing for quantification of potential negative impacts to the nearshore environment in coastal basins. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Biomass offsets little or none of permafrost carbon release from soils, streams, and wildfire: an expert assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin W. Abbott,; Jeremy B. Jones,; Edward A.G. Schuur,; F.S. Chapin, III; Bowden, William B.; M. Syndonia Bret-Harte,; Howard E. Epstein,; Michael D. Flannigan,; Tamara K. Harms,; Teresa N. Hollingsworth,; Mack, Michelle C.; McGuire, A. David; Susan M. Natali,; Adrian V. Rocha,; Tank, Suzanne E.; Merrit R. Turetsky,; Jorien E. Vonk,; Wickland, Kimberly P.; Aiken, George R.

    2016-01-01

    As the permafrost region warms, its large organic carbon pool will be increasingly vulnerable to decomposition, combustion, and hydrologic export. Models predict that some portion of this release will be offset by increased production of Arctic and boreal biomass; however, the lack of robust estimates of net carbon balance increases the risk of further overshooting international emissions targets. Precise empirical or model-based assessments of the critical factors driving carbon balance are unlikely in the near future, so to address this gap, we present estimates from 98 permafrost-region experts of the response of biomass, wildfire, and hydrologic carbon flux to climate change. Results suggest that contrary to model projections, total permafrost-region biomass could decrease due to water stress and disturbance, factors that are not adequately incorporated in current models. Assessments indicate that end-of-the-century organic carbon release from Arctic rivers and collapsing coastlines could increase by 75% while carbon loss via burning could increase four-fold. Experts identified water balance, shifts in vegetation community, and permafrost degradation as the key sources of uncertainty in predicting future system response. In combination with previous findings, results suggest the permafrost region will become a carbon source to the atmosphere by 2100 regardless of warming scenario but that 65%–85% of permafrost carbon release can still be avoided if human emissions are actively reduced.

  7. Polishing the prism: improving wildfire mitigation planning by coupling landscape and social dimensions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geoffrey Koch; Alan Ager; Jeff Kline; Paige Fischer

    2016-01-01

    Effectively addressing wildfire risk to communities on large multi-owner landscapes requires an understanding of the biophysical factors that influence risk, such as fuel loads, topography, and weather, and social factors such as the capacity and willingness for communities to engage in fire-mitigation activities. Biophysical and social processes often are disconnected...

  8. Assessing Lightning and Wildfire Hazard by Land Properties and Cloud to Ground Lightning Data with Association Rule Mining in Alberta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, DongHwan; Wang, Xin; Kim, Jeong Woo

    2017-10-23

    Hotspot analysis was implemented to find regions in the province of Alberta (Canada) with high frequency Cloud to Ground (CG) lightning strikes clustered together. Generally, hotspot regions are located in the central, central east, and south central regions of the study region. About 94% of annual lightning occurred during warm months (June to August) and the daily lightning frequency was influenced by the diurnal heating cycle. The association rule mining technique was used to investigate frequent CG lightning patterns, which were verified by similarity measurement to check the patterns' consistency. The similarity coefficient values indicated that there were high correlations throughout the entire study period. Most wildfires (about 93%) in Alberta occurred in forests, wetland forests, and wetland shrub areas. It was also found that lightning and wildfires occur in two distinct areas: frequent wildfire regions with a high frequency of lightning, and frequent wild-fire regions with a low frequency of lightning. Further, the preference index (PI) revealed locations where the wildfires occurred more frequently than in other class regions. The wildfire hazard area was estimated with the CG lightning hazard map and specific land use types.

  9. Predicting wildfire occurrence distribution with spatial point process models and its uncertainty assessment: a case study in the Lake Tahoe Basin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jian Yang; Peter J. Weisberg; Thomas E. Dilts; E. Louise Loudermilk; Robert M. Scheller; Alison Stanton; Carl Skinner

    2015-01-01

    Strategic fire and fuel management planning benefits from detailed understanding of how wildfire occurrences are distributed spatially under current climate, and from predictive models of future wildfire occurrence given climate change scenarios. In this study, we fitted historical wildfire occurrence data from 1986 to 2009 to a suite of spatial point process (SPP)...

  10. The hidden cost of wildfires: Economic valuation of health effects of wildfire smoke exposure in Southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, L.A.; Champ, P.A.; Loomis, J.B.

    2012-01-01

    There is a growing concern that human health impacts from exposure to wildfire smoke are ignored in estimates of monetized damages from wildfires. Current research highlights the need for better data collection and analysis of these impacts. Using unique primary data, this paper quantifies the economic cost of health effects from the largest wildfire in Los Angeles County's modern history. A cost of illness estimate is $9.50 per exposed person per day. However, theory and empirical research consistently find that this measure largely underestimates the true economic cost of health effects from exposure to a pollutant in that it ignores the cost of defensive actions taken as well as disutility. For the first time, the defensive behavior method is applied to calculate the willingness to pay for a reduction in one wildfire smoke induced symptom day, which is estimated to be $84.42 per exposed person per day. ?? 2011.

  11. Best management practices for creating a community wildfire protection plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamela J. Jakes; Christine Esposito; Sam Burns; Antony S. Cheng; Kristen C. Nelson; Victoria E. Sturtevant; Daniel R. Williams

    2012-01-01

    A community wildfire protection plan (CWPP) is a means of bringing local solutions to wildland fire management. In developing and implementing CWPPs, communities assume a leadership role in reducing wildfi re risk on federal and nonfederal land. In this publication, we identify best management practices for CWPP development and implementation based on the experiences...

  12. Comparing two models for post-wildfire debris flow susceptibility mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cramer, J.; Bursik, M. I.; Legorreta Paulin, G.

    2017-12-01

    Traditionally, probabilistic post-fire debris flow susceptibility mapping has been performed based on the typical method of failure for debris flows/landslides, where slip occurs along a basal shear zone as a result of rainfall infiltration. Recent studies have argued that post-fire debris flows are fundamentally different in their method of initiation, which is not infiltration-driven, but surface runoff-driven. We test these competing models by comparing the accuracy of the susceptibility maps produced by each initiation method. Debris flow susceptibility maps are generated according to each initiation method for a mountainous region of Southern California that recently experienced wildfire and subsequent debris flows. A multiple logistic regression (MLR), which uses the occurrence of past debris flows and the values of environmental parameters, was used to determine the probability of future debris flow occurrence. The independent variables used in the MLR are dependent on the initiation method; for example, depth to slip plane, and shear strength of soil are relevant to the infiltration initiation, but not surface runoff. A post-fire debris flow inventory serves as the standard to compare the two susceptibility maps, and was generated by LiDAR analysis and field based ground-truthing. The amount of overlap between the true locations where debris flow erosion can be documented, and where the MLR predicts high probability of debris flow initiation was statistically quantified. The Figure of Merit in Space (FMS) was used to compare the two models, and the results of the FMS comparison suggest that surface runoff-driven initiation better explains debris flow occurrence. Wildfire can breed conditions that induce debris flows in areas that normally would not be prone to them. Because of this, nearby communities at risk may not be equipped to protect themselves against debris flows. In California, there are just a few months between wildland fire season and the wet

  13. Using field data to assess model predictions of surface and ground fuel consumption by wildfire in coniferous forests of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lydersen, Jamie M.; Collins, Brandon M.; Ewell, Carol M.; Reiner, Alicia L.; Fites, Jo Ann; Dow, Christopher B.; Gonzalez, Patrick; Saah, David S.; Battles, John J.

    2014-03-01

    Inventories of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from wildfire provide essential information to the state of California, USA, and other governments that have enacted emission reductions. Wildfires can release a substantial amount of GHGs and other compounds to the atmosphere, so recent increases in fire activity may be increasing GHG emissions. Quantifying wildfire emissions however can be difficult due to inherent variability in fuel loads and consumption and a lack of field data of fuel consumption by wildfire. We compare a unique set of fuel data collected immediately before and after six wildfires in coniferous forests of California to fuel consumption predictions of the first-order fire effects model (FOFEM), based on two different available fuel characterizations. We found strong regional differences in the performance of different fuel characterizations, with FOFEM overestimating the fuel consumption to a greater extent in the Klamath Mountains than in the Sierra Nevada. Inaccurate fuel load inputs caused the largest differences between predicted and observed fuel consumption. Fuel classifications tended to overestimate duff load and underestimate litter load, leading to differences in predicted emissions for some pollutants. When considering total ground and surface fuels, modeled consumption was fairly accurate on average, although the range of error in estimates of plot level consumption was very large. These results highlight the importance of fuel load input to the accuracy of modeled fuel consumption and GHG emissions from wildfires in coniferous forests.

  14. Effect of wildfires on physicochemical changes of watershed dissolved organic matter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revchuk, Alex D; Suffet, I H

    2014-04-01

    Physicochemical characterization of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) provides essential data to describe watershed characteristics after drastic changes caused by wildfires. Post-fire watershed behavior is important for water source selection, management, and drinking water treatment optimization. Using ash and other burned vegetation fragments, a leaching procedure was implemented to describe physicochemical changes to watershed DOC caused by wildfires. Samples were collected after the 2007 and 2009 wildfires near Santa Barbara, California. Substantial differences in size distribution (measured by ultrafiltration), polarity (measured by polarity rapid assessment method), and the origin of leached DOC (measured by fluorescence) were observed between burned and unburned sites. Recently burned ash had 10 times the DOC leaching potential, and was dominated by large size fragments, compared to weathered 2-year-old ash. Charged DOC fractions were found to positively correlate with DOC size, whereas hydrophobic and hydrophilic DOC fractions were not. Proteins were only observed in recently burned ash and were indicative of recent post-fire biological activity.

  15. Satellite-derived aerosol radiative forcing from the 2004 British Columbia wildfires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Song; Leighton, H.

    2008-01-01

    The British Columbia wildfires of 2004 was one of the largest wildfire events in the last ten years in Canada. Both the shortwave and longwave smoke aerosol radiative forcing at the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) are investigated using data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments. Relationships between the radiative forcing fluxes (??F) and wildfire aerosol optical thickness (AOT) at 0.55 ??m (??0.55) are deduced for both noontime instantaneous forcing and diurnally averaged forcing. The noontime averaged instantaneous shortwave and longwave smoke aerosol radiative forcing at the TOA are 45.8??27.5 W m-2 and -12.6??6.9 W m-2, respectively for a selected study area between 62??N and 68??N in latitude and 125??W and 145??W in longitude over three mainly clear-sky days (23-25 June). The derived diurnally averaged smoke aerosol shortwave radiative forcing is 19.9??12.1 W m-2 for a mean ??0.55 of 1.88??0.71 over the same time period. The derived ??F-?? relationship can be implemented in the radiation scheme used in regional climate models to assess the effect of wildfire aerosols.

  16. Socio-geographic analysis of wild land fires: causes of the 2006's wildfires in Galicia (Spain)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Balsa-Barreiro, J.; Hermosilla, T.

    2013-07-01

    Aim of study: To propose a methodology to establish motivations underlying wildland fire episodes by analyzing both the socioeconomics of the affected territory and the geographical distribution of the wildfire. Area of study: The wildfires occurred during 2006 in Galicia, in the NW of Spain, were analyzed and compared regard to the previous years. Material and methods: The proposed methodology in this study is divided into four steps: (a) definition of the forest context, (b) fire episode and socioeconomic data collection, (c) geospatial representation through map production, and (d) joint analysis and data interpretation. A combined analysis of the spatial and temporal coincidence of wildfire and the socioeconomic activities is performed. Main results: A combined analysis of the spatial and temporal coincidence of wildfire dynamics and the socioeconomic activities allow us to assess and to interpret wildfire causes and motivations of socioeconomic groups. In our area study, a broad analysis indicates that wildfire recurrence within this region is related to an accelerated rural flight process which exacerbates the conflict between rural and urban models. Research highlights: The socio-geographical analysis of a territory's wildfire dynamics enables us to establish possible causes and motivations of their origins. Providing the specific contextual and socioeconomic information, this methodology has potential applicability across varied study locations. (Author)

  17. Geospatial Analysis Application to Forecast Wildfire Occurrences in South Carolina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen L. Sperry

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Wildfire occurrence and intensity have increased over the last few decades and, at times, have been national news. Wildfire occurrence is somewhat predictable based on physical factors like meteorological conditions, fuel loads, and vegetation dynamics. Socioeconomic factors have been not been widely used in wildfire occurrence models. We used a geospatial (or geographical information system analysis approach to identify socioeconomic variables that contribute to wildfire occurrence. Key variables considered were population change, population density, poverty rate, educational level, geographic mobility, and road density (transportation network. Hot spot analysis was the primary research tool. Wildfire occurrence seemed to be positively related to low population densities, low levels of population change, high poverty rate, low educational attainment level, and low road density. Obviously, some of these variables are correlated and this is a complex problem. However, socioeconomic variables appeared to contribute to wildfire occurrence and should be considered in development of wildfire occurrence forecasting models.

  18. Towards enhanced risk management: Planning, decision making and monitoring of US wildfire response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher J. Dunn; David E. Calkin; Matthew P. Thompson

    2017-01-01

    Wildfire’s economic, ecological and social impacts are on the rise, fostering the realisation that business-as-usual fire management in the United States is not sustainable. Current response strategies may be inefficient and contributing to unnecessary responder exposure to hazardous conditions, but significant knowledge gaps constrain clear and comprehensive...

  19. A tale of two fires: The relative effectiveness of past wildfires in mitigating wildfire behavior and effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert W. Gray; Susan J. Prichard

    2015-01-01

    The incidence of large, costly landscape-scale fires in western North America is increasing. To combat these fires, researchers and managers have expressed increased interest in investigating the effectiveness of past, stand-replacing wildfires as bottom-up controls on fire spread and severity. Specifically, how effective are past wildfires in mitigating the behavior...

  20. Wildfire Risk Management on a Landscape with Public and Private Ownership: Who Pays for Protection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busby, Gwenlyn; Albers, Heidi J.

    2010-02-01

    Wildfire, like many natural hazards, affects large landscapes with many landowners and the risk individual owners face depends on both individual and collective protective actions. In this study, we develop a spatially explicit game theoretic model to examine the strategic interaction between landowners’ hazard mitigation decisions on a landscape with public and private ownership. We find that in areas where ownership is mixed, the private landowner performs too little fuel treatment as they “free ride”—capture benefits without incurring the costs—on public protection, while areas with public land only are under-protected. Our central result is that this pattern of fuel treatment comes at a cost to society because public resources focus in areas with mixed ownership, where local residents capture the benefits, and are not available for publicly managed land areas that create benefits for society at large. We also find that policies that encourage public expenditures in areas with mixed ownership, such as the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003 and public liability for private values, subsidize the residents who choose to locate in the high-risk areas at the cost of lost natural resource benefits for others.

  1. Harvesting morels after wildfire in Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tricia L. Wurtz; Amy L. Wiita; Nancy S. Weber; David Pilz

    2005-01-01

    Morels are edible, choice wild mushrooms that sometimes fruit prolifically in the years immediately after an area has been burned by wildfire. Wildfires are common in interior Alaska; an average of 708,700 acres burned each year in interior Alaska between 1961 and 2000, and in major fire years, over 2 million acres burned. We discuss Alaska's boreal forest...

  2. How risk management can prevent future wildfire disasters in the wildland-urban interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    David E. Calkin; Jack D. Cohen; Mark A. Finney; Matthew P. Thompson

    2014-01-01

    Recent fire seasons in the western United States are some of the most damaging and costly on record. Wildfires in the wildlandurban interface on the Colorado Front Range, resulting in thousands of homes burned and civilian fatalities, although devastating, are not without historical reference. These fires are consistent with the characteristics of large, damaging,...

  3. Fish and fire: Post-wildfire sediment dynamics and implications for the viability of trout populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, B. P.; Czuba, J. A.; Belmont, P.; Budy, P.; Finch, C.

    2017-12-01

    Episodic events in steep landscapes, such as wildfire and mass wasting, contribute large pulses of sediment to rivers and can significantly alter the quality and connectivity of fish habitat. Understanding where these sediment inputs occur, how they are transported and processed through the watershed, and their geomorphic effect on the river network is critical to predicting the impact on ecological aquatic communities. The Tushar Mountains of southern Utah experienced a severe wildfire in 2010, resulting in numerous debris flows and the extirpation of trout populations. Following many years of habitat and ecological monitoring in the field, we have developed a modeling framework that links post-wildfire debris flows, fluvial sediment routing, and population ecology in order to evaluate the impact and response of trout to wildfire. First, using the Tushar topographic and wildfire parameters, as well as stochastic precipitation generation, we predict the post-wildfire debris flow probabilities and volumes of mainstem tributaries using the Cannon et al. [2010] model. This produces episodic hillslope sediment inputs, which are delivered to a fluvial sediment, river-network routing model (modified from Czuba et al. [2017]). In this updated model, sediment transport dynamics are driven by time-varying discharge associated with the stochastic precipitation generation, include multiple grain sizes (including gravel), use mixed-size transport equations (Wilcock & Crowe [2003]), and incorporate channel slope adjustments with aggradation and degradation. Finally, with the spatially explicit adjustments in channel bed elevation and grain size, we utilize a new population viability analysis (PVA) model to predict the impact and recovery of fish populations in response to these changes in habitat. Our model provides a generalizable framework for linking physical and ecological models and for evaluating the extirpation risk of isolated fish populations throughout the

  4. Different regional climatic drivers of Holocene large wildfires in boreal forests of northeastern America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remy, Cécile C.; Hély, Christelle; Blarquez, Olivier; Magnan, Gabriel; Bergeron, Yves; Lavoie, Martin; Ali, Adam A.

    2017-03-01

    Global warming could increase climatic instability and large wildfire activity in circumboreal regions, potentially impairing both ecosystem functioning and human health. However, links between large wildfire events and climatic and/or meteorological conditions are still poorly understood, partly because few studies have covered a wide range of past climate-fire interactions. We compared palaeofire and simulated climatic data over the last 7000 years to assess causes of large wildfire events in three coniferous boreal forest regions in north-eastern Canada. These regions span an east-west cline, from a hilly region influenced by the Atlantic Ocean currently dominated by Picea mariana and Abies balsamea to a flatter continental region dominated by Picea mariana and Pinus banksiana. The largest wildfires occurred across the entire study zone between 3000 and 1000 cal. BP. In western and central continental regions these events were triggered by increases in both the fire-season length and summer/spring temperatures, while in the eastern region close to the ocean they were likely responses to hydrological (precipitation/evapotranspiration) variability. The impact of climatic drivers on fire size varied spatially across the study zone, confirming that regional climate dynamics could modulate effects of global climate change on wildfire regimes.

  5. Goals, obstacles and effective strategies of wildfire mitigation programs in the Wildland-Urban Interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margaret A. Reams; Terry K. Haines; Cheryl R. Renner; Michael W. Wascom; Harish Kingre

    2005-01-01

    The dramatic expansion into the Wildland–Urban Interface (WUI) places property, natural assets, and human life at risk from wildfire destruction. The U.S. National Fire Plan encourages communities to implement laws and outreach programs for pre-fire planning to mitigate the risk to area residents. Starting in 2003, we surveyed the administrators of regulatory and...

  6. Biomass offsets little or none of permafrost carbon release from soils, streams, and wildfire

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abbott, Benjamin W.; Jones, Jeremy B.; Schuur, Edward A. G.

    2016-01-01

    estimates of net carbon balance increases the risk of further overshooting international emissions targets. Precise empirical or model-based assessments of the critical factors driving carbon balance are unlikely in the near future, so to address this gap, we present estimates from 98 permafrost......-region experts of the response of biomass, wildfire, and hydrologic carbon flux to climate change. Results suggest that contrary to model projections, total permafrost-region biomass could decrease due to water stress and disturbance, factors that are not adequately incorporated in current models. Assessments...... indicate that end-of-the-century organic carbon release from Arctic rivers and collapsing coastlines could increase by 75% while carbon loss via burning could increase four-fold. Experts identified water balance, shifts in vegetation community, and permafrost degradation as the key sources of uncertainty...

  7. New Developments in Wildfire Pollution Forecasting at the Canadian Meteorological Centre

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlovic, Radenko; Chen, Jack; Munoz-Alpizar, Rodrigo; Davignon, Didier; Beaulieu, Paul-Andre; Landry, Hugo; Menard, Sylvain; Gravel, Sylvie; Moran, Michael

    2017-04-01

    Environment and Climate Change Canada's air quality forecast system with near-real-time wildfire emissions, named FireWork, was developed in 2012 and has been run by the Canadian Meteorological Centre Operations division (CMCO) since 2013. In June 2016 this system was upgraded to operational status and wildfire smoke forecasts for North America are now available to the general public. FireWork's ability to model the transport and diffusion of wildfire smoke plumes has proved to be valuable to regional air quality forecasters and emergency first responders. Some of the most challenging issues with wildfire pollution modelling concern the production of wildfire emission estimates and near-source dispersion within the air quality model. As a consequence, FireWork is undergoing constant development. During the massive Fort McMurray wildfire event in western Canada in May 2016, for example, different wildfire emissions processing approaches and wildfire emissions injection and dispersion schemes were tested within the air quality model. Work on various FireWork components will continue in order to deliver a new operational version of the forecasting system for the 2017 wildfire season. Some of the proposed improvements will be shown in this presentation along with current and planned FireWork post-processing products.

  8. Estimating mercury emissions resulting from wildfire in forests of the Western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Jackson; Kane, Tyler J.; Obrist, Daniel; Ryan, Joseph N.; Aiken, George R.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the emissions of mercury (Hg) from wildfires is important for quantifying the global atmospheric Hg sources. Emissions of Hg from soils resulting from wildfires in the Western United States was estimated for the 2000 to 2013 period, and the potential emission of Hg from forest soils was assessed as a function of forest type and soil-heating. Wildfire released an annual average of 3100 ± 1900 kg-Hg y− 1 for the years spanning 2000–2013 in the 11 states within the study area. This estimate is nearly 5-fold lower than previous estimates for the study region. Lower emission estimates are attributed to an inclusion of fire severity within burn perimeters. Within reported wildfire perimeters, the average distribution of low, moderate, and high severity burns was 52, 29, and 19% of the total area, respectively. Review of literature data suggests that that low severity burning does not result in soil heating, moderate severity fire results in shallow soil heating, and high severity fire results in relatively deep soil heating ( wood > foliage > litter > branches.

  9. Challenges in Risk Assessment: Quantitative Risk Assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Jacxsens, Liesbeth; Uyttendaele, Mieke; De Meulenaer, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    The process of risk analysis consists out of three components, risk assessment, risk management and risk communication. These components are internationally well spread by Codex Alimentarius Commission as being the basis for setting science based standards, criteria on food safety hazards, e.g. setting maximum limits of mycotoxins in foodstuffs. However, the technical component risk assessment is hard to elaborate and to understand. Key in a risk assessment is the translation of biological or...

  10. Effects of accelerated wildfire on future fire regimes and implications for the United States federal fire policy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan A. Ager

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Wildland fire suppression practices in the western United States are being widely scrutinized by policymakers and scientists as costs escalate and large fires increasingly affect social and ecological values. One potential solution is to change current fire suppression tactics to intentionally increase the area burned under conditions when risks are acceptable to managers and fires can be used to achieve long-term restoration goals in fire adapted forests. We conducted experiments with the Envision landscape model to simulate increased levels of wildfire over a 50-year period on a 1.2 million ha landscape in the eastern Cascades of Oregon, USA. We hypothesized that at some level of burned area fuels would limit the growth of new fires, and fire effects on the composition and structure of forests would eventually reduce future fire intensity and severity. We found that doubling current rates of wildfire resulted in detectable feedbacks in area burned and fire intensity. Area burned in a given simulation year was reduced about 18% per unit area burned in the prior five years averaged across all scenarios. The reduction in area burned was accompanied by substantially lower fire severity, and vegetation shifted to open forest and grass-shrub conditions at the expense of old growth habitat. Negative fire feedbacks were slightly moderated by longer-term positive feedbacks, in which the effect of prior area burned diminished during the simulation. We discuss trade-offs between managing fuels with wildfire versus prescribed fire and mechanical fuel treatments from a social and policy standpoint. The study provides a useful modeling framework to consider the potential value of fire feedbacks as part of overall land management strategies to build fire resilient landscapes and reduce wildfire risk to communities in the western U.S. The results are also relevant to prior climate-wildfire studies that did not consider fire feedbacks in projections of future

  11. Recent advances towards an integrated assessment of wildfire effects in forest plantations in Portugal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keizer, Jan Jacob; Abrantes, Nelson; Nunes, João Pedro; Caetano, Ana; Campos, Isabel; Faria, Silvia; Gonzaléz-Pelayo, Oscar; Hoogerwerf, Annelou; Malvar, Maruxa; Martins, Martinho; Methorst, Michael; Oliveira, Bruna; Prats, Sergio; Puga, João; Ré, Ana; Silva, Flávio; Serpa, Dalila; Varela, Marifé; Verheijen, Frank; Vieira, Diana

    2017-04-01

    Wildfires have been a common phenomenon during the warm and dry summers in Portugal over the past decades, having affected, on average, some 100.000 ha per year and, in extremis, roughly 450.000 ha in 2005. Existing forecasts do not suggest major improvements in the next few decades, due to likely future climate conditions that are to be even more propitious to fire ignition and spreading and, arguably, the nature of the underlying causes that are deeply-rooted in Portugal's present-day society as well as in its rural and forest policies. Since the dramatic wildfire summers of 2003 and 2005, the earth surface processes (esp) team has been working towards its ultimate goal of a model-based tool in support of post-fire land management which would allow identifying and mapping areas with high erosion risk after fire and post-fire land management operations and would allow predicting the effectiveness of emergency stabilization measures to reduce this risk. Although this tool is still in its infancy, in recent years the esp team has made some progress with modelling post-fire runoff and erosion, and its reduction by mulching with forest logging residues, with a special focus on soil water repellency in the adaptation of existing models to recently burned conditions (Vieira et al., 2014; Nunes et al., 2016; Van Eck et al., 2016). This modelling work will be addressed in detail by another presentation at this EGU conference (Nunes et al., 2017). The esp team does, however, dispose of a wealth of field data to further its modelling efforts, not just at the plot to field scale but also at the scale of small experimental catchments (typically less than 1 km2), not just for single fires but also for recurrent fires, not just for "doing nothing" and typical post-fire forestry operations (logging, wood extraction, bench terracing) but also for various soil conservation measures (hydro-mulching, forest logging residues mulching, shrub barriers), and not just for runoff and

  12. The Central Pine Barrens of Long Island, New York - Steps to improve community preparedness for wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rachel Hudson; Kristen Nelson; Erika Lang

    2004-01-01

    This handout provides cooperators and high fire risk communities in the area in and around the central pine barrens of Long Island, New York examples of steps to take to increase wildfire preparedness.

  13. Mapping the Relationship Between Wildfire and Poverty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathy Lynn; Wendy Gerlitz

    2006-01-01

    Wildfires and related government roles and responsibilities for federal wildland management are prominent in our national consciousness because of the increased severity in the last decade of fires on and around public lands. In recent years, laws, strategies, and implementation documents have been issued to direct federal efforts for wildfire prevention, firefighting...

  14. Exploring local perceptions and attributions of 'extreme' wildfire impacts in Rural Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, M.; Paveglio, T.; Kallman, D.

    2013-12-01

    To date there have been few systematic efforts to uncover the criteria that local stakeholders use to perceive of and make judgments about the severity of wildfire impacts to the social-ecological systems they are a part of. The study presented here sought to uncover expanded understandings of perceived social and ecological impacts from a wildfire in rural Montana and the underlying causes for those perceived impacts. Such efforts could lead to more comprehensive social impact assessment concerning wildfires or other hazards and help better understand how local perceptions might influence residents' ongoing attitudes toward fire risk or mitigation efforts. The study presented here explored local perceptions of impact from the 2012 Dahl fire near Roundup, MT. The Dahl Fire burned 73 permanent structures, 150 outbuilding and 22,000 acres of predominantly private lands in the rural Bull Mountains. Members of the project team interviewed approximately 50 stakeholders impacted by or involved in the management for the Dahl Fire. Interviews took place in the summer of 2013 and included a variety of residents, emergency personnel, firefighters, local community officials and land management professionals. Results suggest that residents considered the Dahl fire especially impactful given the number of private residences and structures that were burned and the number of people displaced or disrupted by the event (either directly, through efforts to help those affected, or through indirect impacts to community function). The extremity of the firefighting conditions (e.g. wind, relative humidity, terrain), the rapidity of fire spread through populated areas and the damages sustained given previous fires in the area all surprised stakeholders and contributed to their perceptions of impact severity. Conflicts over access to properties during and immediately following the fire, and the variable perception that personal wildfire mitigations did little to reduce damages from the

  15. Mercury in terrestrial forested systems with highly elevated mercury deposition in southwestern China: The risk to insects and potential release from wildfires

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou, Jun; Wang, Zhangwei; Sun, Ting; Zhang, Huan; Zhang, Xiaoshan

    2016-01-01

    Forests are considered a pool of mercury in the global mercury cycle. However, few studies have investigated the distribution of mercury in the forested systems in China. Tieshanping forest catchment in southwest China was impacted by mercury emissions from industrial activities and coal combustions. Our work studied mercury content in atmosphere, soil, vegetation and insect with a view to estimating the potential for mercury release during forest fires. Results of the present study showed that total gaseous mercury (TGM) was highly elevated and the annual mean concentration was 3.51 ± 1.39 ng m"−"2. Of the vegetation tissues, the mercury concentration follows the order of leaf/needle > root > bark > branch > bole wood for each species. Total ecosystem mercury pool was 103.5 mg m"−"2 and about 99.4% of the mercury resides in soil layers (0–40 cm). The remaining 0.6% (0.50 mg m"−"2) of mercury was stored in biomass. The large mercury stocks in the forest ecosystem pose a serious threat for large pluses to the atmospheric mercury during potential wildfires and additional ecological stress to forest insect: dung beetles, cicada and longicorn, with mercury concentration of 1983 ± 446, 49 ± 38 and 7 ± 5 ng g"−"1, respectively. Hence, the results obtained in the present study has implications for global estimates of mercury storage in forests, risks to forest insect and potential release to the atmosphere during wildfires. - Highlights: • Mercury in air, soil, biomass and insect were studied at a subtropical forest. • 99.4% of the total ecosystem mercury pools was resided in soil layers. • High mercury pools were large pulses to the atmosphere during potential wildfires. • High mercury deposition in forest pose an ecological stress to insect. - Large mercury pools in forest pose a serious threat for large pluses to the atmospheric mercury during potential wildfires and ecological stress to insect.

  16. In ecoregions across western USA streamflow increases during post-wildfire recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wine, Michael L.; Cadol, Daniel; Makhnin, Oleg

    2018-01-01

    Continued growth of the human population on Earth will increase pressure on already stressed terrestrial water resources required for drinking water, agriculture, and industry. This stress demands improved understanding of critical controls on water resource availability, particularly in water-limited regions. Mechanistic predictions of future water resource availability are needed because non-stationary conditions exist in the form of changing climatic conditions, land management paradigms, and ecological disturbance regimes. While historically ecological disturbances have been small and could be neglected relative to climatic effects, evidence is accumulating that ecological disturbances, particularly wildfire, can increase regional water availability. However, wildfire hydrologic impacts are typically estimated locally and at small spatial scales, via disparate measurement methods and analysis techniques, and outside the context of climate change projections. Consequently, the relative importance of climate change driven versus wildfire driven impacts on streamflow remains unknown across the western USA. Here we show that considering wildfire in modeling streamflow significantly improves model predictions. Mixed effects modeling attributed 2%-14% of long-term annual streamflow to wildfire effects. The importance of this wildfire-linked streamflow relative to predicted climate change-induced streamflow reductions ranged from 20%-370% of the streamflow decrease predicted to occur by 2050. The rate of post-wildfire vegetation recovery and the proportion of watershed area burned controlled the wildfire effect. Our results demonstrate that in large areas of the western USA affected by wildfire, regional predictions of future water availability are subject to greater structural uncertainty than previously thought. These results suggest that future streamflows may be underestimated in areas affected by increased prevalence of hydrologically relevant ecological

  17. Enhancing Pre- and Post-Wildfire Vegetation Recovery and Understanding Feedbacks of Cheatgrass invasion Using NASA Earth Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, N.; Counts, A.; Quistorff, C.; Ohr, C. A.; Toner, C.

    2017-12-01

    Increasing wildfire frequency and severity has emphasized the importance of post-wildfire recovery efforts in southern Idaho's sagebrush ecosystems. These changing fire regimes favor invasive grass species while hindering native sagebrush habitat regeneration, causing a positive feedback cycle of invasive growth - wildfires - invasive growth. Due to this undesirable process and anthropogenic influences, the sagebrush ecosystem is one of the most endangered in the US. In this project the NASA DEVELOP group of Pocatello, Idaho partnered with the Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the US Department of Agriculture to characterize ecosystem recovery following the Crystal (2006), Henry Creek (2016), Jefferson (2010), and Soda (2015) wildfires. Determining vegetation cover heterogeneity and density can be time consuming and the factors affecting ecosystem recovery can be complex. In addition, restoration success is difficult to determine as vegetation composition is not often known prior to wildfire events and monitoring vegetation composition after restoration efforts can be resource intensive. These wildfires temporal monitoring consisted of 2001 to 2017 using NASA Earth observations such as Landsat 5 Thermal Mapper (TM), Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI), Terra Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) to determine the most significant factors of wildfire recovery and the influence targeted grazing could have for recovery. In addition, this project will include monitoring of invasive species propagation and whether spatial patterns or extents of the wildfire contribute to propagation. Understanding the key variables that made reseeding and natural recovery work in some areas, assessing why they failed in others, and identifying factors that made non-native propagation ideal are important issues for land managers in this region.

  18. Estimating wildfire response costs in Alaska's changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Climate change is altering wildfire activity across Alaska, with increased area burned projected for the future. Changes in wildfire are expected to affect the need for management and suppression resources, however the potential economic implications of these needs have not been ...

  19. Spreading like wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-11-01

    The 2017 wildfire season has seen unusually high fire levels in many parts of the world, with extensive and severe fires occurring in Chile, the Mediterranean, Russia, the US, Canada and even Greenland. Is this a sign of things to come?

  20. Effect of Wildfire on Sequoiadendron giganteum Growth and CO2 Flux

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barwegen, S.

    2016-12-01

    Due to global warming, parts of the United States are becoming drier than ever before. In 2015, we surpassed 9 million acres burned by wildfires nationally (Rice 2015). Wildfires are most common in the Western United States due to drought, and the fact that the summer months are drier than other areas such as the East Coast, so there is a higher risk for wildland fires (Donegan 2016). These high-growth forests that are more frequently burned by wildfires each year are located near mountain ranges on the west side of the United States. They are important to tourism, contain many endangered species, and need to maintain the natural cycle of fire and regrowth for the continued success of the native plant life. This project investigated the effect of burnt soil on Sequoiadendron giganteum trees. Three were grown in burnt potting soil that had been roasted over a grill for 45 minutes (which is the average destructive fire time), and the other three were the control group in unburned potting soil. We assessed growth by measuring height, color, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and CO2 flux to evaluate the health of the trees in the two soil conditions. We noted that after two weeks the trunks of the trees growing in burnt soil began to brown in color, and they lost leaves. Over the course of the experiment, the trees growing in burnt soil had reduced levels of photosynthesis as compared to the unburned soil (as measured by the net change in CO2 concentration in a sealed chamber over the course of fifteen minutes intervals). On average, the trees growing in burnt soil had flux rates that were 19.59 ppm CO2 /min. more than those growing in unburned soil. In the dark reactions, the burnt soil flux was 54.5 ppm CO2/min., while the unburned soil averaged 40.5 ppm CO2/min. Our results help quantify the impact of fire on delicate ecosystems that are experiencing an increase in fire activity caused by global warming.

  1. Wind erosion of soils burned by wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    N. S. Wagenbrenner; M. J. Germino; B. K. Lamb; R. B. Foltz; P. R. Robichaud

    2011-01-01

    Wind erosion and aeolian transport processes are largely unstudied in the post-wildfire environment, but recent studies have shown that wind erosion can play a major role in burned landscapes. A wind erosion monitoring system was installed immediately following a wildfire in southeastern Idaho, USA to measure wind erosion from the burned area (Figure 1). This paper...

  2. Is Managed Wildfire Protecting Yosemite National Park from Drought?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boisrame, G. F. S.; Thompson, S. E.; Stephens, S.; Collins, B.; Kelly, M.; Tague, N.

    2016-12-01

    Fire suppression in many dry forest types has left a legacy of dense, homogeneous forests. Such landscapes have high water demands and fuel loads, and when burned can result in catastrophically large fires. These characteristics are undesirable in the face of projected warming and drying in the Western US. This project explores the potential of managed wildfire - a forest management strategy in which fires caused by lightning are allowed to burn naturally as long as certain safety parameters are met - to reverse the effects of fire suppression. The Illilouette Creek Basin in Yosemite National Park has experienced 40 years of managed wildfire, reducing forest cover and increasing meadow and shrubland areas. We have collected evidence from field measurements and remote sensing which suggest that managed wildfire increases landscape and hydrologic heterogeneity, and likely improves resilience to disturbances such as fire and drought. Vegetation maps created from aerial photos show an increase in landscape heterogeneity following the introduction of managed wildfire. Soil moisture observations during the drought years of 2013-2016 suggest that transitions from dense forest to shrublands or meadows can increase summer soil moisture. In the winter of 2015-2016, snow depth measurements showed deeper spring snowpacks in burned areas compared to dense forests. Our study provides a unique view of relatively long-term effects of managed wildfire on vegetation change, ecohydrology, and drought resistance. Understanding these effects is increasingly important as the use of managed wildfire becomes more widely accepted, and as the likelihood of both drought and wildfire increases.

  3. Wildfire: distributed, Grid-enabled workflow construction and execution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Issac Praveen

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We observe two trends in bioinformatics: (i analyses are increasing in complexity, often requiring several applications to be run as a workflow; and (ii multiple CPU clusters and Grids are available to more scientists. The traditional solution to the problem of running workflows across multiple CPUs required programming, often in a scripting language such as perl. Programming places such solutions beyond the reach of many bioinformatics consumers. Results We present Wildfire, a graphical user interface for constructing and running workflows. Wildfire borrows user interface features from Jemboss and adds a drag-and-drop interface allowing the user to compose EMBOSS (and other programs into workflows. For execution, Wildfire uses GEL, the underlying workflow execution engine, which can exploit available parallelism on multiple CPU machines including Beowulf-class clusters and Grids. Conclusion Wildfire simplifies the tasks of constructing and executing bioinformatics workflows.

  4. Stakeholder understandings of wildfire mitigation: A case of shared and contested meanings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph G. Champ; Jeffrey J. Brooks; Daniel R. Williams

    2012-01-01

    This article identifies and compares meanings of wildfire risk mitigation for stakeholders in the Front Range of Colorado, USA. We examine the case of a collaborative partnership sponsored by government agencies and directed to decrease hazardous fuels in interface areas. Data were collected by way of key informant interviews and focus groups. The analysis is guided by...

  5. LANDFIRE 2010 - updated data to support wildfire and ecological management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Kurtis J.; Connot, Joel A.; Peterson, Birgit E.; Picotte, Joshua J.

    2013-01-01

    Wildfire is a global phenomenon that affects human populations and ecosystems. Wildfire effects occur at local to global scales impacting many people in different ways (Figure 1). Ecological concerns due to land use, fragmentation, and climate change impact natural resource use, allocation, and conservation. Access to consistent and current environmental data is a constant challenge, yet necessary for understanding the complexities of wildfire and ecological management. Data products and tools from the LANDFIRE Program help decision-makers to clarify problems and identify possible solutions when managing fires and natural resources. LANDFIRE supports the reduction of risk from wildfire to human lives and property, monitoring of fire danger, prediction of fire behavior on active incidents, and assessment of fire severity and impacts on natural systems [1] [2] [3]. LANDFIRE products are unique in that they are nationally consistent and provide the only complete geospatial dataset describing vegetation and wildland fuel information for the entire U.S. As such, LANDFIRE data are useful for many ecological applications [3]. For example, LANDFIRE data were recently integrated into a decision-support system for resource management and conservation decision-making along the Appalachian Trail. LANDFIRE is a joint effort between the U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Wildland Fire, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Fire & Aviation Management, and The Nature Conservancy. To date, seven versions of LANDFIRE data have been released, with each successive version improving the quality of the data, adding additional features, and/or updating the time period represented by the data. The latest version, LANDFIRE 2010 (LF 2010), released mid-2013, represents circa 2010 landscape conditions and succeeds LANDFIRE 2008 (LF 2008), which represented circa 2008 landscape conditions. LF 2010 used many of the same processes developed for the LF 2008 effort [3]. Ongoing

  6. Deriving forest fire ignition risk with biogeochemical process modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastaugh, C S; Hasenauer, H

    2014-05-01

    Climate impacts the growth of trees and also affects disturbance regimes such as wildfire frequency. The European Alps have warmed considerably over the past half-century, but incomplete records make it difficult to definitively link alpine wildfire to climate change. Complicating this is the influence of forest composition and fuel loading on fire ignition risk, which is not considered by purely meteorological risk indices. Biogeochemical forest growth models track several variables that may be used as proxies for fire ignition risk. This study assesses the usefulness of the ecophysiological model BIOME-BGC's 'soil water' and 'labile litter carbon' variables in predicting fire ignition. A brief application case examines historic fire occurrence trends over pre-defined regions of Austria from 1960 to 2008. Results show that summer fire ignition risk is largely a function of low soil moisture, while winter fire ignitions are linked to the mass of volatile litter and atmospheric dryness.

  7. Deriving forest fire ignition risk with biogeochemical process modelling☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastaugh, C.S.; Hasenauer, H.

    2014-01-01

    Climate impacts the growth of trees and also affects disturbance regimes such as wildfire frequency. The European Alps have warmed considerably over the past half-century, but incomplete records make it difficult to definitively link alpine wildfire to climate change. Complicating this is the influence of forest composition and fuel loading on fire ignition risk, which is not considered by purely meteorological risk indices. Biogeochemical forest growth models track several variables that may be used as proxies for fire ignition risk. This study assesses the usefulness of the ecophysiological model BIOME-BGC's ‘soil water’ and ‘labile litter carbon’ variables in predicting fire ignition. A brief application case examines historic fire occurrence trends over pre-defined regions of Austria from 1960 to 2008. Results show that summer fire ignition risk is largely a function of low soil moisture, while winter fire ignitions are linked to the mass of volatile litter and atmospheric dryness. PMID:26109905

  8. Real-time estimation of wildfire perimeters from curated crowdsourcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Xu; Duckham, Matt; Chong, Derek; Tolhurst, Kevin

    2016-04-01

    Real-time information about the spatial extents of evolving natural disasters, such as wildfire or flood perimeters, can assist both emergency responders and the general public during an emergency. However, authoritative information sources can suffer from bottlenecks and delays, while user-generated social media data usually lacks the necessary structure and trustworthiness for reliable automated processing. This paper describes and evaluates an automated technique for real-time tracking of wildfire perimeters based on publicly available “curated” crowdsourced data about telephone calls to the emergency services. Our technique is based on established data mining tools, and can be adjusted using a small number of intuitive parameters. Experiments using data from the devastating Black Saturday wildfires (2009) in Victoria, Australia, demonstrate the potential for the technique to detect and track wildfire perimeters automatically, in real time, and with moderate accuracy. Accuracy can be further increased through combination with other authoritative demographic and environmental information, such as population density and dynamic wind fields. These results are also independently validated against data from the more recent 2014 Mickleham-Dalrymple wildfires.

  9. Technology and the study of wildfire: Middle school students study the impacts of wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox-Gliessman, D.; Kerski, J.J.

    2005-01-01

    Various technologies that can assist students in exploring the human and environmental impacts of wildfire and in communicating their findings are discussed. Wildfires occur in many parts of the world, and provide an excellent opportunity for students to study local and global interdisciplinary issues using technology. Prior to the beginning of the field study, students take instructions in both their math and science classes about the distinction and appropriate uses of quantitative and qualitative data. Use of computer programs such as Excel spreadsheets which can contain data, and interaction of research and technology group with students, can help them collect best of the information and in making an accurate report.

  10. Airborne measurements of western U.S. wildfire emissions: Comparison with prescribed burning and air quality implications: Western U.S. Wildfire Emissions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Xiaoxi [School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta Georgia USA; Now at Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder Colorado USA; Now at Department of Chemistry, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder Colorado USA; Huey, L. Gregory [School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta Georgia USA; Yokelson, Robert J. [Department of Chemistry, University of Montana, Missoula Montana USA; Selimovic, Vanessa [Department of Chemistry, University of Montana, Missoula Montana USA; Simpson, Isobel J. [Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine California USA; Müller, Markus [Department of Chemistry, University of Montana, Missoula Montana USA; Institute for Ion Physics and Applied Physics, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck Austria; Jimenez, Jose L. [Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder Colorado USA; Department of Chemistry, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder Colorado USA; Campuzano-Jost, Pedro [Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder Colorado USA; Department of Chemistry, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder Colorado USA; Beyersdorf, Andreas J. [NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton Virginia USA; Now at Department of Chemistry, California State University, San Bernardino California USA; Blake, Donald R. [Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine California USA; Butterfield, Zachary [Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos New Mexico USA; Now at Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Michigan USA; Choi, Yonghoon [NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton Virginia USA; Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Hampton Virginia USA; Crounse, John D. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena California USA; Day, Douglas A. [Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder Colorado USA; Department of Chemistry, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder Colorado USA; Diskin, Glenn S. [NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton Virginia USA; Dubey, Manvendra K. [Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos New Mexico USA; Fortner, Edward [Center for Aerosol and Cloud Chemistry, Aerodyne Research Inc., Billerica Massachusetts USA; Hanisco, Thomas F. [Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt Maryland USA; Hu, Weiwei [Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder Colorado USA; Department of Chemistry, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder Colorado USA; King, Laura E. [School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta Georgia USA; Kleinman, Lawrence [Environmental and Climate Sciences Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton New York USA; Meinardi, Simone [Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine California USA; Mikoviny, Tomas [Department of Chemistry, University of Oslo, Oslo Norway; Onasch, Timothy B. [Center for Aerosol and Cloud Chemistry, Aerodyne Research Inc., Billerica Massachusetts USA; Palm, Brett B. [Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder Colorado USA; Department of Chemistry, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder Colorado USA; Peischl, Jeff [Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder Colorado USA; Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder Colorado USA; Pollack, Ilana B. [Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder Colorado USA; Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder Colorado USA; Now at Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins Colorado USA; Ryerson, Thomas B. [Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder Colorado USA; Sachse, Glen W. [NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton Virginia USA; Sedlacek, Arthur J. [Environmental and Climate Sciences Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton New York USA; Shilling, John E. [Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland Washington USA; Springston, Stephen [Environmental and Climate Sciences Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton New York USA; St. Clair, Jason M. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena California USA; Now at Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt Maryland USA; Now at Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore Maryland USA; Tanner, David J. [School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta Georgia USA; Teng, Alexander P. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena California USA; Wennberg, Paul O. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena California USA; Division of Engineering and Applied Science, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena California USA; Wisthaler, Armin [Institute for Ion Physics and Applied Physics, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck Austria; Department of Chemistry, University of Oslo, Oslo Norway; Wolfe, Glenn M. [Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt Maryland USA; Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore Maryland USA

    2017-06-14

    Wildfires emit significant amounts of pollutants that degrade air quality. Plumes from three wildfires in the western U.S. were measured from aircraft during the Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds, and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS) and the Biomass Burning Observation Project (BBOP), both in summer 2013. This study reports an extensive set of emission factors (EFs) for over 80 gases and 5 components of submicron particulate matter (PM1) from these temperate wildfires. These include rarely, or never before, measured oxygenated volatile organic compounds and multifunctional organic nitrates. The observed EFs are compared with previous measurements of temperate wildfires, boreal forest fires, and temperate prescribed fires. The wildfires emitted high amounts of PM1 (with organic aerosol (OA) dominating the mass) with an average EF that is more than two times the EFs for prescribed fires. The measured EFs were used to estimate the annual wildfire emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, total nonmethane organic compounds, and PM1 from 11 western U.S. states. The estimated gas emissions are generally comparable with the 2011 National Emissions Inventory (NEI). However, our PM1 emission estimate (1530 ± 570 Gg yr-1) is over three times that of the NEI PM2.5 estimate and is also higher than the PM2.5 emitted from all other sources in these states in the NEI. This study indicates that the source of OA from BB in the western states is significantly underestimated. In addition, our results indicate prescribed burning may be an effective method to reduce fine particle emissions.

  11. Federal Wildfire Activities. Current Strategy and Issues Needing Attention

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    1999-01-01

    Concerned about the rising costs of preparing for and controlling wildfires, you asked us to provide information on how the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management manage their wildfire programs...

  12. Repeated wildfires alter forest recovery of mixed-conifer ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens-Rumann, Camille; Morgan, Penelope

    2016-09-01

    Most models project warmer and drier climates that will contribute to larger and more frequent wildfires. However, it remains unknown how repeated wildfires alter post-fire successional patterns and forest structure. Here, we test the hypothesis that the number of wildfires, as well as the order and severity of wildfire events interact to alter forest structure and vegetation recovery and implications for vegetation management. In 2014, we examined forest structure, composition, and tree regeneration in stands that burned 1-18 yr before a subsequent 2007 wildfire. Three important findings emerged: (1) Repeatedly burned forests had 15% less woody surface fuels and 31% lower tree seedling densities compared with forests that only experienced one recent wildfire. These repeatedly burned areas are recovering differently than sites burned once, which may lead to alternative ecosystem structure. (2) Order of burn severity (high followed by low severity compared with low followed by high severity) did influence forest characteristics. When low burn severity followed high, forests had 60% lower canopy closure and total basal area with 92% fewer tree seedlings than when high burn severity followed low. (3) Time between fires had no effect on most variables measured following the second fire except large woody fuels, canopy closure and tree seedling density. We conclude that repeatedly burned areas meet many vegetation management objectives of reduced fuel loads and moderate tree seedling densities. These differences in forest structure, composition, and tree regeneration have implications not only for the trajectories of these forests, but may reduce fire intensity and burn severity of subsequent wildfires and may be used in conjunction with future fire suppression tactics. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  13. Risk and Cooperation: Managing Hazardous Fuel in Mixed Ownership Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, A. Paige; Charnley, Susan

    2012-06-01

    Managing natural processes at the landscape scale to promote forest health is important, especially in the case of wildfire, where the ability of a landowner to protect his or her individual parcel is constrained by conditions on neighboring ownerships. However, management at a landscape scale is also challenging because it requires cooperation on plans and actions that cross ownership boundaries. Cooperation depends on people's beliefs and norms about reciprocity and perceptions of the risks and benefits of interacting with others. Using logistic regression tests on mail survey data and qualitative analysis of interviews with landowners, we examined the relationship between perceived wildfire risk and cooperation in the management of hazardous fuel by nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) owners in fire-prone landscapes of eastern Oregon. We found that NIPF owners who perceived a risk of wildfire to their properties, and perceived that conditions on nearby public forestlands contributed to this risk, were more likely to have cooperated with public agencies in the past to reduce fire risk than owners who did not perceive a risk of wildfire to their properties. Wildfire risk perception was not associated with past cooperation among NIPF owners. The greater social barriers to private-private cooperation than to private-public cooperation, and perceptions of more hazardous conditions on public compared with private forestlands may explain this difference. Owners expressed a strong willingness to cooperate with others in future cross-boundary efforts to reduce fire risk, however. We explore barriers to cooperative forest management across ownerships, and identify models of cooperation that hold potential for future collective action to reduce wildfire risk.

  14. Wildfire, wildlands, and people: understanding and preparing for wildfire in the wildland-urban interface - a Forests on the Edge report

    Science.gov (United States)

    S. M. Stein; J. Menakis; M. A. Carr; S. J. Comas; S. I. Stewart; H. Cleveland; L. Bramwell; V. C. Radeloff

    2013-01-01

    Fire has historically played a fundamental ecological role in many of America's wildland areas. However, the rising number of homes in the wildland-urban interface (WUI), associated impacts on lives and property from wildfire, and escalating costs of wildfire management have led to an urgent need for communities to become "fire-adapted." We present maps...

  15. An assessment of fire occurrence regime and performance of Canadian fire weather index in south central Siberian boreal region

    OpenAIRE

    Chu, T.; Guo, X.

    2014-01-01

    Wildfire is the dominant natural disturbance in Eurasian boreal region, which acts as a major driver of the global carbon cycle. An effectiveness of wildfire management requires suitable tools for fire prevention and fire risk assessment. This study aims to investigate fire occurrence patterns in relation to fire weather conditions in the remote south central Siberia region. The Canadian Fire Weather Index derived from large-scale meteorol...

  16. Integrated satellite imaging and syndromic surveillance reveal health effects of smoke from wildfires in rural eastern North Carolina counties in the summer of 2008

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rationale: Wildfire smoke often impacts rural areas without air quality monitors, limiting assessment of health impacts. A 2008 wildfire in Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge produced massive quantities of smoke affecting eastern NC, a rural area with limited air quality moni...

  17. National database for calculating fuel available to wildfires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donald McKenzie; Nancy H.F. French; Roger D. Ottmar

    2012-01-01

    Wildfires are increasingly emerging as an important component of Earth system models, particularly those that involve emissions from fires and their effects on climate. Currently, there are few resources available for estimating emissions from wildfires in real time, at subcontinental scales, in a spatially consistent manner. Developing subcontinental-scale databases...

  18. Exploring how alternative mapping approaches influence fireshed assessment and human community exposure to wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joe H. Scott; Matthew P. Thompson; Julie W. Gilbertson-Day

    2015-01-01

    Attaining fire-adapted human communities has become a key focus of collaborative planning on landscapes across the western United States and elsewhere. The coupling of fire simulation with GIS has expanded the analytical base to support such planning efforts, particularly through the "fireside" concept that identifies areas where wildfires could ignite and...

  19. Airborne measurements of western U.S. wildfire emissions: Comparison with prescribed burning and air quality implications: Western U.S. Wildfire Emissions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Xiaoxi; University of Colorado, Boulder, CO; Huey, L. Gregory; Yokelson, Robert J.; Selimovic, Vanessa

    2017-01-01

    Wildfires emit significant amounts of pollutants that degrade air quality. Plumes from three wildfires in the western U.S. were measured from aircraft during the Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS) and the Biomass Burning Observation Project (BBOP), both in summer 2013. This study reports an extensive set of emission factors (EFs) for over 80 gases and 5 components of submicron particulate matter (PM 1 ) from these temperate wildfires. These include rarely, or never before, measured oxygenated volatile organic compounds and multifunctional organic nitrates. The observed EFs are compared with previous measurements of temperate wildfires, boreal forest fires, and temperate prescribed fires. Furthermore, the wildfires emitted high amounts of PM 1 (with organic aerosol (OA) dominating the mass) with an average EF that is more than 2 times the EFs for prescribed fires. The measured EFs were used to estimate the annual wildfire emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, total nonmethane organic compounds, and PM 1 from 11 western U.S. states. The estimated gas emissions are generally comparable with the 2011 National Emissions Inventory (NEI). However, our PM 1 emission estimate (1530 ± 570 Gg yr -1 ) is over 3 times that of the NEI PM2.5 estimate and is also higher than the PM2.5 emitted from all other sources in these states in the NEI. This study indicates that the source of OA from biomass burning in the western states is significantly underestimated. Additionally, our results indicate that prescribed burning may be an effective method to reduce fine particle emissions.

  20. Assessment of temperature peaks reached during a wildfire. An approach using X-ray diffraction and differential thermal analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-González, Marco A.; Jordán, Antonio; Zavala, Lorena M.; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Bárcenas-Moreno, Gema; Jiménez-Morillo, Nicasio T.; Bellinfante, Nicolás

    2014-05-01

    1. INTRODUCTION Wildfires may induce important chemical and physical changes in soils, including changes in the soil composition, mineralogical changes, soil water repellency, aggregate stability or textural changes (Bodí et al., 2013; Granged et al., 2011a, 2011b, 2011c; Jordán et al., 2011, 2013; Mataix-Solera et al., 2011). As these changes usually occur after threshold temperature peaks, the assessment of these helps to explain many of the processes occurring during burning and in the postfire (Pereira et al., 2012, 2013; Shakesby, 2011). In July 2011, a wildfire burnt a pine forested area (50 ha) in Gorga (Alicante, SW Spain), approximately at 38° 44.3' N and 0° 20.7' W. Main soil type is Lithic Xerorthent developed from limestone. The study of mineralogical changes in soil after a wildfire should help to assess fire temperature peaks reached during burning. In order to study the impact of fire temperature on mineralogical changes and determine temperature peaks during burning, burnt soil plots under shrubland were randomly collected (0-5 cm deep). Control samples from adjacent unburnt areas were also collected for control. 2. METHODS Soil samples were ground using an agate mortar and then sieved (420 °C). In samples heated at 500 and 700 °C, these changes are not appreciated as they occurred during calcination. In the 300 °C heated sample, some of these changes partially occurred. Peaks observed approximately at 100 °C correspond to release of absorbed water. Peaks at 900 °C are a consequence of destruction of calcite. Finally a peak was observed at 680 °C in the control sample may be explained as a consequence of the destruction of blixite (Pb8(OH)2Cl4), which was present in control samples (1.1%) but not in burnt samples. This peak is probably masked in heated samples. REFERENCES Bodí, M.B., Muñoz-Santa, I., Armero, C., Doerr, S.H., Mataix-Solera, J., Cerdà, A. 2013. Spatial and temporal variations of water repellency and probability of its

  1. The evolution of Smokey Bear: Environmental education about wildfire for youth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidi L. Ballard; Emily Evans; Victoria E. Sturtevant; Pamela. Jakes

    2012-01-01

    Many environmental education programs in the United States educate youth about the prevention of wildfire and its role in ecosystems.We reviewed 50 wildfire education programs for youth (WEY) in the U.S. through an Internet search and interviews with program providers. We investigated whether they reflect current wildfire science, environmental education (EE)...

  2. Efficient and Equitable Design of Wildfire Mitigation Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas P. Holmes; Karen L. Abt; Robert Huggett; Jeffrey P. Prestemon

    2007-01-01

    Natural resource economists have addresssed the economic effienciency of expenditures on wildfire mitigation for nearly a century (Gope and Gorte 1979). Beginning with the work of Sparhawk (1925), the theory of efficent wildfire mitigation developed alolng conceptual lines drawn form neoclassical economics. The objective of the traditional least-cost-plus-loss model...

  3. Rapid increases and time-lagged declines in amphibian occupancy after wildfire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R; Lowe, Winsor H; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2013-02-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of drought and wildfire. Aquatic and moisture-sensitive species, such as amphibians, may be particularly vulnerable to these modified disturbance regimes because large wildfires often occur during extended droughts and thus may compound environmental threats. However, understanding of the effects of wildfires on amphibians in forests with long fire-return intervals is limited. Numerous stand-replacing wildfires have occurred since 1988 in Glacier National Park (Montana, U.S.A.), where we have conducted long-term monitoring of amphibians. We measured responses of 3 amphibian species to fires of different sizes, severity, and age in a small geographic area with uniform management. We used data from wetlands associated with 6 wildfires that burned between 1988 and 2003 to evaluate whether burn extent and severity and interactions between wildfire and wetland isolation affected the distribution of breeding populations. We measured responses with models that accounted for imperfect detection to estimate occupancy during prefire (0-4 years) and different postfire recovery periods. For the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris), occupancy was not affected for 6 years after wildfire. But 7-21 years after wildfire, occupancy for both species decreased ≥ 25% in areas where >50% of the forest within 500 m of wetlands burned. In contrast, occupancy of the boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas) tripled in the 3 years after low-elevation forests burned. This increase in occupancy was followed by a gradual decline. Our results show that accounting for magnitude of change and time lags is critical to understanding population dynamics of amphibians after large disturbances. Our results also inform understanding of the potential threat of increases in wildfire frequency or severity to amphibians in the region. ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

  4. Effects of wildfire on soil nutrients in Mediterranean ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Caon, L.; Vallejo, V.R.; Ritsema, C.J.; Geissen, V.

    2014-01-01

    High-intensity and fast-spreading wildfires are natural in the Mediterranean basin. However, since 1960, wildfire occurrence has increased because of changes in land use, which resulted in extensive land abandonment, increases in the fuel load and continuity in the landscape. The level of soil

  5. Biophysical Interactions within Step-Pool Mountain Streams Following Wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, A.; Chin, A.; O'Dowd, A. P.

    2014-12-01

    Recovery of riverine ecosystems following disturbance is driven by a variety of interacting processes. Wildfires pose increasing disturbances to riverine landscapes, with rising frequencies and magnitudes owing to warming climates and increased fuel loads. The effects of wildfire include loss of vegetation, elevated runoff and flash floods, erosion and deposition, and changing biological habitats and communities. Understanding process interactions in post-fire landscapes is increasingly urgent for successful management and restoration of affected ecosystems. In steep channels, steps and pools provide prominent habitats for organisms and structural integrity in high energy environments. Step-pools are typically stable, responding to extreme events with recurrence intervals often exceeding 50 years. Once wildfire occurs, however, intensification of post-fire flood events can potentially overpower the inherent stability of these systems, with significant consequences for aquatic life and human well-being downstream. This study examined the short-term response of step-pool streams following the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado. We explored interacting feedbacks among geomorphology, hydrology, and ecology in the post-fire environment. At selected sites with varying burn severity, we established baseline conditions immediately after the fire with channel surveys, biological assessment using benthic macroinvertebrates, sediment analysis including pebble counts, and precipitation gauging. Repeat measurements after major storm events over several years enabled analysis of the interacting feedbacks among post-fire processes. We found that channels able to retain the step-pool structure changed less and facilitated recovery more readily. Step habitats maintained higher percentages of sensitive macroinvertebrate taxa compared to pools through post-fire floods. Sites burned with high severity experienced greater reduction in the percentage of sensitive taxa. The decimation of

  6. Predicting wildfires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patricia Andrews; Mark Finney; Mark Fischetti

    2007-01-01

    The number of catastrophic wildfires in the U.S. has been steadily rising. The nation has spent more than $1 billion annually to suppress such fires in eight of the past 10 years. In 2005 a record 8.7 million acres burned, only to be succeeded by 9.9 million acres in 2006. And this year is off to a furious start. To a great extent, the increase in fires stems from a...

  7. 50 CFR 35.7 - Control of wildfires, insects, pest plants, and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 6 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Control of wildfires, insects, pest plants... MANAGEMENT General Rules § 35.7 Control of wildfires, insects, pest plants, and disease. To the extent necessary, the Director shall prescribe measures to control wildfires, insects, pest plants, and disease to...

  8. Forest wildfire, fuel reduction treatments, and landscape carbon stocks: a sensitivity analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    John L. Campbell; Alan A. Ager

    2013-01-01

    Fuel reduction treatments prescribed in fire-suppressed forests of western North America pose an apparent paradox with respect to terrestrial carbon management. Such treatments have the immediate effect of reducing forest carbon stocks but likely reduce future carbon losses through the combustion and mortality caused by high-severity wildfires. Assessing the long-term...

  9. Current research issues related to post-wildfire runoff and erosion processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moody, John A.; Shakesby, Richard A.; Robichaud, Peter R.; Cannon, Susan H.; Martin, Deborah A.

    2013-01-01

    Research into post-wildfire effects began in the United States more than 70 years ago and only later extended to other parts of the world. Post-wildfire responses are typically transient, episodic, variable in space and time, dependent on thresholds, and involve multiple processes measured by different methods. These characteristics tend to hinder research progress, but the large empirical knowledge base amassed in different regions of the world suggests that it should now be possible to synthesize the data and make a substantial improvement in the understanding of post-wildfire runoff and erosion response. Thus, it is important to identify and prioritize the research issues related to post-wildfire runoff and erosion. Priority research issues are the need to: (1) organize and synthesize similarities and differences in post-wildfire responses between different fire-prone regions of the world in order to determine common patterns and generalities that can explain cause and effect relations; (2) identify and quantify functional relations between metrics of fire effects and soil hydraulic properties that will better represent the dynamic and transient conditions after a wildfire; (3) determine the interaction between burned landscapes and temporally and spatially variable meso-scale precipitation, which is often the primary driver of post-wildfire runoff and erosion responses; (4) determine functional relations between precipitation, basin morphology, runoff connectivity, contributing area, surface roughness, depression storage, and soil characteristics required to predict the timing, magnitudes, and duration of floods and debris flows from ungaged burned basins; and (5) develop standard measurement methods that will ensure the collection of uniform and comparable runoff and erosion data. Resolution of these issues will help to improve conceptual and computer models of post-wildfire runoff and erosion processes.

  10. Integrating wildfire plume rises within atmospheric transport models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallia, D. V.; Kochanski, A.; Wu, D.; Urbanski, S. P.; Krueger, S. K.; Lin, J. C.

    2016-12-01

    Wildfires can generate significant pyro-convection that is responsible for releasing pollutants, greenhouse gases, and trace species into the free troposphere, which are then transported a significant distance downwind from the fire. Oftentimes, atmospheric transport and chemistry models have a difficult time resolving the transport of smoke from these wildfires, primarily due to deficiencies in estimating the plume injection height, which has been highlighted in previous work as the most important aspect of simulating wildfire plume transport. As a result of the uncertainties associated with modeled wildfire plume rise, researchers face difficulties modeling the impacts of wildfire smoke on air quality and constraining fire emissions using inverse modeling techniques. Currently, several plume rise parameterizations exist that are able to determine the injection height of fire emissions; however, the success of these parameterizations has been mixed. With the advent of WRF-SFIRE, the wildfire plume rise and injection height can now be explicitly calculated using a fire spread model (SFIRE) that is dynamically linked with the atmosphere simulated by WRF. However, this model has only been tested on a limited basis due to computational costs. Here, we will test the performance of WRF-SFIRE in addition to several commonly adopted plume parameterizations (Freitas, Sofiev, and Briggs) for the 2013 Patch Springs (Utah) and 2012 Baker Canyon (Washington) fires, for both of which observations of plume rise heights are available. These plume rise techniques will then be incorporated within a Lagrangian atmospheric transport model (STILT) in order to simulate CO and CO2 concentrations during NASA's CARVE Earth Science Airborne Program over Alaska during the summer of 2012. Initial model results showed that STILT model simulations were unable to reproduce enhanced CO concentrations produced by Alaskan fires observed during 2012. Near-surface concentrations were drastically

  11. The Effect of Prescribed Burns and Wildfire on Vegetation in Bastrop State Park, TX

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justice, C. J.

    2014-12-01

    In 2011, central Texas had its worst drought since the 1950's. This, in conjunction with the strong winds produced by Tropical Storm Lee created conditions that made possible the Bastrop County Complex Fire in September 2011. These record-breaking wildfires burned over 95% of the 6,565-acre Bastrop State Park (BSP). Since 2003, BSP had been using prescribed burns as a management practice to reduce fuel load and prevent high severity wildfires. Although these prescribed fires did not prevent the 2011 wildfires they may have mitigated their effects. This study considered the effect of prescribed burn history and wildfire burn severity on vegetation recovery in BSP since the 2011 wildfire. The hypotheses of this study are that prescribed burn history and wildfire burn severity separately and jointly have affected post wildfire vegetation. To test these hypotheses, data were collected in 2013 from 46 plots across BSP using the Fire Effects Monitoring and Inventory (FIREMON) protocol to determine herbaceous plant density, shrub density, overstory density, and midstory tree density. Data were analyzed using analyses of variance (ANOVA) to determine the effects of prescribed fire and wildfire severity on these vegetation measurements. It was found that more severely burned plots had more herbaceous plants, fewer midstory trees, and lower shrub densities than less severely burned plots. Contrary to an initial hypotheses, there were few relationships between prescribed burn history and wildfire effects. The only significant effect detected for prescribed burning was the positive effect of prescribed fire on midstory tree density, but only for plots that were not severely burned in the wildfire. In this system, burn severity had a greater effect on post-wildfire vegetation than prescribed burns.

  12. Incorporating fine-scale drought information into an eastern US wildfire hazard model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew P. Peters; Louis R. Iverson

    2017-01-01

    Wildfires in the eastern United States are generally caused by humans in locations where human development and natural vegetation intermingle, e.g. the wildland–urban interface (WUI). Knowing where wildfire hazards are elevated across the forested landscape may help land managers and property owners plan or allocate resources for potential wildfire threats. In an...

  13. Overlapping Bark Beetle Outbreaks, Salvage Logging and Wildfire Restructure a Lodgepole Pine Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles C. Rhoades

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The 2010 Church’s Park Fire burned beetle-killed lodgepole pine stands in Colorado, including recently salvage-logged areas, creating a fortuitous opportunity to compare the effects of salvage logging, wildfire and the combination of logging followed by wildfire. Here, we examine tree regeneration, surface fuels, understory plants, inorganic soil nitrogen and water infiltration in uncut and logged stands, outside and inside the fire perimeter. Subalpine fir recruitment was abundant in uncut, unburned, beetle-killed stands, whereas lodgepole pine recruitment was abundant in cut stands. Logging roughly doubled woody fuel cover and halved forb and shrub cover. Wildfire consumed all conifer seedlings in uncut and cut stands and did not stimulate new conifer regeneration within four years of the fire. Aspen regeneration, in contrast, was relatively unaffected by logging or burning, alone or combined. Wildfire also drastically reduced cover of soil organic horizons, fine woody fuels, graminoids and shrubs relative to unburned, uncut areas; moreover, the compound effect of logging and wildfire was generally similar to wildfire alone. This case study documents scarce conifer regeneration but ample aspen regeneration after a wildfire that occurred in the later stage of a severe beetle outbreak. Salvage logging had mixed effects on tree regeneration, understory plant and surface cover and soil nitrogen, but neither exacerbated nor ameliorated wildfire effects on those resources.

  14. Wildfires alter rodent community structure across four vegetation types in southern California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brehme, Cheryl S.; Clark, Denise R.; Rochester, Carlton J.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2011-01-01

    We surveyed burned and unburned plots across four habitat reserves in San Diego County, California, USA, in 2005 and 2006, to assess the effects of the 2003 wildfires on the community structure and relative abundance of rodent species. The reserves each contained multiple vegetation types (coastal sage scrub, chaparral, woodland, and grassland) and spanned from 250 m to 1078 m in elevation. Multivariate analyses revealed a more simplified rodent community structure in all burned habitats in comparison to unburned habitats. Reduction in shrub and tree cover was highly predictive of changes in post-fire rodent community structure in the burned coastal sage scrub and chaparral habitats. Reduction in cover was not predictive for the less substantially burned woodlands and grasslands, for which we hypothesized that interspecific competition played a greater role in post-fire community structure. Across vegetation types, generalists and open habitat specialists typically increased in relative abundance, whereas closed habitat specialists decreased. We documented significant increases in relative abundance of the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus Wagner) and Dulzura kangaroo rat (Dipodomys simulans Merriam). In contrast, we found significant decreases in relative abundance for the California mouse (Peromyscus californicus Gambel), San Diego pocket mouse (Chaetodipus fallax Merriam), desert woodrat (Neotoma lepida Thomas), and brush mouse (Peromyscus boylii Baird). Currently, our research program involves assessment of whether habitat conservation plans (HCPs) in southern California provide long-term protection to HCP covered species, as well as preserve ecosystem function. The scenario of increased wildfires needs to be incorporated into this assessment. We discuss our results in relation to management and conservation planning under a future scenario of larger and more frequent wildfires in southern California.

  15. Wildfire Dynamics and Occasional Precipitation during Active Fire Season in Tropical Lowland of Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krishna Bahadur Bhujel

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Occasional precipitation plays a vital role in reducing the effect of wildfire. This precipitation is especially important for countries like Nepal, where wildfires are a common seasonal event. Approximately 0.1 million hectare of forest area is affected annually due to wildfires in active fire season. The study on the relation of these forms of occasional precipitation with wildfire incidence is still lacking. This research was objectively carried out to examine the correlation of occasional precipitation with wildfire incidence and burnt area. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spector-Radiometer (MODIS satellite images and precipitation records for 15 years gathered from Department of Hydrology and Metrology were used as input data for this study. The images were analyzed by using ArcGIS function while the precipitation records were analyzed by using Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS program. The linear regression model was applied to find correlation of occasional precipitation with wildfire incidence and burnt area. Analysis revealed decreasing trend of precipitation in study area. We found significant correlation (p<0.05 of precipitation with wildfire incidence and burnt area. Findings will be useful for policy makers, implementers and researchers to manage wildfire in sustainable basis.

  16. Public Response to Wildfire: Is the Australian "Stay and Defend or Leave Early" Approach an Option for Wildfire Management in the United States?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarah M. McCaffrey; Alan Rhodes

    2009-01-01

    In the United States, the increasing costs and negative impacts of wildfires are causing fire managers and policymakers to reexamine traditional approaches to fire management including whether mass evacuation of populations threatened by wildfire is always the most appropriate option. This article examines the Australian "stay and defend or leave early" (SDLE...

  17. Wildfires Tracked by Minnesota DNR

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This theme shows the locations of wildfires for which the DNR was the primary responding agency. These include fires not only on state lands, but also rural private...

  18. Wildfire Mitigation and Private Lands: Managing Long-Term Vulnerabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian Muller; Stacey Schulte

    2006-01-01

    Long-term management of wildfire vulnerability requires strategies that address complex interactions between fire ecology and human settlement. In this paper, we examine the integration of wildfire mitigation and land use planning in county governments in the western U.S. This research relies on data from two sources. First, we conducted a survey of land use...

  19. Impact of wildfires on ozone exceptional events in the Western u.s.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaffe, Daniel A; Wigder, Nicole; Downey, Nicole; Pfister, Gabriele; Boynard, Anne; Reid, Stephen B

    2013-10-01

    Wildfires generate substantial emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). As such, wildfires contribute to elevated ozone (O3) in the atmosphere. However, there is a large amount of variability in the emissions of O3 precursors and the amount of O3 produced between fires. There is also significant interannual variability as seen in median O3, organic carbon and satellite derived carbon monoxide mixing ratios in the western U.S. To better understand O3 produced from wildfires, we developed a statistical model that estimates the maximum daily 8 h average (MDA8) O3 as a function of several meteorological and temporal variables for three urban areas in the western U.S.: Salt Lake City, UT; Boise, ID; and Reno, NV. The model is developed using data from June-September 2000-2012. For these three locations, the statistical model can explain 60, 52, and 27% of the variability in daily MDA8. The Statistical Model Residual (SMR) can give information on additional sources of O3 that are not explained by the usual meteorological pattern. Several possible O3 sources can explain high SMR values on any given day. We examine several cases with high SMR that are due to wildfire influence. The first case considered is for Reno in June 2008 when the MDA8 reached 82 ppbv. The wildfire influence for this episode is supported by PM concentrations, the known location of wildfires at the time and simulations with the Weather and Research Forecasting Model with Chemistry (WRF-Chem) which indicates transport to Reno from large fires burning in California. The contribution to the MDA8 in Reno from the California wildfires is estimated to be 26 ppbv, based on the SMR, and 60 ppbv, based on WRF-Chem. The WRF-Chem model also indicates an important role for peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) in producing O3 during transport from the California wildfires. We hypothesize that enhancements in PAN due to wildfire emissions may lead to regional enhancements in O3 during high

  20. Risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kinchin, G.H.

    1983-01-01

    After defining risk and introducing the concept of individual and societal risk, the author considers each of these, restricting considerations to risk of death. Some probabilities of death arising from various causes are quoted, and attention drawn to the care necessary in making comparisons between sets of data and to the distinction between voluntary and involuntary categories and between early and delayed deaths. The presentation of information on societal risk is discussed and examples given. The history of quantified risk assessment is outlined, particularly related to the nuclear industry, the process of assessing risk discussed: identification of hazard causes, the development of accident chains and the use of event trees, the evaluation of probability through the collection of data and their use with fault trees, and the assessment of consequences of hazards in terms of fatalities. Reference is made to the human element and common-made failures, and to studies supporting the development of reliability assessment techniques. Acceptance criteria are discussed for individual and societal risk in the nuclear field, and it is shown that proposed criteria lead to risks conservative by comparison with risks from day-to-day accidents and other potentially hazardous industries. (U.K.)

  1. Places where wildfire potential and social vulnerability coincide in the coterminous United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabriel Wigtil; Roger B. Hammer; Jeffrey D. Kline; Miranda H. Mockrin; Susan I. Stewart; Daniel Roper; Volker C. Radeloff

    2016-01-01

    The hazards-of-place model posits that vulnerability to environmental hazards depends on both biophysical and social factors. Biophysical factors determine where wildfire potential is elevated, whereas social factors determine where and how people are affected by wildfire. We evaluated place vulnerability to wildfire hazards in the coterminous US. We developed...

  2. Understanding the Factors that Influence Perceptions of Post-Wildfire Landscape Recovery Across 25 Wildfires in the Northwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooistra, C.; Hall, T. E.; Paveglio, T.; Pickering, M.

    2018-01-01

    Disturbances such as wildfire are important features of forested landscapes. The trajectory of changes following wildfires (often referred to as landscape recovery) continues to be an important research topic among ecologists and wildfire scientists. However, the landscape recovery process also has important social dimensions that may or may not correspond to ecological or biophysical perspectives. Perceptions of landscape recovery may affect people's attitudes and behaviors related to forest and wildfire management. We explored the variables that influence people's perceptions of landscape recovery across 25 fires that occurred in 2011 or 2012 in the United States of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana and that represented a range of fire behavior characteristics and landscape impacts. Residents near each of the 25 fires were randomly selected to receive questionnaires about their experiences with the nearby fire, including perceived impacts and how the landscape had recovered since the fire. People generally perceived landscapes as recovering, even though only one to two years had passed. Regression analysis suggested that perceptions of landscape recovery were positively related to stronger beliefs about the ecological role of fire and negatively related to loss of landscape attachment, concern about erosion, increasing distance from the fire perimeter, and longer lasting fires. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) analysis indicated that the above relationships were largely consistent across fires. These findings highlight that perceptions of post-fire landscape recovery are influenced by more than vegetation changes and include emotional and cognitive factors. We discuss the management implications of these findings.

  3. Using NASA Satellite Observations to Map Wildfire Risk in the United States for Allocation of Fire Management Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farahmand, A.; Reager, J. T., II; Behrangi, A.; Stavros, E. N.; Randerson, J. T.

    2017-12-01

    Fires are a key disturbance globally acting as a catalyst for terrestrial ecosystem change and contributing significantly to both carbon emissions and changes in surface albedo. The socioeconomic impacts of wildfire activities are also significant with wildfire activity results in billions of dollars of losses every year. Fire size, area burned and frequency are increasing, thus the likelihood of fire danger, defined by United States National Interagency Fire Center (NFIC) as the demand of fire management resources as a function of how flammable fuels (a function of ignitability, consumability and availability) are from normal, is an important step toward reducing costs associated with wildfires. Numerous studies have aimed to predict the likelihood of fire danger, but few studies use remote sensing data to map fire danger at scales commensurate with regional management decisions (e.g., deployment of resources nationally throughout fire season with seasonal and monthly prediction). Here, we use NASA Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) assimilated surface soil moisture, NASA Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) vapor pressure deficit, NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) enhanced vegetation index products and landcover products, along with US Forest Service historical fire activity data to generate probabilistic monthly fire potential maps in the United States. These maps can be useful in not only government operational allocation of fire management resources, but also improving understanding of the Earth System and how it is changing in order to refine predictions of fire extremes.

  4. Risk Assessment Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prassinos, Peter G.; Lyver, John W., IV; Bui, Chinh T.

    2011-01-01

    Risk assessment is used in many industries to identify and manage risks. Initially developed for use on aeronautical and nuclear systems, risk assessment has been applied to transportation, chemical, computer, financial, and security systems among others. It is used to gain an understanding of the weaknesses or vulnerabilities in a system so modification can be made to increase operability, efficiency, and safety and to reduce failure and down-time. Risk assessment results are primary inputs to risk-informed decision making; where risk information including uncertainty is used along with other pertinent information to assist management in the decision-making process. Therefore, to be useful, a risk assessment must be directed at specific objectives. As the world embraces the globalization of trade and manufacturing, understanding the associated risk become important to decision making. Applying risk assessment techniques to a global system of development, manufacturing, and transportation can provide insight into how the system can fail, the likelihood of system failure and the consequences of system failure. The risk assessment can identify those elements that contribute most to risk and identify measures to prevent and mitigate failures, disruptions, and damaging outcomes. In addition, risk associated with public and environment impact can be identified. The risk insights gained can be applied to making decisions concerning suitable development and manufacturing locations, supply chains, and transportation strategies. While risk assessment has been mostly applied to mechanical and electrical systems, the concepts and techniques can be applied across other systems and activities. This paper provides a basic overview of the development of a risk assessment.

  5. Smoke Ready Toolbox for Wildfires

    Science.gov (United States)

    This site provides an online Smoke Ready Toolbox for Wildfires, which lists resources and tools that provide information on health impacts from smoke exposure, current fire conditions and forecasts and strategies to reduce exposure to smoke.

  6. Introduction to risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raina, V.M.

    2002-01-01

    This paper gives an introduction to risk assessment. It discusses the basic concepts of risk assessment, nuclear risk assessment process and products, the role of risk assessment products in nuclear safety assurance, the relationship between risk assessment and other safety analysis and risk assessment and safe operating envelope

  7. The viability of prescribed fire for mitigating the soil degradational impacts of wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shakesby, R. A.; Bento, C. P. M.; Ferreira, C. S. S.; Ferreira, A. J. D.; Stoof, C. R.; Urbanek, E.; Walsh, R. P. D.

    2012-04-01

    Prescribed (controlled) fire has become an important strategy primarily to limit the likelihood of more devastating wildfire. The considerable increase in wildfire activity in recent decades throughout the Mediterranean, and in Portugal in particular, has meant that this strategy has become increasingly popular despite inherent fears of people about fire of any sort. Despite many studies of the impact of wildfire on soil erosion and degradation, relatively little research has assessed impacts of prescribed fire on soil in Portugal or elsewhere in the Mediterranean. As part of the DESIRE research programme, this paper addresses this research gap by investigating hillslope-scale losses of soil, soil organic matter and selected nutrients before and after an experimental fire (representing a 'worst case-scenario' prescribed fire) in a shrub-vegetated catchment in central Portugal. Comparison is provided by post-fire monitoring of a nearby hillslope affected by a wildfire of moderate severity. Hillslope-scale measurements were carried out over c. 3 years using sediment fences with contributing areas of up to c. 0.5 ha. Eroded sediment was periodically removed from the fences both before and after the fire at intervals ranging from a few weeks to several months depending on rainfall characteristics and logistics. Erosion expressed as g/m2 and g/m2/mm of rainfall was determined. Figures for long-term (c. 10 years) erosion under unburnt conditions for this vegetation type were obtained from a small bounded plot and from sediment accumulating in a weir pool draining a sub-catchment within the prescribed-fire catchment. In addition, soil organic matter and selected nutrients, including K2O, P2O5 and Total N, were measured in the eroded sediment and in the pre-burn and post-burn in situ soil. The results indicate that both the wildfire and prescribed fire caused erosion that was orders of magnitude higher than for long-term plot-scale and hillslope-scale erosion recorded

  8. WIFIRE: A Scalable Data-Driven Monitoring, Dynamic Prediction and Resilience Cyberinfrastructure for Wildfires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altintas, I.; Block, J.; Braun, H.; de Callafon, R. A.; Gollner, M. J.; Smarr, L.; Trouve, A.

    2013-12-01

    , during and after a wildfire. Scalability of the WIFIRE approach allows many sensors to be subjected to user-specified data processing algorithms to generate threshold alerts within seconds. Integration of this sensor data into both rapidly available fire image data and models will better enable situational awareness, responses and decision support at local, state, national, and international levels. The products of WIFIRE will be initially disseminated to our collaborators (SDG&E, CAL FIRE, USFS), covering academic, private, and government laboratories while generating values to emergency officials, and consequently to the general public. WIFIRE may be used by government agencies in the future to save lives and property during wildfire events, test the effectiveness of response and evacuation scenarios before they occur and assess the effectiveness of high-density sensor networks in improving fire and weather predictions. WIFIRE's high-density network, therefore, will serve as a testbed for future applications worldwide.

  9. Characterization of Wildfire-Induced Aerosol Emissions From the Maritime Continent Peatland and Central African Dry Savannah with MISR and CALIPSO Aerosol Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Huikyo; Jeong, Su-Jong; Kalashnikova, Olga; Tosca, Mika; Kim, Sang-Woo; Kug, Jong-Seong

    2018-03-01

    Aerosol plumes from wildfires affect the Earth's climate system through regulation of the radiative budget and clouds. However, optical properties of aerosols from individual wildfire smoke plumes and their resultant impact on regional climate are highly variable. Therefore, there is a critical need for observations that can constrain the partitioning between different types of aerosols. Here we present the apparent influence of regional ecosystem types on optical properties of wildfire-induced aerosols based on remote sensing observations from two satellite instruments and three ground stations. The independent observations commonly show that the ratio of the absorbing aerosols is significantly lower in smoke plumes from the Maritime Continent than those from Central Africa, so that their impacts on regional climate are different. The observed light-absorbing properties of wildfire-induced aerosols are explained by dominant ecosystem types such as wet peatlands for the Maritime Continent and dry savannah for Central Africa, respectively. These results suggest that the wildfire-aerosol-climate feedback processes largely depend on the terrestrial environments from which the fires originate. These feedbacks also interact with climate under greenhouse warming. Our analysis shows that aerosol optical properties retrieved based on satellite observations are critical in assessing wildfire-induced aerosols forcing in climate models. The optical properties of carbonaceous aerosol mixtures used by state-of-the-art chemistry climate models may overestimate emissions for absorbing aerosols from wildfires over the Maritime Continent.

  10. Cumulative Risk Assessment (CRA): transforming the way we assess health risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Pamela R D; Dotson, G Scott; Maier, Andrew

    2012-10-16

    Human health risk assessments continue to evolve and now focus on the need for cumulative risk assessment (CRA). CRA involves assessing the combined risk from coexposure to multiple chemical and nonchemical stressors for varying health effects. CRAs are broader in scope than traditional chemical risk assessments because they allow for a more comprehensive evaluation of the interaction between different stressors and their combined impact on human health. Future directions of CRA include greater emphasis on local-level community-based assessments; integrating environmental, occupational, community, and individual risk factors; and identifying and implementing common frameworks and risk metrics for incorporating multiple stressors.

  11. Rating a Wildfire Mitigation Strategy with an Insurance Premium: A Boreal Forest Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georgina Rodriguez-Baca

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Risk analysis entails the systematic use of historical information to determine the frequency, magnitude and effects of unexpected events. Wildfire in boreal North America is a key driver of forest dynamics and may cause very significant economic losses. An actuarial approach to risk analysis based on cumulative probability distributions was developed to reduce the adverse effects of wildfire. To this effect, we developed spatially explicit landscape models to simulate the interactions between harvest, fire and forest succession over time in a boreal forest of eastern Canada. We estimated the amount of reduction of timber harvest necessary to build a buffer stock of sufficient size to cover fire losses and compared it to an insurance premium estimated in units of timber volume from the probability of occurrence and the amount of damage. Overall, the timber harvest reduction we applied was much more costly than the insurance premium even with a zero interest rate. This is due to the fact that the insurance premium is directly related to risk while the timber harvest reduction is not and, as a consequence, is much less efficient. These results, especially the comparison with a standard indicator such as an insurance premium, have useful implications at the time of choosing a mitigation strategy to protect timber supplies against risk without overly diminishing the provision of services from the forest. They are also promoting the use of insurance against disastrous events in forest management planning.

  12. A comparison of effects from prescribed fires and wildfires managed for resource objectives in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesmith, C.B.; Caprio, Anthony C.; Pfaff, Anne H.; McGinnis, Thomas W.; Keeley, Jon E.

    2011-01-01

    Current goals for prescription burning are focused on measures of fuel consumption and changes in forest density. These benchmarks, however, do not address the extent to which prescription burning meets perceived ecosystem needs of heterogeneity in burning, both for overstory trees and understory herbs and shrubs. There are still questions about how closely prescribed fires mimic these patterns compared to natural wildfires. This study compared burn patterns of prescribed fires and managed unplanned wildfires to understand how the differing burning regimes affect ecosystem properties. Measures of forest structure and fire severity were sampled in three recent prescribed fires and three wildfires managed for resource objectives in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Fine scale patterns of fire severity and heterogeneity were compared between fire types using ground-based measures of fire effects on fuels and overstory and understory vegetation. Prescribed fires and wildfires managed for resource objectives displayed similar patterns of overstory and understory fire severity, heterogeneity, and seedling and sapling survival. Variation among plots within the same fire was always greater than between fire types. Prescribed fires can provide burned landscapes that approximate natural fires in many ways. It is recognized that constraints placed on when wildfires managed for resource objectives are allowed to burn freely may bias the range of conditions that might have been experienced under more natural conditions. Therefore they may not exactly mimic natural wildfires. Overall, the similarity in fire effects that we observed between prescribed fires and managed wildfires indicate that despite the restrictions that are often placed on prescribed fires, they appear to be creating post-fire conditions that approximate natural fires when assessed on a fine spatial scale.

  13. Assessing Wildland Fire Risk Transmission to Communities in Northern Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fermín J. Alcasena

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available 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. Fire exposure was estimated by simulating 50,000 fire events that replicated extreme (97th percentile historical fire weather conditions. Spatial ignition probabilities were used in the simulations to account for non-random ignitions, and were estimated from a fire occurrence model generated with an artificial neural network. The results showed that ignition probability explained most of spatial variation in risk, with economic value of structures having only a minor effect. Average expected loss to residential houses from a single wildfire event in the study area was 7955€, and ranged from a low of 740 to the high of 28,725€. Major fire flow-paths were analyzed to understand fire transmission from surrounding municipalities and showed that incoming fires from the north exhibited strong pathways into the core of the study area, and fires spreading from the south had the highest likelihood of reaching target residential structures from the longest distances (>5 km. Community firesheds revealed the scale of risk to communities and extended well beyond administrative boundaries. The results provided a quantitative risk assessment that can be used by insurance companies and local landscape managers to prioritize and allocate investments to treat wildland fuels and identify clusters of high expected loss within communities. The methodological framework can be extended to other fire-prone southern European Union countries where communities are threatened by large wildland fires.

  14. A conceptual framework for an ecosystem services-based assessment of the so-called "emergency stabilization" measures following wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valente, Sandra; Prats, Sergio; Ribeiro, Cristina; Verheijen, Frank; Fleskens, Luuk; Keizer, Jacob

    2015-04-01

    Wildfires have become a major environmental concern in many Southern European countries over the past few decades. This includes Portugal, where, on average, some 100 000 ha of rural lands are affected by wildfire every year. While policies, laws, plans and public expenditure in Portugal continue to be largely directed towards fire combat and, arguably, to a lesser extent fire prevention, there has only recently been increasing attention for post-fire land management. For example following frequent and several large wildfires during the summer of 2010, so-called emergency stabilization measures were implemented in 16 different burnt areas in northern and central Portugal, using funds of the EU Rural Development Plan in Portugal (PRODER). The measures that were implemented included mulching (i.e. application of a protective layer of organic material), seeding and the construction of log barriers. However, the effectiveness of the implemented measures has not been monitored or otherwise assessed in a systematic manner. In fact, until very recently none of the post-fire emergency stabilization measures contemplated under PRODER seem to have been studied in an exhaustive manner in Portugal, whether under laboratory or field conditions. Prats et al. (2012, 2013, 2014) tested two of these measures by field trials, i.e. hydro-mulching and forest residue mulching. The authors found both measures to be highly effective in terms of reducing overland flow and especially erosion. It remains a challenge, however, to assess the effectiveness of these and other measures in a broader context, not only beyond overland flow and sediment losses but also beyond the spatio-temporal scale that are typical for such field trials (plots and the first two years after fire). This challenge will be addressed in the Portuguese case study of the RECARE project. Nonetheless, the present study wants to be a first attempt at an ecosystem services-based assessment of mulching as a post

  15. How can investment in the landscape or the interface reduce the risk of house loss from wildfires? A comparative study between Sydney, Australia and California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penman, Trent; Bradstock, Ross; Collins, Luke; Fotheringham, Cj; Keeley, Jon; Labiosa, Bill; Price, Owen; Syphard, Alex

    2013-04-01

    Wildfire can result in significant losses to people and property. Management agencies undertake a range of actions in the landscape and at the interface to reduce this risk. Data relating to the success of individual treatments varies, with some approaches well understood and others less so. Research has rarely attempted to consider the interactive effects of treatments in order to determine optimal management strategies that reduce the risk of loss. Bayesian Networks provide a statistical framework for undertaking such an analysis. Here we apply Bayesian Networks to examine the trade-offs in investment in preventative actions (e.g., fuel treatment, community education, development controls) and suppressive actions (e.g., initial attack, landscape suppression, property protection) in two fire prone regions -Sydney, Australia and California, USA. Investment in management actions at the interface resulted in the greatest reduction in the risk of house loss for both of the study regions. Landscape treatments had a limited ability to change the risk of house loss.

  16. Fire regimes approaching historic norms reduce wildfire-facilitated conversion from forest to non-forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan B. Walker; Jonathan D. Coop; Sean A. Parks; Laura Trader

    2018-01-01

    Extensive high-severity wildfires have driven major losses of ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests in the southwestern United States, in some settings catalyzing enduring conversions to nonforested vegetation types. Management interventions to reduce the probability of stand-replacing wildfire have included mechanical fuel treatments, prescribed fire, and wildfire...

  17. Modern Approaches to Wildfire Mitigation by Air and by Ground: An Interdisciplinary Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffin, J.; Lindquist, E.; Pierce, J. L.; Wuerzer, T.; Lawless, B.; McCoy, J.

    2013-12-01

    In 2012, 1.7 million acres of land burned in Idaho--more than any other state. Boise, Idaho, is situated at the base of the Boise Foothills; this physiographic setting places the area at risk of not only fires along on the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI), but also at risk for post-fire floods and debris flows in the lower lying neighborhoods adjacent to steep hillslopes. In 1959 and 1994, fires and post-fire debris flows devastated areas of the foothills, and inundated residences with water and mud. Anthropogenically-induced climate change is projected to increased summer temperatures and decrease summer precipitation; the associated increase in fire risk necessitates enhanced wildfire planning in Boise's WUI. Temporal uncertainty with varying weather and vegetation conditions poses problems in defining wildfire risk and requires new methods to address the WUI challenges. Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) could identify and characterize fire hazards to be mapped and used as a management tool. This technology would allow for repeat flights to update risk analysis as the hazards change both annually and multiple times within each fire season. With aerial photography obtained from flights, Structure from Motion software can be used to compile the images and render a 3D model to help quantify biomass. Aerial photographs would also allow for the ability to track seasonal changes in fire risk from vegetation height and inferred moisture content. Boise State University's departments of Geoscience, Community and Regional Planning, and the Public Policy Center are examining the risks and impacts of fire along the Boise WUI. The research integrates the perspectives of the geosciences and social sciences by combining physically-based fire hazards, effective fire management policies, and urban/regional planning in the WUI to provide better spatially-appropriate data and resources to the community and a common reference to assist in unifying the local efforts for fire mitigation

  18. Acacia shrubs respond positively to high severity wildfire: Implications for conservation and fuel hazard management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Christopher E; Price, Owen F; Tasker, Elizabeth M; Denham, Andrew J

    2017-01-01

    High severity wildfires pose threats to human assets, but are also perceived to impact vegetation communities because a small number of species may become dominant immediately after fire. However there are considerable gaps in our knowledge about species-specific responses of plants to different fire severities, and how this influences fuel hazard in the short and long-term. Here we conduct a floristic survey at sites before and two years after a wildfire of unprecedented size and severity in the Warrumbungle National Park (Australia) to explore relationships between post-fire growth of a fire responsive shrub genera (Acacia), total mid-story vegetation cover, fire severity and fuel hazard. We then survey 129 plots surrounding the park to assess relationships between mid-story vegetation cover and time-since-fire. Acacia species richness and cover were 2.3 and 4.3 times greater at plots after than before the fire. However the same common dominant species were present throughout the study. Mid-story vegetation cover was 1.5 times greater after than before the wildfire, and Acacia species contribution to mid-story cover increased from 10 to 40%. Acacia species richness was not affected by fire severity, however strong positive associations were observed between Acacia and total mid-story vegetation cover and severity. Our analysis of mid-story vegetation recovery showed that cover was similarly high between 2 and 30years post-fire, then decreased until 52years. Collectively, our results suggest that Acacia species are extremely resilient to high severity wildfire and drive short to mid-term increases in fuel hazard. Our results are discussed in relation to fire regime management from the twin perspectives of conserving biodiversity and mitigating human losses due to wildfire. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Operational risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKim, Vicky L

    2017-06-01

    In the world of risk management, which encompasses the business continuity disciplines, many types of risk require evaluation. Financial risk is most often the primary focus, followed by product and market risks. Another critical area, which typically lacks a thorough review or may be overlooked, is operational risk. This category encompasses many risk exposure types including those around building structures and systems, environmental issues, nature, neighbours, clients, regulatory compliance, network, data security and so on. At times, insurance carriers will assess internal hazards, but seldom do these assessments include more than a cursory look at other types of operational risk. In heavily regulated environments, risk assessments are required but may not always include thorough assessments of operational exposures. Vulnerabilities may linger or go unnoticed, only to become the catalyst for a business disruption at a later time, some of which are so severe that business recovery becomes nearly impossible. Businesses may suffer loss of clients as the result of a prolonged disruption of services. Comprehensive operational risk assessments can assist in identifying such vulnerabilities, exposures and threats so that the risk can be minimised or removed. This paper lays out how an assessment of this type can be successfully conducted.

  20. Difference in information needs for wildfire evacuees and non-evacuees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarah M. McCaffrey; Anne-Lise Knox Velez; Jason Alexander. Briefel

    2013-01-01

    This paper examines whether evacuees from two wildfires displayed different information seeking behavior than non-evacuees. Findings are the results of a mail survey sent to residents affected by wildfires outside Flagstaff, Arizona and Boulder, Colorado in 2010. We found evacuees sought information more actively than non-evacuees and placed a greater emphasis on use...

  1. Avian relationships with wildfire at two dry forest locations with different historical fire regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quresh Latif; Jamie Sanderlin; Vicki Saab; William Block; Jonathan Dudley

    2016-01-01

    Wildfire is a key factor influencing bird community composition in western North American forests. We need to understand species and community responses to wildfire and how responses vary regionally to effectively manage dry conifer forests for maintaining biodiversity. We compared avian relationships with wildfire burn severity between two dry forest...

  2. Predicting gully rejuvenation after wildfire using remotely sensed burn severity data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyde, Kevin; Woods, Scott W.; Donahue, Jack

    2007-05-01

    The loss of surface vegetation and reduced infiltration caused by wildfires can trigger gully rejuvenation, resulting in damage to downstream aquatic resources and risk to human life and property. We developed a spatially explicit metric of burn severity — the Burn Severity Distribution Index (BSDI) — and tested its ability to predict post-fire gully rejuvenation in 1st and 2nd order basins burned in the 2000 Valley Complex fires in the Sapphire Mountains of western Montana. The BSDI was derived from burn severity data interpreted from Landsat 7 satellite imagery using the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) method, and ranged from 0.0 for completely unburned basins to 4.0 for basins burned entirely at high severity. In July 2001 rainstorms with peak 30-minute intensities of up to 17 mm h - 1 triggered gully rejuvenation in 66 of the 171 basins examined. The frequency of gully rejuvenation was higher in basins with higher BSDI values, increasing from zero for basins with a BSDI less than 1.3 to 67% for basins with a BSDI greater than 3.0. Binary logistic regression indicated that BSDI was a more significant predictor of gully rejuvenation than basin morphometric variables. The absence of gully rejuvenation in several basins with a high BSDI was attributed to low gradient, dense riparian vegetation, or concentration of high burn severity at lower elevations in the basin. The presence of gully rejuvenation in several basins with a low BSDI was associated with false negative NBR classification errors in northwest aspects, and concentration of severe burn impacts in the drainage headslopes. BSDI is a useful metric for predicting gully rejuvenation after wildfire. The use of the BSDI in Burned Area Emergency Response team assessments could improve the planning, implementation, and monitoring of burned area recovery treatments.

  3. Wildfire and aspect effects on hydrologic states after the 2010 Fourmile Canyon Fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebel, Brian A.

    2013-01-01

    Wildfire can change how soils take in, store, and release water. This study examined differences in how burned and unburned plots on north versus south-facing slope aspects respond to rainfall. The largest wildfire impacts were litter/duff combustion on burned north-facing slopes versus soil-water retention reduction on burned south-facing slopes.Wildfire is one of the most significant disturbances in mountainous landscapes, affecting water supply and ecologic function and setting the stage for natural hazards such as flash floods. The impacts of wildfire can affect the entire hydrologic cycle. Measurements of soil-water content and matric potential in the near surface (top 30 cm) captured the hydrologic state in both burned and unburned hillslopes during the first spring through fall period (1 June–1 Oct. 2011) after the 2010 Fourmile Canyon Fire near Boulder, CO. This time span included different hydrologic periods characterized by cyclonic frontal storms (low-intensity, long duration), convective storms (high-intensity, short duration), and dry periods. In mountainous environments, aspect can also control hydrologic states, so north- vs. south-facing slopes were compared. Wildfire tended to homogenize soil-water contents across aspects and with depth in the soil, yet it also may have introduced an aspect control on matric potential that was not observed in unburned soils. Post-wildfire changes in hydrologic state were observed in south-facing soils, probably reflecting decreased soil-water retention after wildfire. North-facing soils were impacted the most, in terms of hydrologic state, by the loss of water storage in the combusted litter–duff layer and forest canopy, which had provided a large “hydrologic buffering” capacity when unburned. Unsaturated zone measurements showed increased variability in hydrologic states and more rapid state transitions in wildfire-impacted soils. A simple, qualitative analysis suggested that the range of unsaturated

  4. Smoke consequences of new wildfire regimes driven by climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donald McKenzie; Uma Shankar; Robert E. Keane; E. Natasha Stavros; Warren E. Heilman; Douglas G. Fox; Allen C. Riebau

    2014-01-01

    Smoke from wildfires has adverse biological and social consequences, and various lines of evidence suggest that smoke from wildfires in the future may be more intense and widespread, demanding that methods be developed to address its effects on people, ecosystems, and the atmosphere. In this paper, we present the essential ingredients of a modeling system for...

  5. Long-term effects of wildfire on greater sage-grouse - integrating population and ecosystem concepts for management in the Great Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Ricca, Mark A.; Prochazka, Brian G.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2015-09-10

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereinafter, sage-grouse) are a sagebrush obligate species that has declined concomitantly with the loss and fragmentation of sagebrush ecosystems across most of its geographical range. The species currently is listed as a candidate for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Increasing wildfire frequency and changing climate frequently are identified as two environmental drivers that contribute to the decline of sage-grouse populations, yet few studies have rigorously quantified their effects on sage-grouse populations across broad spatial scales and long time periods. To help inform a threat assessment within the Great Basin for listing sage-grouse in 2015 under the ESA, we conducted an extensive analysis of wildfire and climatic effects on sage-grouse population growth derived from 30 years of lek-count data collected across the hydrographic Great Basin of Western North America. Annual (1984–2013) patterns of wildfire were derived from an extensive dataset of remotely sensed 30-meter imagery and precipitation derived from locally downscaled spatially explicit data. In the sagebrush ecosystem, underlying soil conditions also contribute strongly to variation in resilience to disturbance and resistance to plant community changes (R&R). Thus, we developed predictions from models of post-wildfire recovery and chronic effects of wildfire based on three spatially explicit R&R classes derived from soil moisture and temperature regimes. We found evidence of an interaction between the effects of wildfire (chronically affected burned area within 5 kilometers of a lek) and climatic conditions (spring through fall precipitation) after accounting for a consistent density-dependent effect. Specifically, burned areas near leks nullifies population growth that normally follows years with relatively high precipitation. In models, this effect results in long-term population declines for sage-grouse despite cyclic

  6. Investigation of the decline in reported smoking-caused wildfires in the USA from 2000 to 2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    David T. Butry; Jeffrey P. Prestemon; Douglas S. Thomas

    2014-01-01

    The number of smoking-caused wildfires has been falling nationwide. In national forests in 2011, smoking-caused wildfires represented only 10% of their 1980 level. No other cause of wildfire has experienced this level of decline. For 12 states, we evaluate the rate of smoking-caused wildfires and find it is a function of weather, other ignitions, the number of adult...

  7. Desertification and other ecological impacts produced by the historic Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire of 2000, Arizona, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neary, D.; Ffolliott, P.; Stropki, C.

    2009-04-01

    of water bars, wattles, k-rails, and aerial seeding and mulching of herbaceous plants to mitigate that anticipated accelerated post-fire soil erosion, began immediately after the fire was extinguished and it was declared safe for people to enter the burned area and initiate rehabilitation. An assessment of the impacts of the Rodeo-Chediski wildfire on soil erosion was carried out on two watersheds situated at the headwaters of the Little Colorado River. One of the watersheds experienced a high severity burn and the other a low-to-medium severity burn. Estimates of soil erosion on a watershed-basis and relative to physiographic characteristics on the two watersheds following the (a) high-intensity summer monsoonal rains and (2) low-intensity winter precipitation and spring snowmelt-runoff events are presented and compared with estimates of soil erosion following other wildfires in the region. Monitoring of soil erosion and other hydrologic and ecological parameters is continuing to obtain a longer, more comprehensive picture of the impacts of this catastrophic wildfire event. The Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire altered the species composition and impacted the production of herbaceous plants on the burned watersheds studied. Effects of the post-fire vegetation changes reduced the capabilities of watersheds to support livestock and some of the other larger herbivores in the region. When these watersheds will return to pre-fire conditions is largely unknown. Not only must the forage resources be restored but the magnitude of post-fire soil erosion and accompanying nutrient losses must be mitigated. Post-fire rehabilitation efforts including the seeding of herbaceous species and installation of controls to reduce soil erosion and sedimentation processes have helped to accelerate this recovery to some extent. A much longer time will obviously be required for severely burned areas to recover than those areas burned by at a low severity. Portions of the latter have already returned

  8. The 2002 Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire's impacts on southwestern ponderosa pine ecosystems, hydrology, and fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter F. Ffolliott; Cody L. Stropki; Hui Chen; Daniel G. Neary

    2011-01-01

    The Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire burned nearly 462,600 acres in north-central Arizona in the summer of 2002. The wildfire damaged or destroyed ecosystem resources and disrupted the hydrologic functioning within the impacted ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests in a largely mosaic pattern. Impacts of the wildfire on ecosystem resources, factors important to hydrologic...

  9. Re-envisioning community-wildfire relations in the U.S. West as adaptive governance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse B. Abrams

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Prompted by a series of increasingly destructive, expensive, and highly visible wildfire crises in human communities across the globe, a robust body of scholarship has emerged to theorize, conceptualize, and measure community-level resilience to wildfires. To date, however, insufficient consideration has been given to wildfire resilience as a process of adaptive governance mediated by institutions at multiple scales. Here we explore the possibilities for addressing this gap through an analysis of wildfire resilience among wildland-urban interface communities in the western region of the United States. We re-engage important but overlooked components of social-ecological system resilience by situating rural communities within their state- to national-level institutional contexts; we then analyze two communities in Nevada and New Mexico in terms of their institutional settings and responses to recent wildfire events. We frame our analysis around the concepts of scale matching, linking within and across scales, and institutional flexibility.

  10. Hepatitis Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... please visit this page: About CDC.gov . Hepatitis Risk Assessment Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Viral Hepatitis. Are you at risk? Take this 5 minute Hepatitis Risk Assessment developed ...

  11. Impacts of Wildfires on Land Surface Phenology of Western US Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J.; Zhang, X.

    2017-12-01

    Land surface phenology (LSP) characterizes seasonal dynamics of vegetation communities within a satellite pixel. The temporal variation of LSP has been widely associated with recent global climate change. However, few studies have focused on the influence of land disturbance, such as wildfire, on LSP variations, which is particularly true at a continental scale. Wildfire has increased in size and severity in the western United States (US) during last few decades. To explore wildfire impacts on LSP in the western US forest, we analyzed the start of growing season (SOS) integrated from the entire forest area, the burned area, and the unburned area, respectively. Specifically, SOS was derived from time series of daily MODIS surface reflectance product at 250 m using a hybrid piecewise logistic detection model. The annual burn perimeters during 2000-2014 were obtained from Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity maps to study the wildfire effect on the SOS in the subsequent years (2001-2015). The wildfire effect was analyzed at three levels: the entire western US, Environmental Protection Agency's Level III ecoregions, and states. Results show that wildfires basically advance SOS but have diverse effects with different regions and years. Comparing SOS in the burned areas with that in surrounding unburned areas from 2001-2015, it was found that the SOS shift was -3.4 days (-: earlier; +: later) on average in the western US forests, and varied from -16.1 to 13.1 days across ecoregions and from -11.4 to 4.3 days across states. Because of the small proportion of annual burned areas (SOS shift in the burned areas had limited influences on the overall SOS, which caused shifts of -0.06 days over the entire western US, from -0.2 to 0.2 days across ecoregions, and -0.06 to 0.13 days across states. Overall, this study demonstrates that wildfires strongly impact SOS at local areas although the effect in the large region is relatively limited.

  12. Mitigation of emissions from wildfires in Australia: potential for use of managed prescribed fire in eucalypt dominated vegetation, present and future. (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradstock, R.; Price, O.; Williams, D.; Hutley, L.

    2010-12-01

    Species of Eucalyptus and other closely related genera dominate woodlands and forests in the moist regions of tropical and temperate Australia. Respectively, these savanna woodlands and open forests are highly fire prone, though fire regimes are fundamentally different due to inherent influences of weather, fuels, ignitions and terrain. Fuel reduction via prescribed burning is commonly used in both savanna woodlands and temperate, open forests with the intention of reducing the incidence, extent and intensity of wildfires and subsequent risk to human and environmental assets. The prospect of mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from wildfires provides further impetus for extensive use of prescribed fire. This potential is dependent on a number of key factors, namely the efficacy of this fuel reduction technique and the relative difference in the intensity of prescribed fires and wildfires. We present a conceptual model of the potential for prescribed fire to mitigate emissions based on these key factors. Prescribed burning requires an outlay of emissions in return for a saving through a reduction in area burned and intensity of subsequent wildfires. If the reduction in area burned by wildfires, achieved through prescribed burning, is relatively small then the reduction in intensity of wildfires must be relatively large in order to achieve a net reduction in emissions. This is not the case if prescribed burning has a strong effect in reducing the size of wildfires. Contemporary data indicate that the effect of prescribed burning in reducing area burned by wildfires is high in savanna woodlands but relatively low in forests. Corresponding potential for mitigation of emissions is therefore high and low respectively. We tested this prediction for forests by estimating fire intensity and fuel consumption using a range of fuel accumulation models for south eastern Australian forests. The results indicate that at the level of effectiveness of prescribed fire achieved

  13. GM Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparrow, Penny A. C.

    GM risk assessments play an important role in the decision-making process surrounding the regulation, notification and permission to handle Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Ultimately the role of a GM risk assessment will be to ensure the safe handling and containment of the GMO; and to assess any potential impacts on the environment and human health. A risk assessment should answer all ‘what if’ scenarios, based on scientific evidence.

  14. Levoglucosan Levels in Alaskan Ice Cores as a Record of Past Wildfires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, M. E.; Osterberg, E. C.; Kehrwald, N. M.; Kennedy, J.; Ferris, D. G.

    2017-12-01

    Glaciers in southeast Alaska are significant contributors to global sea-level rise, and therefore understanding the mechanisms driving their recent mass loss is crucial for predicting future sea-level change. Fire activity in Alaska has increased dramatically during the last decade, adding a potential new source of light-absorbing organic material (soot) to the Juneau Icefield that can reduce albedo and enhance surface melt rates. The goal of this project is to create an accurate record of Alaskan wildfires to understand how Alaskan glacial mass balance is affected by the deposition of organic aerosols from wildfires. Previously, oxalate, ammonia, and potassium ion levels have been used as proxies for past wildfire activity, but these ions all have broader emission sources in addition to wildfires. Here we develop a record of past Alaskan fire events and climate from: (1) levels of a biomass burning indicator, levoglucosan, which only forms when cellulose is burned over 300 °C, (2) major ions including oxalate, ammonia, and potassium; (3) the number and size distribution of particles to quantify trace amounts of soot from wildfires; and (4) stable water isotope ratios as a proxy for past temperature in ice cores. We utilize a total of four shallow ice cores, ranging from 7 to 9 m in length, that were collected by a biogeochemistry team during the Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP) in 2016. Complications include our limited understanding of the conservation and degradation of levoglucosan over time or during the firnification process. We hypothesize that particle counts will be correlated with levoglucosan peaks, co-varying with wildfire frequency and temperatures over time. Based on previous work, we also expect to find correlations between levoglucosan and oxalate ion concentrations, even though oxalate ions have sources in addition to wildfire activity.

  15. Epidemic cholera spreads like wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Manojit; Zinck, Richard D.; Bouma, Menno J.; Pascual, Mercedes

    2014-01-01

    Cholera is on the rise globally, especially epidemic cholera which is characterized by intermittent and unpredictable outbreaks that punctuate periods of regional disease fade-out. These epidemic dynamics remain however poorly understood. Here we examine records for epidemic cholera over both contemporary and historical timelines, from Africa (1990-2006) and former British India (1882-1939). We find that the frequency distribution of outbreak size is fat-tailed, scaling approximately as a power-law. This pattern which shows strong parallels with wildfires is incompatible with existing cholera models developed for endemic regions, as it implies a fundamental role for stochastic transmission and local depletion of susceptible hosts. Application of a recently developed forest-fire model indicates that epidemic cholera dynamics are located above a critical phase transition and propagate in similar ways to aggressive wildfires. These findings have implications for the effectiveness of control measures and the mechanisms that ultimately limit the size of outbreaks.

  16. Amplification of wildfire area burnt by hydrological drought in the humid tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taufik, Muh; Torfs, Paul J. J. F.; Uijlenhoet, Remko; Jones, Philip D.; Murdiyarso, Daniel; van Lanen, Henny A. J.

    2017-06-01

    Borneo's diverse ecosystems, which are typical humid tropical conditions, are deteriorating rapidly, as the area is experiencing recurrent large-scale wildfires, affecting atmospheric composition and influencing regional climate processes. Studies suggest that climate-driven drought regulates wildfires, but these overlook subsurface processes leading to hydrological drought, an important driver. Here, we show that models which include hydrological processes better predict area burnt than those solely based on climate data. We report that the Borneo landscape has experienced a substantial hydrological drying trend since the early twentieth century, leading to progressive tree mortality, more severe than in other tropical regions. This has caused massive wildfires in lowland Borneo during the past two decades, which we show are clustered in years with large areas of hydrological drought coinciding with strong El Niño events. Statistical modelling evidence shows amplifying wildfires and greater area burnt in response to El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) strength, when hydrology is considered. These results highlight the importance of considering hydrological drought for wildfire prediction, and we recommend that hydrology should be considered in future studies of the impact of projected ENSO strength, including effects on tropical ecosystems, and biodiversity conservation.

  17. Advancing Sensor Technology to Monitor Wildfires

    Science.gov (United States)

    EPA and partners are looking at ways to use miniature sensors to monitor air quality near wildfires. Data from these small sensors can complement measurements obtained from more complex regulatory-grade monitors that are stationary.

  18. Air Quality Deterioration of Urban Areas Caused by Wildfires in a Natural Reservoir Forest of Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noel Carbajal

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Many regions of the world suffer loss of vegetation and reduced air quality due to wildfires. Studies on aerosol emissions by wildfires often discuss the negative effects of atmospheric contaminants from a regional or mesoscale perspective. The occurrence of wildfires reveals that a high percentage takes place close to large urban areas. Very high concentration of pollutants and PM10 particulate matter reach urban zones and millions of inhabitants. These events of high pollutant concentrations are seasonally recurrent. There are many large urban areas in the world that often undergo severe air deterioration due to wildfires smoke. We document the extreme impact of wildfire that occurs in the Protected Area of Flora and Fauna La Primavera located in neighborhood of Guadalajara, a large urban zone in Mexico. The simultaneous emissions of aerosols by 60 wildfires were simulated and compared with observed data. The plume generated by the wildfires reached large areas of the central part of Mexico. The principal characteristics of smog emissions (CO, NO2, and PM10 over the urban area were acceptably reproduced. Observed and modeled CO, PM10, and NO2 data indicated that aerosol plumes generated by the wildfires increased notably the concentrations over the metropolitan zone of Guadalajara.

  19. Effects of a large wildfire on vegetation structure in a variable fire mosaic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, C N; Barton, P S; Robinson, N M; MacGregor, C I; Lindenmayer, D B

    2017-12-01

    Management guidelines for many fire-prone ecosystems highlight the importance of maintaining a variable mosaic of fire histories for biodiversity conservation. Managers are encouraged to aim for fire mosaics that are temporally and spatially dynamic, include all successional states of vegetation, and also include variation in the underlying "invisible mosaic" of past fire frequencies, severities, and fire return intervals. However, establishing and maintaining variable mosaics in contemporary landscapes is subject to many challenges, one of which is deciding how the fire mosaic should be managed following the occurrence of large, unplanned wildfires. A key consideration for this decision is the extent to which the effects of previous fire history on vegetation and habitats persist after major wildfires, but this topic has rarely been investigated empirically. In this study, we tested to what extent a large wildfire interacted with previous fire history to affect the structure of forest, woodland, and heath vegetation in Booderee National Park in southeastern Australia. In 2003, a summer wildfire burned 49.5% of the park, increasing the extent of recently burned vegetation (post-fire) to more than 72% of the park area. We tracked the recovery of vegetation structure for nine years following the wildfire and found that the strength and persistence of fire effects differed substantially between vegetation types. Vegetation structure was modified by wildfire in forest, woodland, and heath vegetation, but among-site variability in vegetation structure was reduced only by severe fire in woodland vegetation. There also were persistent legacy effects of the previous fire regime on some attributes of vegetation structure including forest ground and understorey cover, and woodland midstorey and overstorey cover. For example, woodland midstorey cover was greater on sites with higher fire frequency, irrespective of the severity of the 2003 wildfire. Our results show that even

  20. Effects of wildfires on ash Carbon, Nitrogen and C/N ratio in Mediterranean forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, P.; Ubeda, X.; Martin, D. A.

    2009-04-01

    Carbon (C) and Nitrogen(N) are key nutrients in ecosystems health and the more affected by fire temperatures, because of their low temperatures of volatilization. After a wildfire, due higher temperatures reached, a great amount of C and N can be evacuated from the ecosystems and the percentage of C and N not vaporized is concentrated in ashes. Hence, the study of ash C and N is of major importance because will be linked with the capacity of ecosystem recuperation. The aim of this work is study the C, and C/N of three wildfires occurred in Mediterranean forests dominated by Quercus suber and Pinus pinea in Portugal. In the first wildfire, named "Quinta do Conde", we collected 30 samples, in the second, "Quinta da Areia", 32 samples and the third, "Casal do Sapo" 40 samples To estimate the consequences of wildfires in the parameters in study, we collected several samples of unburned litter near burned areas, composed by the same vegetation. The results showed that wildfires induced in % of Total Carbon (%TC) ashes content a non significantly reduction in Quinta do Conde plot (at a pPinus pinaster samples decreasing thereafter especially after the 400°C. In %TN we identified a rise in both species reducing abruptly at 450°C. C/N ratio decrease importantly after the 150°C. Theses results showed us that wildfires can have different effects C and N litter resources, depending on the severity and temperature reached. Crossing the results obtained in laboratory simulations with the samples collected in wildfires we will have an idea about the severity and temperature occurred in each wildfire. Overall, the lower severity were observed in Quinta do Conde plot and the higher in Casal do Sapo plot, being Quinta da Areia in a middle position. The C and N levels after a wildfire will determine the capacity of landscape recuperation and according the data obtained this will be higher in Quinta do Conde plot and lesser in Casal do Sapo plot. These hypothesis will be confirmed

  1. Hydrologic responses to restored wildfire regimes revealed by soil moisture-vegetation relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boisramé, Gabrielle; Thompson, Sally; Stephens, Scott

    2018-02-01

    Many forested mountain watersheds worldwide evolved with frequent fire, which Twentieth Century fire suppression activities eliminated, resulting in unnaturally dense forests with high water demand. Restoration of pre-suppression forest composition and structure through a variety of management activities could improve forest resilience and water yields. This study explores the potential for "managed wildfire", whereby naturally ignited fires are allowed to burn, to alter the water balance. Interest in this type of managed wildfire is increasing, yet its long-term effects on water balance are uncertain. We use soil moisture as a spatially-distributed hydrologic indicator to assess the influence of vegetation, fire history and landscape position on water availability in the Illilouette Creek Basin in Yosemite National Park. Over 6000 manual surface soil moisture measurements were made over a period of three years, and supplemented with continuous soil moisture measurements over the top 1m of soil in three sites. Random forest and linear mixed effects models showed a dominant effect of vegetation type and history of vegetation change on measured soil moisture. Contemporary and historical vegetation maps were used to upscale the soil moisture observations to the basin and infer soil moisture under fire-suppressed conditions. Little change in basin-averaged soil moisture was inferred due to managed wildfire, but the results indicated that large localized increases in soil moisture had occurred, which could have important impacts on local ecology or downstream flows.

  2. Using and improving social capital to increase community preparedness for wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shruti Agrawal; Martha C. Monroe

    2006-01-01

    Communities with more social capital are better able to work together to cope with problems such as a wildfire threat. This study found a positive relationship between perceiving greater social capital and participating in wildfire preparedness educational programs. Results suggest that managers can take advantage of existing social capital in communities to improve...

  3. Offshore risk assessment

    CERN Document Server

    Vinnem, Jan-Erik

    2014-01-01

      Offshore Risk Assessment was the first book to deal with quantified risk assessment (QRA) as applied specifically to offshore installations and operations. Risk assessment techniques have been used for more than three decades in the offshore oil and gas industry, and their use is set to expand increasingly as the industry moves into new areas and faces new challenges in older regions.   This updated and expanded third edition has been informed by a major R&D program on offshore risk assessment in Norway and summarizes research from 2006 to the present day. Rooted with a thorough discussion of risk metrics and risk analysis methodology,  subsequent chapters are devoted to analytical approaches to escalation, escape, evacuation and rescue analysis of safety and emergency systems.   Separate chapters analyze the main hazards of offshore structures: fire, explosion, collision, and falling objects as well as structural and marine hazards. Risk mitigation and control are discussed, as well as an illustrat...

  4. The application of prototype point processes for the summary and description of California wildfires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, K.; Schoenberg, F.P.; Keeley, J.E.; Bray, A.; Diez, D.

    2011-01-01

    A method for summarizing repeated realizations of a space-time marked point process, known as prototyping, is discussed and applied to catalogues of wildfires in California. Prototype summaries are constructed for varying time intervals using California wildfire data from 1990 to 2006. Previous work on prototypes for temporal and space-time point processes is extended here to include methods for computing prototypes with marks and the incorporation of prototype summaries into hierarchical clustering algorithms, the latter of which is used to delineate fire seasons in California. Other results include summaries of patterns in the spatial-temporal distribution of wildfires within each wildfire season. ?? 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  5. Creation a Geo Big Data Outreach and Training Collaboratory for Wildfire Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altintas, I.; Sale, J.; Block, J.; Cowart, C.; Crawl, D.

    2015-12-01

    A major challenge for the geoscience community is the training and education of current and next generation big data geoscientists. In wildfire research, there are an increasing number of tools, middleware and techniques to use for data science related to wildfires. The necessary computing infrastructures are often within reach and most of the software tools for big data are freely available. But what has been lacking is a transparent platform and training program to produce data science experts who can use these integrated tools effectively. Scientists well versed to take advantage of big data technologies in geoscience applications is of critical importance to the future of research and knowledge advancement. To address this critical need, we are developing learning modules to teach process-based thinking to capture the value of end-to-end systems of reusable blocks of knowledge and integrate the tools and technologies used in big data analysis in an intuitive manner. WIFIRE is an end-to-end cyberinfrastructure for dynamic data-driven simulation, prediction and visualization of wildfire behavior.To this end, we are openly extending an environment we have built for "big data training" (biobigdata.ucsd.edu) to similar MOOC-based approaches to the wildfire community. We are building an environment that includes training modules for distributed platforms and systems, Big Data concepts, and scalable workflow tools, along with other basics of data science including data management, reproducibility and sharing of results. We also plan to provide teaching modules with analytical and dynamic data-driven wildfire behavior modeling case studies which address the needs not only of standards-based K-12 science education but also the needs of a well-educated and informed citizenry.Another part our outreach mission is to educate our community on all aspects of wildfire research. One of the most successful ways of accomplishing this is through high school and undergraduate

  6. Disturbance from southern pine beetle, suppression, and wildfire affects vegetation composition in central Louisiana: a case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    T.W. Coleman; Alton Martin; J.R. Meeker

    2010-01-01

    We assessed plant composition and forest succession following tree mortality from infestation of southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis), associated suppression, and wildfire in two forest types, pine (Pinus spp.) with mixed hardwood and longleaf pine (P. palustris). In this case study, vegetation was...

  7. Current research issues related to post-wildfire runoff and erosion processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    John A. Moody; Richard A. Shakesby; Peter R. Robichaud; Susan H. Cannon; Deborah A. Martin

    2013-01-01

    Research into post-wildfire effects began in the United Statesmore than 70 years ago and only later extended to other parts of the world. Post-wildfire responses are typically transient, episodic, variable in space and time, dependent on thresholds, and involve multiple processes measured by different methods. These characteristics tend to hinder research progress, but...

  8. Oxidative aging and secondary organic aerosol formation from simulated wildfire emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    C. J. Hennigan; M. A. Miracolo; G. J. Engelhart; A. A. May; Cyle Wold; WeiMin Hao; T. Lee; A. P. Sullivan; J. B. Gilman; W. C. Kuster; J. A. de Gouw; J. L. Collett; S. M. Kreidenweis; A. L. Robinson

    2010-01-01

    Wildfires are a significant fraction of global biomass burning and a major source of trace gas and particle emissions in the atmosphere. Understanding the air quality and climate implications of wildfires is difficult since the emissions undergo complex transformations due to aging processes during transport away from the source. As part of the third Fire Lab at...

  9. Concept of risk: risk assessment and nuclear safety

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thompson, P.B.

    1980-01-01

    The dissertation is a critical examination of risk assessment and its role in public policy. Nuclear power safety safety issues are selected as the primary source of illustrations and examples. The dissertation examines how risk assessment studies develop a concept of risk which becomes decisive for policy choices. Risk-assessment techniques are interpreted as instruments which secure an evaluation of risk which, in turn, figures prominently in technical reports on nuclear power. The philosophical critique is mounted on two levels. First, an epistemological critique surveys distinctions between the technical concept of risk and more familiar senses of risk. The critique shows that utilization of risk assessment re-structures the concept of risk. The technical concept is contrasted to the function of risk within a decision-maker's conceptual agenda and hierarchy of values. Second, an ethical critique exposes the value commitments of risk assessment recommendations. Although some of these values might be defended for policy decisions, the technical character of risk assessment obfuscates normative issues. Risk assessment is shown to be a form of factual enquiry which, nonetheless, represents a commitment to a specific selection of ethical and social values. Risk assessment should not be interpreted as a primary guide to decision unless the specific values incorporated into its concept of risk are stated explicitly and justified philosophically. Such a statement would allow value questions which have been sublimated by the factual tone of the analytic techniques to be debated on clear, social and ethical grounds

  10. Smoke exposure at western wildfires.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timothy E. Reinhardt; Roger D. Ottmar

    2000-01-01

    Smoke exposure measurements among firefighters at wildfires in the Western United States between 1992 and 1995 showed that altogether most exposures were not significant, between 3 and 5 percent of the shift-average exposures exceeded occupational exposure limits for carbon monoxide and respiratory irritants. Exposure to benzene and total suspended particulate was not...

  11. Dutch Risk Assessment tools

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Venema, A.

    2015-01-01

    The ‘Risico- Inventarisatie- en Evaluatie-instrumenten’ is the name for the Dutch risk assessment (RA) tools. A RA tool can be used to perform a risk assessment including an evaluation of the identified risks. These tools were among the first online risk assessment tools developed in Europe. The

  12. Tools for Assessing the Impacts of Climate Variability and Change on Wildfire Regimes in Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hety Herawati

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Fire is an intrinsic element of many forest ecosystems; it shapes their ecological processes, determines species composition and influences landscape structure. However, wildfires may: have undesirable effects on biodiversity and vegetation coverage; produce carbon emissions to the atmosphere; release smoke affecting human health; and cause loss of lives and property. There have been increasing concerns about the potential impacts of climate variability and change on forest fires. Climate change can alter factors that influence the occurrence of fire ignitions, fuel availability and fuel flammability. This review paper aims to identify tools and methods used for gathering information about the impacts of climate variability and change on forest fires, forest fuels and the probability of fires. Tools to assess the impacts of climate variability and change on forest fires include: remote sensing, dynamic global vegetation and landscape models, integrated fire-vegetation models, fire danger rating systems, empirical models and fire behavior models. This review outlines each tool in terms of its characteristics, spatial and temporal resolution, limitations and applicability of the results. To enhance and improve tool performance, each must be continuously tested in all types of forest ecosystems.

  13. Distribution, Transport, and Accumulation of Pyrogenic Black Carbon in Post-Wildfire Watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galanter, A.; Cadol, D. D.; Frey, B.; Lohse, K. A.

    2014-12-01

    Large, high severity wildfires greatly alter forest structure, water quality, and soil development/erosion. With increased frequency of such wildfires also follows heavy post-wildfire debris flows and flooding which deliver high loads of sediment and pyrogenic black carbon (PyC) to downstream waterways. The accumulation of PyC is a multi-faceted and dynamic issue in the critical zone. Generated by incomplete combustion of organic matter, PyC (in the form of soot and char) impacts turbidity, biological and chemical oxygen demand, and pH. In addition, PyC has the potential to sequester contaminants and can store carbon over short and long timescales. The impacts of two recent wildfires in Northern New Mexico are studied with the goal of understanding the fluxes and residence times of PyC in post-wildfire, mountainous watersheds. Employing burn severity maps and geospatial data, we selected three sites to collect soil and water samples to characterize PyC: a control, an area impacted by a large, severe burn (2011), and an area impacted by a smaller, less severe burn (2013). By collaborating with researchers at the Jemez Critical Zone Observatory, soil samples are being analyzed and will provide pre-wildfire PyC concentrations for the 2013 burn area. In this study, PyC is treated as both a particulate and a solute that is transported throughout the watershed as well as degraded in soils, surface water and groundwater. We used two black carbon quantification methods: the chemo-thermal oxidation (CTO-375) method to distinguish between soil soot and char, and the benzene polycarboxylic acids (BPCA) method to quantify the total concentrations of PyC in soil and water samples. Preliminary soil data from the CTO-375 method show comparable soot concentrations in the control, 2011, and 2013 burn indicating that the soot is more recalcitrant than char and remains in the watershed long after a wildfire. This data also suggests that the fluxes of black carbon over short time

  14. State of risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Conrad, J.

    1978-03-01

    In view of the growing importance assumed in recent years by scientific work on the calculation, quantification, evaluation and acceptance as well as behavior in the face of risks in general and more specifically, the risks of large industrial plants, the report attempts to provide a survey of the current situation, results and evaluation of this new branch of research, risk assessment. The emphasis of the report is on the basic discussion and criticism of the theoretical and methodological approaches used in the field of risk assessment (section 3). It is concerned above all with - methodical problems of determining and quantifying risks (3.1) - questions of the possibility of risk evaluation and comp arison (3.1, 3.2) - the premises of normative and empirical studies on decision making under risk (3.2, 3.3) - investigations into society's acceptance of risks involved in the introduction of new technologies (3.4) - attempts to combine various aspects of the field of risk assessment in a unified concept (3.5, 3.6, 3.7). Because risk assessment is embedded in the framework of decision theory and technology assessment, it can be implicitly evaluated at a more general level within this framework, as far as its possibilities and weaknesses of method and application are concerned (section 4). Sections 2 and 5 deal with the social context of origin and utilization of risk assessment. Finally, an attempt is made at a summary indicating the possible future development of risk assessment. (orig./HP) [de

  15. Risk assessment and risk management of mycotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Risk assessment is the process of quantifying the magnitude and exposure, or probability, of a harmful effect to individuals or populations from certain agents or activities. Here, we summarize the four steps of risk assessment: hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment, and risk characterization. Risk assessments using these principles have been conducted on the major mycotoxins (aflatoxins, fumonisins, ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenol, and zearalenone) by various regulatory agencies for the purpose of setting food safety guidelines. We critically evaluate the impact of these risk assessment parameters on the estimated global burden of the associated diseases as well as the impact of regulatory measures on food supply and international trade. Apart from the well-established risk posed by aflatoxins, many uncertainties still exist about risk assessments for the other major mycotoxins, often reflecting a lack of epidemiological data. Differences exist in the risk management strategies and in the ways different governments impose regulations and technologies to reduce levels of mycotoxins in the food-chain. Regulatory measures have very little impact on remote rural and subsistence farming communities in developing countries, in contrast to developed countries, where regulations are strictly enforced to reduce and/or remove mycotoxin contamination. However, in the absence of the relevant technologies or the necessary infrastructure, we highlight simple intervention practices to reduce mycotoxin contamination in the field and/or prevent mycotoxin formation during storage.

  16. Economic analysis of prescribed burning for wildfire management in Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veronique Florec; David Pannell; Michael Burton; Joel Kelso; Drew Mellor; George Milne

    2013-01-01

    Wildfires can cause significant damage to ecosystems, life and property, and wildfire events that do not involve people and property are becoming rare. With the expansion of the rural– urban interface in Western Australia and elsewhere, objectives of life and property protection become more difficult to achieve. We applied the cost plus net value change (C+NVC) model...

  17. Biosafety Risk Assessment Methodology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Caskey, Susan Adele [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). International Biological Threat Reduction Program; Gaudioso, Jennifer M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). International Biological Threat Reduction Program; Salerno, Reynolds Mathewson [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). International Biological Threat Reduction Program; Wagner, Stefan M. [Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, MB (Canada). Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health (CSCHAH); Shigematsu, Mika [National Inst. of Infectious Diseases (NIID), Tokyo (Japan); Risi, George [Infectious Disease Specialists, P.C, Missoula, MT (United States); Kozlovac, Joe [US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)., Beltsville, MD (United States); Halkjaer-Knudsen, Vibeke [Statens Serum Inst., Copenhagen (Denmark); Prat, Esmeralda [Bayer CropScience, Monheim am Rhein (Germany)

    2010-10-01

    Laboratories that work with biological agents need to manage their safety risks to persons working the laboratories and the human and animal community in the surrounding areas. Biosafety guidance defines a wide variety of biosafety risk mitigation measures, which include measures which fall under the following categories: engineering controls, procedural and administrative controls, and the use of personal protective equipment; the determination of which mitigation measures should be used to address the specific laboratory risks are dependent upon a risk assessment. Ideally, a risk assessment should be conducted in a manner which is standardized and systematic which allows it to be repeatable and comparable. A risk assessment should clearly define the risk being assessed and avoid over complication.

  18. Factors Affecting Source-Water Quality after Disturbance of Forests by Wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, S. F.; Martin, D. A.; McCleskey, R. B.; Writer, J. H.

    2015-12-01

    Forests yield high-quality water supplies to communities throughout the world, in part because forest cover reduces flooding and the consequent transport of suspended and dissolved constituents to surface water. Disturbance by wildfire reduces or eliminates forest cover, leaving watersheds susceptible to increased surface runoff during storms and reduced ability to retain contaminants. We assessed water-quality response to hydrologic events for three years after a wildfire in the Fourmile Creek Watershed, near Boulder, Colorado, and found that hydrologic and geochemical responses downstream of a burned area were primarily driven by small, brief convective storms that had relatively high, but not unusual, rainfall intensity. Total suspended sediment, dissolved organic carbon, nitrate, and manganese concentrations were 10-156 times higher downstream of a burned area compared to upstream, and water quality was sufficiently impaired to pose water-treatment concerns. The response in both concentration and yield of water-quality constituents differed depending on source availability and dominant watershed processes controlling the constituent. For example, while all constituent concentrations were highest during storm events, annual sediment yields downstream of the burned area were controlled by storm events and subsequent mobilization, whereas dissolved organic carbon yields were more dependent on spring runoff from upstream areas. The watershed response was affected by a legacy of historical disturbance: the watershed had been recovering from extensive disturbance by mining, railroad and road development, logging, and fires in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and we observed extensive erosion of mine waste in response to these summer storms. Therefore, both storm characteristics and historical disturbance in a burned watershed must be considered when evaluating the role of wildfire on water quality.

  19. The potential of satellite data to study individual wildfire events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benali, Akli; López-Saldana, Gerardo; Russo, Ana; Sá, Ana C. L.; Pinto, Renata M. S.; Nikos, Koutsias; Owen, Price; Pereira, Jose M. C.

    2014-05-01

    Large wildfires have important social, economic and environmental impacts. In order to minimize their impacts, understand their main drivers and study their dynamics, different approaches have been used. The reconstruction of individual wildfire events is usually done by collection of field data, interviews and by implementing fire spread simulations. All these methods have clear limitations in terms of spatial and temporal coverage, accuracy, subjectivity of the collected information and lack of objective independent validation information. In this sense, remote sensing is a promising tool with the potential to provide relevant information for stakeholders and the research community, by complementing or filling gaps in existing information and providing independent accurate quantitative information. In this work we show the potential of satellite data to provide relevant information regarding the dynamics of individual large wildfire events, filling an important gap in wildfire research. We show how MODIS active-fire data, acquired up to four times per day, and satellite-derived burnt perimeters can be combined to extract relevant information wildfire events by describing the methods involved and presenting results for four regions of the world: Portugal, Greece, SE Australia and California. The information that can be retrieved encompasses the start and end date of a wildfire event and its ignition area. We perform an evaluation of the information retrieved by comparing the satellite-derived parameters with national databases, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of both and showing how the former can complement the latter leading to more complete and accurate datasets. We also show how the spatio-temporal distribution of wildfire spread dynamics can be reconstructed using satellite-derived active-fires and how relevant descriptors can be extracted. Applying graph theory to satellite active-fire data, we define the major fire spread paths that yield

  20. A Wildfire-relevant climatology of the convective environment of the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian E. Potter; Matthew A. Anaya

    2015-01-01

    Convective instability can influence the behaviour of large wildfires. Because wildfires modify the temperature and moisture of air in their plumes, instability calculations using ambient conditions may not accurately represent convective potential for some fire plumes. This study used the North American Regional Reanalysis to develop a climatology of the convective...

  1. Barriers to implementation of risk management for federal wildland fire management agencies in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dave Calkin; Matthew P. Thompson; Alan A. Ager; Mark Finney

    2010-01-01

    In this presentation we review progress towards the implementation of a risk-based management framework for U.S. Federal wildland fire policy and operations. We first describe new developments in wildfire simulation technology that catalyzed the development of risk-based decision support systems for strategic wildfire management. These systems include new analytical...

  2. Protection from erosion following wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter R. Robichaud; William J. Elliot

    2006-01-01

    Erosion in the first year after a wildfire can be up to three orders of magnitude greater than the erosion from undisturbed forests. To mitigate potential postfire erosion, various erosion control treatments are applied on highly erodible areas with downstream resources in need of protection. Because postfire erosion rates generally decline by an order of magnitude for...

  3. Environmental factors influencing butterfly abundance after a severe wildfire in Mediterranean vegetation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serrat, A.

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Despite the attention given to the ecology of butterflies, little is known about their community response to wildfires in the Mediterranean region. Here, we evaluated the butterfly assemblage two years after a severe, 13,000 ha wildfire in Catalonia (NE Spain in relation to the surrounding unburned habitat. Using visual transect censuses we assessed community parameters such as abundance, diversity, species richness and equitability in burned and unburned areas. Correspondence analysis was used to analyse specific composition and relative abundance of species in the community. The influence of environmental variables on the abundance of some common species was analysed using generalized linear mixed models, taking spatial effects into account. No significant differences were found between areas for any of the community parameters, and no dominance was detected in the burned area. The structure of the vegetation and the geographical distribution of transects influenced the ordination of species and transects on the correspondence analysis plot. Generalized linear mixed models (GLMM results underscored the role of nectar availability, fire and vegetation structure on the abundance of most species studied.

  4. Understanding ecological transitions under recurrent wildfire

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Devisscher, Tahia; Malhi, Yadvinder; Rojas Landívar, Víctor Diego; Oliveras Menor, Imma

    2016-01-01

    Wildfires in tropical forests are likely to become a more dominant disturbance due to future increasing feedbacks between rapid frontier expansion and more frequent droughts. This study evaluates the effects of fire recurrence on seasonally dry tropical forests of the Chiquitania region, located

  5. 2007 TOXICOLOGY AND RISK ASSESSMENT ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    EPA has announced The 2007 Toxicology and Risk Assessment Conference Cincinnati Marriott North, West Chester (Cincinnati), OHApril 23- 26, 2007 - Click to register!The Annual Toxicology and Risk Assessment Conference is a unique meeting where several Government Agencies come together to discuss toxicology and risk assessment issues that are not only of concern to the government, but also to a broader audience including academia and industry. The theme of this year's conference is Emerging Issues and Challenges in Risk Assessment and the preliminary agenda includes: Plenary Sessions and prominent speakers (tentative) include: Issues of Emerging Chemical ContaminantsUncertainty and Variability in Risk Assessment Use of Mechanistic data in IARC evaluationsParallel Sessions:Uncertainty and Variability in Dose-Response Assessment Recent Advances in Toxicity and Risk Assessment of RDX The Use of Epidemiologic Data for Risk Assessment Applications Cumulative Health Risk Assessment:

  6. Growth and structure of a young Aleppo pine planted forest after thinning for diversification and wildfire prevention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Ruiz-Mirazo

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Aim of study: In the Mediterranean, low timber-production forests are frequently thinned to promote biodiversity and reduce wildfire risk, but few studies in the region have addressed such goals. The aim of this research was to compare six thinning regimes applied to create a fuelbreak in a young Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis Mill. planted forest.Area of study: A semiarid continental high plateau in south-eastern Spain.Material and Methods: Three thinning intensities (Light, Medium and Heavy were combined with two thinning methods: i Random (tree selection, and ii Regular (tree spacing. Tree growth and stand structure measurements were made four years following treatments.Main results: Heavy Random thinning successfully transformed the regular tree plantation pattern into a close-to-random spatial tree distribution. Heavy Regular thinning (followed by the Medium Regular and Heavy Random regimes significantly reduced growth in stand basal area and biomass. Individual tree growth, in contrast, was greater in Heavy and Medium thinnings than in Light ones, which were similar to the Control.Research highlights: Heavy Random thinning seemed the most appropriate in a youngAleppo pine planted forest to reduce fire risk and artificial tree distribution simultaneously. Light Regular thinning avoids understocking the stand and may be the most suitable treatment for creating a fuelbreak when the undergrowth poses a high fire risk.Keywords: Pinus halepensis; Mediterranean; Forest structure; Tree growth; Wildfire risk; Diversity.

  7. Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    How the EPA conducts risk assessment to protect human health and the environment. Several assessments are included with the guidelines, models, databases, state-based RSL Tables, local contacts and framework documents used to perform these assessments.

  8. Listening and learning from traditional knowledge and western science: A dialogue on contemporary challenges of forest health and wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larry Mason; Germaine White; Gary Morishima; Ernesto Alvarado; Louise Andrew; Fred Clark; Mike Durglo; Jim Durglo; John Eneas; Jim Erickson; Margaret Friedlander; Kathy Hamel; Colin Hardy; Tony Harwood; Faline Haven; Everett Isaac; Laurel James; Robert Kenning; Adrian Leighton; Pat Pierre; Carol Raish; Bodie Shaw; Steven Smallsalmon; Vernon Stearns; Howard Teasley; Matt Weingart; Spus Wilder

    2012-01-01

    Native Americans relied on fire to maintain a cultural landscape that sustained their lifeways for thousands of years. Within the past 100 years, however, policies of fire exclusion have disrupted ecological processes, elevating risk of wildfire, insects, and disease, affecting the health and availability of resources on which the tribes depend. On Indian Reservations...

  9. Exploration Health Risks: Probabilistic Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhatigan, Jennifer; Charles, John; Hayes, Judith; Wren, Kiley

    2006-01-01

    Maintenance of human health on long-duration exploration missions is a primary challenge to mission designers. Indeed, human health risks are currently the largest risk contributors to the risks of evacuation or loss of the crew on long-duration International Space Station missions. We describe a quantitative assessment of the relative probabilities of occurrence of the individual risks to human safety and efficiency during space flight to augment qualitative assessments used in this field to date. Quantitative probabilistic risk assessments will allow program managers to focus resources on those human health risks most likely to occur with undesirable consequences. Truly quantitative assessments are common, even expected, in the engineering and actuarial spheres, but that capability is just emerging in some arenas of life sciences research, such as identifying and minimize the hazards to astronauts during future space exploration missions. Our expectation is that these results can be used to inform NASA mission design trade studies in the near future with the objective of preventing the higher among the human health risks. We identify and discuss statistical techniques to provide this risk quantification based on relevant sets of astronaut biomedical data from short and long duration space flights as well as relevant analog populations. We outline critical assumptions made in the calculations and discuss the rationale for these. Our efforts to date have focussed on quantifying the probabilities of medical risks that are qualitatively perceived as relatively high risks of radiation sickness, cardiac dysrhythmias, medically significant renal stone formation due to increased calcium mobilization, decompression sickness as a result of EVA (extravehicular activity), and bone fracture due to loss of bone mineral density. We present these quantitative probabilities in order-of-magnitude comparison format so that relative risk can be gauged. We address the effects of

  10. Forests at risk: integrating risk science into fuel management strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonathan. Thompson

    2008-01-01

    The threat from wildland fire continues to grow across many regions of the Western United States. Drought, urbanization, and a buildup of fuels over the last century have contributed to increasing wildfire risk to property and highly valued natural resources. Fuel treatments, including thinning overly dense forests to reduce fuel and lower fire risk, have become a...

  11. Fire and Fish: Using Radiocarbon And Stratigraphy To Discern The Impact Of Wildfire On Fish Metapopulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffrath, K. R.; Finch, C.; Belmont, P.; Budy, P.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfires have profound and variable impacts on erosion, channel morphology, and aquatic habitat. Previous research has quantified post-fire geomorphic response on event and millennial timescales. While these studies have informed our understanding of post-fire geomorphic response during the Holocene, we have yet to fully understand the variability of post-wildfire geomorphic response and how it might change in response to changing climate. Response of aquatic biota is just as variable as post-wildfire response yet we know very little about effects on metapopulations and how management decisions affect aquatic populations. Barriers to movement are installed to isolate native fish populations and prescribed fire and thinning are used to try to reduce future wildfire severity and extent. In order to improve understanding of the implications of management decisions, we evaluated geomorphic response and synchronicity of wildfires over the Holocene relative to the impact to the metapopulation of Bonneville cutthroat trout from a recent wildfire. The Twitchell Canyon fire burned 45,000 acres near Beaver, UT in July 2010. Over 30% of the area burned at high severity, which included two major headwater streams that sustained a trout population. In summer 2011, monsoonal thunderstorms caused massive debris flows and sheetflow erosion that altered channel morphology and aquatic habitat in the burned area. A previously robust, non-native trout fishery was nearly extirpated as a result of the geomorphic response to the wildfire. We used radiocarbon dating of burned material to determine how often headwater streams burned synchronously over the Holocene. Radiocarbon dates are associated with field observations of stratigraphy in order to infer geomorphic response to historic wildfires. Thirty samples were collected from sediment layers in 10 alluvial fans distributed among three watersheds (two burned and one unburned in the 2010 fire). Preliminary results suggest that we

  12. Computational Modeling of Large Wildfires: A Roadmap

    KAUST Repository

    Coen, Janice L.; Douglas, Craig C.

    2010-01-01

    Wildland fire behavior, particularly that of large, uncontrolled wildfires, has not been well understood or predicted. Our methodology to simulate this phenomenon uses high-resolution dynamic models made of numerical weather prediction (NWP) models

  13. Diversity in forest management to reduce wildfire losses: implications for resilience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan Charnley

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates how federal, state, and private corporate forest owners in a fire-prone landscape of southcentral Oregon manage their forests to reduce wildfire hazard and loss to high-severity wildfire. We evaluate the implications of our findings for concepts of social-ecological resilience. Using interview data, we found a high degree of "response diversity" (variation in forest management decisions and behaviors to reduce wildfire losses between and within actor groups. This response diversity contributed to heterogeneous forest conditions across the landscape and was driven mainly by forest management legacies, economics, and attitudes toward wildfire (fortress protection vs. living with fire. We then used an agent-based landscape model to evaluate trends in forest structure and fire metrics by ownership. Modeling results indicated that, in general, U.S. Forest Service management had the most favorable outcomes for forest resilience to wildfire, and private corporate management the least. However, some state and private corporate forest ownerships have the building blocks for developing fire-resilient forests. Heterogeneity in social-ecological systems is often thought to favor social-ecological resilience. We found that despite high social and ecological heterogeneity in our study area, most forest ownerships do not exhibit characteristics that make them resilient to high-severity fire currently or in the future under current management. Thus, simple theories about resilience based on heterogeneity must be informed by knowledge of the environmental and social conditions that comprise that heterogeneity. Our coupled human and natural systems (CHANS approach enabled us to understand connections among the social, economic, and ecological components of a multiownership, fire-prone ecosystem, and to identify how social-ecological resilience to wildfire might improve through interventions to address key constraints in the system. Our

  14. Atmospheric circulation classification comparison based on wildfires in Portugal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, M. G.; Trigo, R. M.

    2009-04-01

    Atmospheric circulation classifications are not a simple description of atmospheric states but a tool to understand and interpret the atmospheric processes and to model the relation between atmospheric circulation and surface climate and other related variables (Radan Huth et al., 2008). Classifications were initially developed with weather forecasting purposes, however with the progress in computer processing capability, new and more robust objective methods were developed and applied to large datasets prompting atmospheric circulation classification methods to one of the most important fields in synoptic and statistical climatology. Classification studies have been extensively used in climate change studies (e.g. reconstructed past climates, recent observed changes and future climates), in bioclimatological research (e.g. relating human mortality to climatic factors) and in a wide variety of synoptic climatological applications (e.g. comparison between datasets, air pollution, snow avalanches, wine quality, fish captures and forest fires). Likewise, atmospheric circulation classifications are important for the study of the role of weather in wildfire occurrence in Portugal because the daily synoptic variability is the most important driver of local weather conditions (Pereira et al., 2005). In particular, the objective classification scheme developed by Trigo and DaCamara (2000) to classify the atmospheric circulation affecting Portugal have proved to be quite useful in discriminating the occurrence and development of wildfires as well as the distribution over Portugal of surface climatic variables with impact in wildfire activity such as maximum and minimum temperature and precipitation. This work aims to present: (i) an overview the existing circulation classification for the Iberian Peninsula, and (ii) the results of a comparison study between these atmospheric circulation classifications based on its relation with wildfires and relevant meteorological

  15. Mercury from wildfires: Global emission inventories and sensitivity to 2000-2050 global change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Aditya; Wu, Shiliang; Huang, Yaoxian; Liao, Hong; Kaplan, Jed O.

    2018-01-01

    We estimate the global Hg wildfire emissions for the 2000s and the potential impacts from the 2000-2050 changes in climate, land use and land cover and Hg anthropogenic emissions by combining statistical analysis with global data on vegetation type and coverage as well as fire activities. Global Hg wildfire emissions are estimated to be 612 Mg year-1. Africa is the dominant source region (43.8% of global emissions), followed by Eurasia (31%) and South America (16.6%). We find significant perturbations to wildfire emissions of Hg in the context of global change, driven by the projected changes in climate, land use and land cover and Hg anthropogenic emissions. 2000-2050 climate change could increase Hg emissions by 14% globally and regionally by 18% for South America, 14% for Africa and 13% for Eurasia. Projected changes in land use by 2050 could decrease the global Hg emissions from wildfires by 13% mainly driven by a decline in African emissions due to significant agricultural land expansion. Future land cover changes could lead to significant increases in Hg emissions over some regions (+32% North America, +14% Africa, +13% Eurasia). Potential enrichment of terrestrial ecosystems in 2050 in response to changes in Hg anthropogenic emissions could increase Hg wildfire emissions globally (+28%) and regionally (+19% North America, +20% South America, +24% Africa, +41% Eurasia). Our results indicate that the future evolution of climate, land use and land cover and Hg anthropogenic emissions are all important factors affecting Hg wildfire emissions in the coming decades.

  16. Deep Learning of Post-Wildfire Vegetation Loss using Bitemporal Synthetic Aperture Radar Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Z.; Glasscoe, M. T.; Parker, J. W.

    2017-12-01

    Wildfire events followed by heavy precipitation have been proven causally related to breakouts of mudflow or debris flow, which, can demand rapid evacuation and threaten residential communities and civil infrastructure. For example, in the case of the city of Glendora, California, it was first afflicted by a severe wildfire in 1968 and then the flooding caused mudslides and debris flow in 1969 killed 34 people. Therefore, burn area or vegetation loss mapping due to wildfire is critical to agencies for preparing for secondary hazards, particularly flooding and flooding induced mudflow. However, rapid post-wildfire mapping of vegetation loss mapping is not readily obtained by regular remote sensing methods, e.g. various optical methods, due to the presence of smoke, haze, and rainy/cloudy conditions that often follow a wildfire event. In this paper, we will introduce and develop a deep learning-based framework that uses Synthetic Aperture Radar images collected prior to and after a wildfire event. A convolutional neural network (CNN) approach will be used that replaces traditional principle component analysis (PCA) based differencing for non-supervised change feature extraction. Using a small sample of human-labeled burned vegetation, normal vegetation, and urban built-up pixels, we will compare the performance of deep learning and PCA-based feature extraction. The 2014 Coby Fire event, which affected the downstream city of Glendora, was used to evaluate the proposed framework. The NASA's UAVSAR data (https://uavsar.jpl.nasa.gov/) will be utilized for mapping the vegetation damage due to the Coby Fire event.

  17. Effects of Wildfire on Fluvial Sediment Regime through Perturbations in Dry-Ravel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florsheim, J. L.; Chin, A.; Kinoshita, A. M.; Nourbakhshbeidokhti, S.; Storesund, R.; Keller, E. A.

    2015-12-01

    In steep chaparral ecosystems with Mediterranean climate, dry ravel is a natural process resulting from wildfire disturbance that supplies sediment to fluvial systems. When dense chaparral vegetation burns, sediment accumulated on steep hillslopes is released for dry-season transport (dry ravel) down steep hillslopes during or soon after the wildfire. Results of a field study in southern California's Transverse Ranges illustrate the effect of wildfire on fluvial sediment regime in an unregulated chaparral system. Big Sycamore Canyon in the steep Santa Monica Mountains burned during the May 2013 Springs Fire and experienced one small sediment-transporting stormflow during the following winter. We conducted pre- and post-storm field campaigns during the fall and winter following the fire to quantify the effect of wildfire on the fluvial sediment regime. We utilized a sediment mass balance approach in which: 1) sediment supply, consisting primarily of dry ravel-derived deposits composed of relatively fine grained-sediment, was measured in the upstream basin and in the hillslope-channel margin adjacent to the study reach; 2) changes in storage in the study reach were quantified by analyzing the difference between pre- and post-storm channel topography derived from Terrestrial LiDAR Scanning (TLS) and field surveys; and 3) transport from the study reach was estimated as the difference between supply and change in storage where uncertainty is estimated using calculated sediment transport as a comparison. Results demonstrate channel deposition caused by changes in the short-term post-wildfire sediment regime. The increased sediment supply and storage are associated with significant changes in morphology, channel bed-material characteristics, and ecology. These results suggest that dry-ravel processes are an important factor to consider in post-wildfire sediment management.

  18. Effects of Climate and Fuels Management on Wildfire Occurrence, Size, Severity and Emissions in the Sierra Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westerling, A. L.; Fites, J. A.; Keyser, A.

    2015-12-01

    Annual wildfire burned area in federally managed Sierra Nevada forests has increased by more than 10,000 ha per decade since the early 1970s. At the same time, recent years have seen some extremely large fires compared to the historical record, with significant areas of moderate to high severity fire (e.g., McNally 2002, Rim 2013, King 2014 fires). Changes to fuels and fire regimes due to fire suppression and land use, as well as warming temperatures and the occurrence of drought, are thought to be significant factors contributing to increased risks of large, severe fires in Sierra Nevada forests. Over 70% of the vegetated area in federally managed forests in the Sierra Nevada is classified as having altered fuels and fire regimes, while average annual temperature in the Sierra Nevada has been above the long term mean for all but four years in the past two decades. As climate is expected to continue warming for decades to come, we explored fuels management scenarios as the primary tools available to modify risks of large, severe wildfires. We developed experimental statistical models of fire occurrence, fire size, and high severity burned area, to explore the interaction between climate and altered fuels conditions. These models were applied to historical climate conditions, a sample of future climate projections, and to both current fuels conditions and a range of scenarios for fuels treatments. Emissions from wildfires were estimated using the Fire Inventory from the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Our models project that average annual burned area in the Sierra Nevada will more than double by mid-century. Similarly, particulate and other pollution emissions from Sierra Nevada wildfires are projected to more than double, even if future fire severity does not change. Fuels treatment scenarios significantly reduced simulated future burned area and emissions below untreated projections. High severity burned area responded to both climate and fuels

  19. Extreme Wildfire Spread and Behaviour: Case Studies from North Sardinia, Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salis, M.; Arca, B.; Ager, A.; Fois, C.; Bacciu, V.; Duce, P.; Spano, D.

    2012-04-01

    Worldwide, fire seasons are usually characterized by the occurrence of one or more days with extreme environmental conditions, such as heat waves associated with strong winds. On these days, fires can quickly get out of hand originating large and severe wildfires. In these cases, containment and extinguishment phases are critical, considering that the imperative goal is to keep fire crews, people and animals safe. In this work we will present a set of large and severe wildfires occurred with extreme environmental conditions in the northern area of Sardinia. The most recent wildfire we will describe was ignited on July 13, 2011 in the Oschiri municipality (40°43' N; 9°06' E), and burned about 2,500 ha of wooded and herbaceous pastures and oakwoods in few hours. The second wildfire we will present was ignited on July 23, 2009 in the Bonorva municipality (40°25' N; 8° 46' E), and was responsible for the death of two people and several damages to houses, animals and farms. This wildfire lasted on July 25, and burned about 10,000 ha of wooded and herbaceous pastures; the most of the area was burned during the first day. The last wildfire we will describe was ignited on July 23, 2007 in the Oniferi municipality (40°16' N; 9° 16' E) and burned about 9,000 ha of wooded and herbaceous pastures and oakwoods; about 8,000 ha were burned after 11 hours of propagation. All these wildfires were ignited in days characterized by very hot temperatures associated to the effect of air masses moving from inland North Africa to the Mediterranean Basin, and strong winds from west-south west. This is one of the typical weather pattern associated with large and severe wildfires in North Sardinia, and is well documented in the last years. Weather conditions, fuels and topography factors related to each case study will be accurately analyzed. Moreover, a detailed overview of observed fire spread and behavior and post-fire vegetation recovery will be presented. The fire spread and

  20. Development of wildfires in Australia over the last century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieradzik, Lars Peter; Haverd, Vanessa; Briggs, Peter; Canadell, Josep G.; Smith, Ben

    2017-04-01

    Wildfires and their emissions are key biospheric processes in the modeling of the carbon cycle that still are insufficiently understood. In Australia, fire emissions constitute a large flux of carbon from the biosphere to the atmosphere of approximately 1.3 times larger than the annual fossil fuel emissions. In addition, fire plays a big role in determining the composition of vegetation which in turn affects land-atmosphere fluxes. Annualy, up to 4% of the vegetated land-surface area is burned which amounts to up to 3% of global NPP and results in the reslease of about 2 Pg carbon into the atmosphere. There are indications that burned area has decreased globally over recent decades but so far there is not a clear trend in the development in fire-intensity and fuel availability. Net emissions from wildfires are not generally included in global and regional carbon budgets, because it is assumed that gross fire emissions are in balance with post-fire carbon uptake by recovering vegetation. This is a valid assumption as long as climate and fire regimes are in equilibrium, but not when the climate and other drivers are changing. We present a study on the behaviour of wildfires on the Australian continent over the last century (1911 - 2012) introducing the novel fire model BLAZE (BLAZe induced biosphere-atmosphere flux Estimator) that has been designed to address the feedbacks between climate, fuel loads, and fires. BLAZE is used within the Australian land-surface model CABLE (Community Atmophere-Biosphere-Land Exchange model). The study shows two significant outcomes: A regional shift in fire patterns shift during this century due to fire suppression and greening effects as well as an increase of potential fire-line intensity (the risk that a fire becomes more intense), especially in regions where most of Australia's population resides. This strongly emphasises the need to further investigate fire dynamics under future climate scenarios. The fire model BLAZE has been

  1. Quantifying Hillslope to Watershed Erosional Response Following Wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega, S.; Pierson, F. B.; Williams, C. J.; Brooks, E. S.; Strand, E. K.; Seyfried, M. S.; Murdock, M.; Pierce, J. L.; Roehner, C.; Lindsay, K.; Robichaud, P. R.; Brown, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    Across the western US, wildfires in sagebrush vegetation are occurring at a more frequent rate and higher severity. This has resulted in a decline of sagebrush rangeland. The changing fire regime can be attributed to invasive plant species and warming climate conditions. As the result of wildfire, protective vegetation cover is removed leaving the soil bare and exposed to erosion. Erosion following wildfire is a main concern among land managers due to the threat it poses to resources, infrastructure, and human health. Numerous studies have used artificial rainfall to assess post-fire runoff and erosion and rehabilitation treatment effectiveness. These results have found that high intensity rain events typical of summer convective storms drive post-fire erosion. The purpose of this study is to improve scientific understanding of how site-specific physical and biological attributes affect hillslope to watershed scale sediment yield on a mountainous burned sagebrush landscape. This study uses natural rainfall and a network of silt fences to quantify hillslope to watershed scale erosion response. The erosional drivers over various spatial scales were evaluated in context with vegetation recovery for a 2 year post-fire period. A network of silt fences was installed over long and short hillslope distances and in swales within the 130 ha Murphy Creek catchment in the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed in southwestern Idaho. We evaluated: 1) vegetation, soils, and sediment delivery across multiple spatial scales associated with 30 silt fences spanning north and south facing aspects, 2) precipitation input at two meteorological stations, and 3) watershed streamflow and sediment discharge from an existing weir. During the first and second year post-fire, the swales on both aspects produced more sediment than the short and long hillslopes. The results suggest that significant amounts of sediment and organic matter were deposited in the swales creating drifts. Sediment

  2. Forest Structure Affects Soil Mercury Losses in the Presence and Absence of Wildfire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homann, Peter S; Darbyshire, Robyn L; Bormann, Bernard T; Morrissette, Brett A

    2015-11-03

    Soil is an important, dynamic component of regional and global mercury (Hg) cycles. This study evaluated how changes in forest soil Hg masses caused by atmospheric deposition and wildfire are affected by forest structure. Pre and postfire soil Hg measurements were made over two decades on replicate experimental units of three prefire forest structures (mature unthinned, mature thinned, clear-cut) in Douglas-fir dominated forest of southwestern Oregon. In the absence of wildfire, O-horizon Hg decreased by 60% during the 14 years after clearcutting, possibly the result of decreased atmospheric deposition due to the smaller-stature vegetative canopy; in contrast, no change was observed in mature unthinned and thinned forest. Wildfire decreased O-horizon Hg by >88% across all forest structures and decreased mineral-soil (0 to 66 mm depth) Hg by 50% in thinned forest and clear-cut. The wildfire-associated soil Hg loss was positively related to the amount of surface fine wood that burned during the fire, the proportion of area that burned at >700 °C, fire severity as indicated by tree mortality, and soil C loss. Loss of soil Hg due to the 200,000 ha wildfire was more than four times the annual atmospheric Hg emissions from human activities in Oregon.

  3. The 2003 and 2007 wildfires in southern California: Chapter 5 in Natural Disasters and Adaptation to Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, Jon E.; Syphard, Alexandra D.; Fotheringham, C.J.; Boulter, Sarah; Palutikof, Jean; Karoly, David John; Guitart, Daniela

    2013-01-01

    Although many residents of southern California have long recognised that wildfires in the region are an ongoing, constant risk to lives and property, the enormity of the regional fire hazard caught the world’s attention during the southern California firestorms of 2003 (Figure 5.1). Beginning on 21 October, a series of fourteen wildfires broke out across the five-county region under severe Santa Ana winds, and within two weeks, more than 300,000 ha had burned (Keeley et al., 2004). The event was one of the costliest in the state’s history, with more than 3,600 homes damaged or destroyed and twenty-four fatalities. Suppression costs for the 12,000 firefighters have been estimated at US$120 million, and the total response and damage cost has been estimated at more than US$3 billion (COES, 2004). [Excerpt

  4. Effects of wildfire on stream temperatures in the Bitterroot River basin, Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shad K. Mahlum; Lisa A. Eby; Michael K. Young; Chris G. Clancy; Mike Jakober

    2011-01-01

    Wildfire is a common natural disturbance that can influence stream ecosystems. Of particular concern are increases in water temperature during and following fires, but studies of these phenomena are uncommon. We examined effects of wildfires in 2000 on maximum water temperature for a suite of second- to fourth-order streams with a range of burn severities in the...

  5. Hanford Site's Integrated Risk Assessment Program: No-intervention risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mahaffey, J.A.; Dukelow, J.S. Jr.; Stenner, R.D.

    1994-08-01

    The long-term goal of the Integrated Risk Assessment program (IRAP) is to estimate risks to workers, the public, organizations, and groups with reserved rights to Site access, the ecosystem, and natural resources to aid in managing environmental restoration and waste management at the Hanford Site. For each of these, information is needed about current risks, risks during cleanup, and endstate risks. The objective is three-fold: to determine if and when to remediate, and to what extent; to identify information unavailable but needed to make better cleanup decisions; to establish technology performance criteria for achieving desired cleanup levels; to understand costs and benefits of activities from a Site-wide perspective. The no-intervention risk, assessment is the initial evaluation of public health risks conducted under IRAP. The objective is to identify types of activities that the US Department of Energy (DOE) must accomplish for closure of the Hanford Site, defined as no further DOE intervention. There are two primary conclusions from the no-intervention risk assessment. First, some maintenance and operations activities at Hanford must be continued to protect the public from grave risks. However, when large Hanford expenditures are compared to cleanup progress, funds expended for maintenance and operations must be put in proper perspective. Second, stakeholder's emphasis on public risks at Hanford, as indicated by remediation priorities, are not in line with those estimated. The focus currently is on compliance with regulations, and on dealing with issues which are visible to stakeholders

  6. Synthesising empirical results to improve predictions of post-wildfire runoff and erosion response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard A. Shakesby; John A. Moody; Deborah A. Martin; Pete Robichaud

    2016-01-01

    Advances in research into wildfire impacts on runoff and erosion have demonstrated increasing complexity of controlling factors and responses, which, combined with changing fire frequency, present challenges for modellers. We convened a conference attended by experts and practitioners in post-wildfire impacts, meteorology and related research, including...

  7. Nesting ecology of grassland birds following a wildfire in the southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Anthony J.; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.

    2017-01-01

    We studied the response of nesting grassland birds occupying short-grass and mixed-grass prairie sites 2 and 3 y following two, large-scale wildfires that burned ≥360,000 ha in the Texas Panhandle in March 2006. Nest success was greater on burned plots compared to unburned plots, though this varied by species and year. Woody vegetation cover was greater around nests on unburned plots compared to burned plots for Cassin's sparrow (Peucaea cassinii) and lark sparrow (Chondestes grammacus). Cassin's sparrows and lark sparrows nested in more-woody vegetation than did grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum), and woody vegetation was reduced following the wildfires. The wildfires appear to have had few if any negative influences on the avian community 3 years postfire. This may be due to grassland breeding birds being adapted to landscapes in which, historically, periodic disturbance (e.g., wildfire, intensive grazing by bison [Bison bison]) resulted in vegetation heterogeneity.

  8. Modelling spatial patterns and temporal trends of wildfires in Galicia (NW Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesús Barreal

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Aim of study: The goal of this paper is to analyse the importance of the main contributing factors to the occurrence of wildfires. Area of study: We employ data from the region of Galicia during 2001-2010; although the similarities shared between this area and other rural areas may allow extrapolation of the present results. Material and Methods: The spatial dependence is analysed by using the Moran’s I and LISA statistics. We also conduct an econometric analysis modelling both, the number of fires and the relative size of afflicted woodland area as dependent variables, which depend on the climatic, land cover variables, and socio-economic characteristics of the affected areas. Fixed effects and random effect models are estimated in order to control for the heterogeneity between the Forest Districts in Galicia. Main results: Moran’s I and LISA statistics show that there is spatial dependence in the occurrence of Galician wildfires. Econometrics models show that climatology, socioeconomic variables, and temporal trends are also important to study both, the number of wildfires and the burned-forest ratio. Research highlights: We conclude that in addition to direct forest actions, other agricultural or social public plans, can help to reduce wildfires in rural areas or wildland-urban areas. Based on these conclusions, a number of guidelines are provided that may foster the development of better forest management policies in order to reduce the occurrence of wildfires.

  9. Chemical Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    This course is aimed at providing an overview of the fundamental guiding principles and general methods used in chemical risk assessment. Chemical risk assessment is a complex and ever-evolving process. These principles and methods have been organized by the National Research Cou...

  10. WRF-based fire risk modelling and evaluation for years 2010 and 2012 in Poland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stec, Magdalena; Szymanowski, Mariusz; Kryza, Maciej

    2016-04-01

    Wildfires are one of the main ecosystems' disturbances for forested, seminatural and agricultural areas. They generate significant economic loss, especially in forest management and agriculture. Forest fire risk modeling is therefore essential e.g. for forestry administration. In August 2015 a new method of forest fire risk forecasting entered into force in Poland. The method allows to predict a fire risk level in a 4-degree scale (0 - no risk, 3 - highest risk) and consists of a set of linearized regression equations. Meteorological information is used as predictors in regression equations, with air temperature, relative humidity, average wind speed, cloudiness and rainfall. The equations include also pine litter humidity as a measure of potential fuel characteristics. All these parameters are measured routinely in Poland at 42 basic and 94 auxiliary sites. The fire risk level is estimated for a current (basing on morning measurements) or next day (basing on midday measurements). Entire country is divided into 42 prognostic zones, and fire risk level for each zone is taken from the closest measuring site. The first goal of this work is to assess if the measurements needed for fire risk forecasting may be replaced by the data from mesoscale meteorological model. Additionally, the use of a meteorological model would allow to take into account much more realistic spatial differentiation of weather elements determining the fire risk level instead of discrete point-made measurements. Meteorological data have been calculated using the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF). For the purpose of this study the WRF model is run in the reanalysis mode allowing to estimate all required meteorological data in a 5-kilometers grid. The only parameter that cannot be directly calculated using WRF is the litter humidity, which has been estimated using empirical formula developed by Sakowska (2007). The experiments are carried out for two selected years: 2010 and 2012. The

  11. Influence of wildfires on the variability and trend of ozone concentrations in the U.S. Intermountain West

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Xiao; Zhang, Lin; Zhao, Yuanhong; Yue, Xu

    2016-04-01

    Wildfires are important sources of ozone by emitting large amounts of NOx and NMVOC, main ozone precursors at both global and regional scales. Their influences on ozone in the U.S. Intermountain West have recently received much interest because surface ozone concentrations over that region showed an increasing trend in the past two decades likely due to increasing wildfire emissions in a warming climate. Here we use the Lagrangian particle dispersion model (FLEXPART) as well as the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model to estimate wildfires' contribution on summer (June, July and August; JJA) ozone concentration variations, trends, and extremely high ozone events over the US Intermountain West for the past 22 years (1989-2010). We combine the resident time estimated from the FLEXPART 5-day backward trajectories and a high-resolution fire inventory to define a fire index representing the impact of wildfires on ozone concentration at a particular site for each day of summers 1989-2010. Over 26,000 FLEXPART back-trajectories are conducted for the whole time period and for 13 CASTNet surface monitoring sites. We build a stepwise multiple linear regression (SMLR) model of daily ozone concentrations using fire index and other meteorological variables for each site. The SMLR models explain 53% of the ozone variations (ranging from 12% to 68% for each site). We show that ozone produced from wildfires (calculated from SMLR model) are of high variability at daily scale (ranging from 0.1 ppbv to 20.7 ppbv), but are averaged to lower values of about 0.25-3.5 ppbv for summer mean. We estimate that wildfires magnify inter-annual variations of the regional mean summer ozone for about 32%, compared to the result with wildfires impact excluded from the SMLR model. Wildfire ozone enhancements increase at a rate of 0.04 ppbv per year, accouting for about 20% of the regional summer ozone trend during 1989-2010. Removing wildfires' impact would reduce 35% (46%) of the high-ozone days with

  12. An integrated risk assessment approach: Risk assessment in the programmatic environmental impact statement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morris, J.M.

    1994-01-01

    The following paper is an informal summary of salient points made in the presentation entitled open-quotes An Integrated Risk Assessment Approach: Risk Assessment in the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).close quotes. This presentation was given at the U.S. DOE Integrated Planning Workshop in Denver, Colorado on June 2, 1994. Integrated decision analysis is very important in environmental restoration and waste management in the evaluation of such things as land use planning, waste load forecasting, cost analyses, and technology development activities. Integrated risk assessment is an approach that addresses multiple components of risk, including: risks from surplus facilities as well as typical environmental restoration sites, risks to the public, risks to workers, ecological risk, risks before, during and after remediation activities, and others

  13. Coupled Weather and Wildfire Behavior Modeling at Los Alamos: An Overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bossert, James E.; Harlow, Francis H.; Linn, Rodman R.; Reisner, Jon M.; White, Andrew B.; Winterkamp, Judith L.

    1997-12-31

    Over the past two years, researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) have been engaged in coupled weather/wildfire modeling as part of a broader initiative to predict the unfolding of crisis events. Wildfire prediction was chosen for the following reasons: (1) few physics-based wild-fire prediction models presently exist; (2) LANL has expertise in the fields required to develop such a capability; and (3) the development of this predictive capability would be enhanced by LANL`s strength in high performance computing. Wildfire behavior models have historically been used to predict fire spread and heat release for a prescribed set of fuel, slope, and wind conditions (Andrews 1986). In the vicinity of a fire, however, atmospheric conditions are constantly changing due to non-local weather influences and the intense heat of the fire itself. This non- linear process underscores the need for physics-based models that treat the atmosphere-fire feedback. Actual wildfire prediction with full-physics models is both time-critical and computationally demanding, since it must include regional- to local-scale weather forecasting together with the capability to accurately simulate both intense gradients across a fireline, and atmosphere/fire/fuel interactions. Los Alamos has recently (January 1997) acquired a number of SGI/Cray Origin 2000 machines, each presently having 32 to 64 processors. These high performance computing systems are part of the Department of Energy`s Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI). While offering impressive performance now, upgrades to the system promise to deliver over 1 Teraflop (10(12) floating point operations per second) at peak performance before the turn of the century.

  14. Applying Probability Theory for the Quality Assessment of a Wildfire Spread Prediction Framework Based on Genetic Algorithms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés Cencerrado

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This work presents a framework for assessing how the existing constraints at the time of attending an ongoing forest fire affect simulation results, both in terms of quality (accuracy obtained and the time needed to make a decision. In the wildfire spread simulation and prediction area, it is essential to properly exploit the computational power offered by new computing advances. For this purpose, we rely on a two-stage prediction process to enhance the quality of traditional predictions, taking advantage of parallel computing. This strategy is based on an adjustment stage which is carried out by a well-known evolutionary technique: Genetic Algorithms. The core of this framework is evaluated according to the probability theory principles. Thus, a strong statistical study is presented and oriented towards the characterization of such an adjustment technique in order to help the operation managers deal with the two aspects previously mentioned: time and quality. The experimental work in this paper is based on a region in Spain which is one of the most prone to forest fires: El Cap de Creus.

  15. The Spotting Distribution of Wildfires

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Martin

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In wildfire science, spotting refers to non-local creation of new fires, due to downwind ignition of brands launched from a primary fire. Spotting is often mentioned as being one of the most difficult problems for wildfire management, because of its unpredictable nature. Since spotting is a stochastic process, it makes sense to talk about a probability distribution for spotting, which we call the spotting distribution. Given a location ahead of the fire front, we would like to know how likely is it to observe a spot fire at that location in the next few minutes. The aim of this paper is to introduce a detailed procedure to find the spotting distribution. Most prior modelling has focused on the maximum spotting distance, or on physical subprocesses. We will use mathematical modelling, which is based on detailed physical processes, to derive a spotting distribution. We discuss the use and measurement of this spotting distribution in fire spread, fire management and fire breaching. The appendix of this paper contains a comprehensive review of the relevant underlying physical sub-processes of fire plumes, launching fire brands, wind transport, falling and terminal velocity, combustion during transport, and ignition upon landing.

  16. The relation of risk assessment and health impact assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ádám, Balázs; Gulis, Gabriel

    2013-01-01

    than assessing a present situation. As part of this process, however, methods applied in risk assessment are used. Risk assessment typically characterises relation of a well-defined risk factor to a well-defined health outcome. Within HIA usually several individual risk assessments are needed...... of the causal chain from the proposal through related health determinants and risk factors to health outcomes. The stepwise analysis, systematic prioritization and consideration of horizontal interactions between the causal pathways make it feasible to use widely recognized risk assessment methods in the HIA......The level and distribution of health risks in a society is substantially influenced by measures of various policies, programmes or projects. Risk assessment can evaluate the nature, likelihood and severity of an adverse effect. Health impact assessment (HIA) provides similar function when used...

  17. Assessment of cardiovascular risk.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Cooney, Marie Therese

    2010-10-01

    Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the most common cause of death worldwide. Usually atherosclerosis is caused by the combined effects of multiple risk factors. For this reason, most guidelines on the prevention of CVD stress the assessment of total CVD risk. The most intensive risk factor modification can then be directed towards the individuals who will derive the greatest benefit. To assist the clinician in calculating the effects of these multiple interacting risk factors, a number of risk estimation systems have been developed. This review address several issues regarding total CVD risk assessment: Why should total CVD risk be assessed? What risk estimation systems are available? How well do these systems estimate risk? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the current systems? What are the current limitations of risk estimation systems and how can they be resolved? What new developments have occurred in CVD risk estimation?

  18. Wildfire potential mapping over the state of Mississippi: A land surface modeling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    William H. Cooke; Georgy V. Mostovoy; Valentine G. Anantharaj; W. Matt Jolly

    2012-01-01

    A relationship between the likelihood of wildfires and various drought metrics (soil moisture-based fire potential indices) were examined over the southern part of Mississippi. The following three indices were tested and used to simulate spatial and temporal wildfire probability changes: (1) the accumulated difference between daily precipitation and potential...

  19. Impact of drought on wildfires in Iberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, Ana; Gouveia, Célia M.; DaCamara, Carlos; Sousa, Pedro; Trigo, Ricardo M.

    2015-04-01

    Southern European countries, and the Iberian Peninsula (IP) in particular, have been vastly affected by summer wildfires (Trigo et al., 2013). This condition is hampered by the frequent warm and dry meteorological conditions found in summer which play a significant role in the triggering and spreading of wildfires. These meteorological conditions are also particularly important for the onset and end of drought periods, a phenomenon that has recurrently affected the IP (Gouveia et al., 2012). Moreover, the IP corresponds to one of the most sensitive areas to current and future climate change, and recent and future trends towards a dryer and warmer Mediterranean climate (Sousa et al., 2014) will tend to exacerbate these problems. The main scope of this study was to investigate the impact of drought on wildfires' burned areas in the IP. The objective was to examine the correlation between drought, as expressed by both the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) (Vicente-Serrano et al., 2010), and wildfire burned areas. The SPI and SPEI were both calculated for 4 large regions (Northwestern, Northern, Southwestern and Eastern) whose spatial patterns and seasonal fire regimes were shown to be related with constraining factors such as topography, vegetation cover and climate conditions (Trigo et al., 2013). In this study, the drought indices were determined for the time scales of 3 and 6 months for August and for 12 months in September, thus representing the summer and annual drought. The correlation between drought and burned areas during July and August was particularly significant for the 3 months SPEI and SPI relatively to the 6 and 12 time scales, which indicates that drought and fires relation is a small-size scale process. Moreover, the correlation between drought and burned areas during July and August was particularly significant for the Northern and Southwestern regions both for SPEI for 3 and 6

  20. Forecasting wind-driven wildfires using an inverse modelling approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Rios

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available A technology able to rapidly forecast wildfire dynamics would lead to a paradigm shift in the response to emergencies, providing the Fire Service with essential information about the ongoing fire. This paper presents and explores a novel methodology to forecast wildfire dynamics in wind-driven conditions, using real-time data assimilation and inverse modelling. The forecasting algorithm combines Rothermel's rate of spread theory with a perimeter expansion model based on Huygens principle and solves the optimisation problem with a tangent linear approach and forward automatic differentiation. Its potential is investigated using synthetic data and evaluated in different wildfire scenarios. The results show the capacity of the method to quickly predict the location of the fire front with a positive lead time (ahead of the event in the order of 10 min for a spatial scale of 100 m. The greatest strengths of our method are lightness, speed and flexibility. We specifically tailor the forecast to be efficient and computationally cheap so it can be used in mobile systems for field deployment and operativeness. Thus, we put emphasis on producing a positive lead time and the means to maximise it.

  1. The relative impacts of vegetation, topography and spatial arrangement on building loss to wildfires in case studies of California and Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patricia M. Alexandre; Susan I. Stewart; Miranda H. Mockrin; Nicholas S. Keuler; Alexandra D. Syphard; Avi Bar-Massada; Murray K. Clayton; Volker C. Radeloff

    2015-01-01

    Wildfires destroy thousands of buildings every year in the wildland urban interface. However, fire typically only destroys a fraction of the buildings within a given fire perimeter, suggesting more could be done to mitigate risk if we understood how to configure residential landscapes so that both people and buildings could survive fire.

  2. Using Haines Index coupled with fire weather model predicted from high resolution LAM forecasts to asses wildfire extreme behaviour in Southern Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaetani, Francesco; Baptiste Filippi, Jean; Simeoni, Albert; D'Andrea, Mirko

    2010-05-01

    Haines Index (HI) was developed by USDA Forest Service to measure the atmosphere's contribution to the growth potential of a wildfire. The Haines Index combines two atmospheric factors that are known to have an effect on wildfires: Stability and Dryness. As operational tools, HI proved its ability to predict plume dominated high intensity wildfires. However, since HI does not take into account the fuel continuity, composition and moisture conditions and the effects of wind and topography on fire behaviour, its use as forecasting tool should be carefully considered. In this work we propose the use of HI, predicted from HR Limited Area Model forecasts, coupled with a Fire Weather model (i.e., RISICO system) fully operational in Italy since 2003. RISICO is based on dynamic models able to represent in space and in time the effects that environment and vegetal physiology have on fuels and, in turn, on the potential behaviour of wildfires. The system automatically acquires from remote databases a thorough data-set of input information both of in situ and spatial nature. Meteorological observations, radar data, Limited Area Model weather forecasts, EO data, and fuel data are managed by a Unified Interface able to process a wide set of different data. Specific semi-physical models are used in the system to simulate the dynamics of the fuels (load and moisture contents of dead and live fuel) and the potential fire behaviour (rate of spread and linear intensity). A preliminary validation of this approach will be provided with reference to Sardinia and Corsica Islands, two major islands of the Mediterranean See frequently affected by extreme plume dominated wildfires. A time series of about 3000 wildfires burnt in Sardinia and Corsica in 2007 and 2008 will be used to evaluate the capability of HI coupled with the outputs of the Fire Weather model to forecast the actual risk in time and in space.

  3. Locating Spatial Variation in the Association Between Wildland Fire Risk and Social Vulnerability Across Six Southern States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poudyal, Neelam C.; Johnson-Gaither, Cassandra; Goodrick, Scott; Bowker, J. M.; Gan, Jianbang

    2012-03-01

    Wildland fire in the South commands considerable attention, given the expanding wildland urban interface (WUI) across the region. Much of this growth is propelled by higher income retirees and others desiring natural amenity residential settings. However, population growth in the WUI increases the likelihood of wildfire fire ignition caused by people, as humans account for 93% of all wildfires fires in the South. Coexisting with newly arrived, affluent WUI populations are working class, poor or otherwise socially vulnerable populations. The latter groups typically experience greater losses from environmental disasters such as wildfire because lower income residents are less likely to have established mitigation programs in place to help absorb loss. We use geographically weighted regression to examine spatial variation in the association between social vulnerability (SOVUL) and wildfire risk. In doing so, we identify "hot spots" or geographical clusters where SOVUL varies positively with wildfire risk across six Southern states—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina. These clusters may or may not be located in the WUI. These hot spots are most prevalent in South Carolina and Florida. Identification of these population clusters can aid wildfire managers in deciding which communities to prioritize for mitigation programming.

  4. The influence of incident management teams on the deployment of wildfire suppression resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael Hand; Hari Katuwal; David E. Calkin; Matthew P. Thompson

    2017-01-01

    Despite large commitments of personnel and equipment to wildfire suppression, relatively little is known about the factors that affect how many resources are ordered and assigned to wildfire incidents and the variation in resources across incident management teams (IMTs). Using detailed data on suppression resource assignments for IMTs managing the highest complexity...

  5. Social media approaches to modeling wildfire smoke dispersion: spatiotemporal and social scientific investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonya Sachdeva; Sarah M. McCaffrey; Dexter Locke

    2016-01-01

    Wildfires have significant effects on human populations, economically, environmentally, and in terms of their general wellbeing. Smoke pollution, in particular, from either prescribed burns or uncontrolled wildfires, can have significant health impacts. Some estimates suggest that smoke dispersion from fire events may affect the health of one in three residents in the...

  6. Synoptic backgrounds of the widest wildfire in Mazandaran Province of Iran during December 11-13, 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghavidel, Yousef; Farajzadeh, Manuchehr; Khaleghi Babaei, Meysam

    2016-12-01

    In this paper, atmospheric origins of the widest wildfire in Mazandaran province on 11-13th of December, 2010 have been investigated. Data sets of this research include maximum daily temperature (MDT), minimum relative humidity (MRH) of terrestrial stations, dynamic and thermodynamic features of the atmosphere, Gridded data sets of Self-Calibrated Palmer drought severity index (SCPDSI) and global drought dataset standardized precipitation-evapotranspiration index (SPEI) and data related to the time and the extent of the wildfire. The ``environmental to circulation'' approach to synoptic classification has been used to investigate relationships between local-scale surface environment (wildfire) and the synoptic-scale atmospheric circulation conditions. Results of study show that during the 3-day wide wildfire, the average of MDT and the MRH was significantly different from the long-term average. During the aforementioned wildfire, the average of MDT in Mazandaran province was 26 °C and the average of MRH was reported 35 %. The long-term average of MDT and the MRH in Mazandaran province during 3 days of wildfire was 12.3 °C and 68 %, respectively. Therefore, the MDT has a positive abnormality of 13.7 °C and the MRH has a negative abnormality of 33 %. In addition, monthly SCPDSI and SPEI indicated severe drought conditions at December 2010 in Mazandaran. Analysis of SLP maps shows that during the 3-day fire, a pressure center of 1110 hPa on Persian Gulf and a very low-pressure center on Turkey and Asia Minor were created. Normally, this event has caused the pressure gradient and warm and dry air advection from Arabian Peninsula to higher longitudes, particularly Mazandaran province. Consequently, the MDT increased and the wildfire of Mazandaran forest took place in an area of 220 ha. Zonal wind maps signify the weakness of Zonal wind and meridional wind maps show the southern direction of meridional wind flow during the wide wildfire. Moreover, Omega maps prove

  7. Information needs for risk assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DeRosa, C.T.; Choudhury, H.; Schoeny, R.S.

    1990-12-31

    Risk assessment can be thought of as a conceptual approach to bridge the gap between the available data and the ultimate goal of characterizing the risk or hazard associated with a particular environmental problem. To lend consistency to and to promote quality in the process, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published Guidelines for Risk Assessment of Carcinogenicity, Developmental Toxicity, Germ Cell Mutagenicity and Exposure Assessment, and Risk Assessment of Chemical Mixtures. The guidelines provide a framework for organizing the information, evaluating data, and for carrying out the risk assessment in a scientifically plausible manner. In the absence of sufficient scientific information or when abundant data are available, the guidelines provide alternative methodologies that can be employed in the risk assessment. 4 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  8. Probabilistic risk assessment as an aid to risk management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garrick, B.J.

    1982-01-01

    Probabilistic risk assessments are providing important insights into nuclear power plant safety. Their value is two-fold: first as a means of quantifying nuclear plant risk including contributors to risk, and second as an aid to risk management. A risk assessment provides an analytical plant model that can be the basis for performing meaningful decision analyses for controlling safety. It is the aspect of quantitative risk management that makes probabilistic risk assessment an important technical discipline of the future

  9. Interactive effects of wildfire, forest management, and isolation on amphibian and parasite abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Corn, P. Stephen; Winsor H. Lowe,; R. Kenneth Honeycutt,; Sean A. Parks,

    2013-01-01

    Projected increases in wildfire and other climate-driven disturbances will affect populations and communities worldwide, including host–parasite relationships. Research in temperate forests has shown that wildfire can negatively affect amphibians, but this research has occurred primarily outside of managed landscapes where interactions with human disturbances could result in additive or synergistic effects. Furthermore, parasites represent a large component of biodiversity and can affect host fitness and population dynamics, yet they are rarely included in studies of how vertebrate hosts respond to disturbance. To determine how wildfire affects amphibians and their parasites, and whether effects differ between protected and managed landscapes, we compared abundance of two amphibians and two nematodes relative to wildfire extent and severity around wetlands in neighboring protected and managed forests (Montana, USA). Population sizes of adult, male long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) decreased with increased burn severity, with stronger negative effects on isolated populations and in managed forests. In contrast, breeding population sizes of Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) increased with burn extent in both protected and managed protected forests. Path analysis showed that the effects of wildfire on the two species of nematodes were consistent with differences in their life history and transmission strategies and the responses of their hosts. Burn severity indirectly reduced abundance of soil-transmitted Cosmocercoides variabilis through reductions in salamander abundance. Burn severity also directly reduced C. variabilis abundance, possibly though changes in soil conditions. For the aquatically transmitted nematode Gyrinicola batrachiensis, the positive effect of burn extent on density of Columbia spotted frog larvae indirectly increased parasite abundance. Our results show that effects of wildfire on amphibians depend upon burn extent

  10. The economic cost of adverse health effects from wildfire-smoke exposure: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikuho Kochi; Geoffrey H. Donovan; Patricia A. Champ; John B. Loomis

    2010-01-01

    The economic costs of adverse health effects associated with exposure to wildfire smoke should be given serious consideration in determining the optimal wildfire management policy. Unfortunately, the literature in this research area is thin. In an effort to better understand the nature of these economic costs, we review and synthesise the relevant literature in three...

  11. An Integrative Review of Empirical Research on Perceptions and Behaviors Related to Prescribed Burning and Wildfire in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupéy, Lauren Nicole; Smith, Jordan W.

    2018-06-01

    Social science research from a variety of disciplines has generated a collective understanding of how individuals prepare for, and respond to, the risks associated with prescribed burning and wildfire. We provide a systematic compilation, review, and quantification of dominant trends in this literature by collecting all empirical research conducted within the U.S. that has addressed perceptions and behaviors surrounding various aspects of prescribed burning and wildfire. We reviewed and quantified this literature using four thematic categories covering: (1) the theory and methods that have been used in previous research; (2) the psychosocial aspects of prescribed burning and wildfire that have been studied; (3) the biophysical characteristics of the fires which have been studied; and (4) the types of fire and management approaches that have been examined. Our integrative review builds on previous literature reviews on the subject by offering new insight on the dominant trends, underutilized approaches, and under-studied topics within each thematic category. For example, we found that a select set of theories (e.g., Protection Motivation Theory, Attribution Theory, etc.) and approaches (e.g., mixed-methods) have only been used sparingly in previous research, even though these theories and approaches can produce insightful results that can readily be implemented by fire-management professionals and decision makers. By identifying trends and gaps in the literature across the thematic categories, we were able to answer four questions that address how future research can make the greatest contribution to our understanding of perceptions and behaviors related to prescribed burning and wildfire.

  12. An Integrative Review of Empirical Research on Perceptions and Behaviors Related to Prescribed Burning and Wildfire in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupéy, Lauren Nicole; Smith, Jordan W

    2018-06-01

    Social science research from a variety of disciplines has generated a collective understanding of how individuals prepare for, and respond to, the risks associated with prescribed burning and wildfire. We provide a systematic compilation, review, and quantification of dominant trends in this literature by collecting all empirical research conducted within the U.S. that has addressed perceptions and behaviors surrounding various aspects of prescribed burning and wildfire. We reviewed and quantified this literature using four thematic categories covering: (1) the theory and methods that have been used in previous research; (2) the psychosocial aspects of prescribed burning and wildfire that have been studied; (3) the biophysical characteristics of the fires which have been studied; and (4) the types of fire and management approaches that have been examined. Our integrative review builds on previous literature reviews on the subject by offering new insight on the dominant trends, underutilized approaches, and under-studied topics within each thematic category. For example, we found that a select set of theories (e.g., Protection Motivation Theory, Attribution Theory, etc.) and approaches (e.g., mixed-methods) have only been used sparingly in previous research, even though these theories and approaches can produce insightful results that can readily be implemented by fire-management professionals and decision makers. By identifying trends and gaps in the literature across the thematic categories, we were able to answer four questions that address how future research can make the greatest contribution to our understanding of perceptions and behaviors related to prescribed burning and wildfire.

  13. Methodology of environmental risk assessment management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saša T. Bakrač

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Successful protection of environment is mostly based on high-quality assessment of potential and present risks. Environmental risk management is a complex process which includes: identification, assessment and control of risk, namely taking measures in order to minimize the risk to an acceptable level. Environmental risk management methodology: In addition to these phases in the management of environmental risk, appropriate measures that affect the reduction of risk occurrence should be implemented: - normative and legal regulations (laws and regulations, - appropriate organizational structures in society, and - establishing quality monitoring of environment. The emphasis is placed on the application of assessment methodologies (three-model concept, as the most important aspect of successful management of environmental risk. Risk assessment methodology - European concept: The first concept of ecological risk assessment methodology is based on the so-called European model-concept. In order to better understand this ecological risk assessment methodology, two concepts - hazard and risk - are introduced. The European concept of environmental risk assessment has the following phases in its implementation: identification of hazard (danger, identification of consequences (if there is hazard, estimate of the scale of consequences, estimate of consequence probability and risk assessment (also called risk characterization. The European concept is often used to assess risk in the environment as a model for addressing the distribution of stressors along the source - path - receptor line. Risk assessment methodology - Canadian concept: The second concept of the methodology of environmental risk assessment is based on the so-called Canadian model-concept. The assessment of ecological risk includes risk arising from natural events (floods, extreme weather conditions, etc., technological processes and products, agents (chemical, biological, radiological, etc

  14. Carbon sequestration from boreal wildfires via Pyrogenic Carbon production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santin, Cristina; Doerr, Stefan; Preston, Caroline

    2014-05-01

    Fire releases important quantities of carbon (C) to the atmosphere. Every year, an average of 460 Million ha burn around the globe, generating C emissions equivalent to a third of the current annual contribution from fossil fuel combustion. Over the longer-term wildfires are widely considered as 'net zero C emission events', because C emissions from fires, excluding those associated with deforestation and peatland fires, are balanced by C uptake by regenerating vegetation. This 'zero C emission' scenario, however, may be flawed, as it does not consider the production of pyrogenic C (PyC). During fire, part of the biomass C burnt is emitted to the atmosphere but part is transformed into PyC (i.e. charcoal). The enhanced resistance of PyC to environmental degradation compared to unburnt biomass gives it the potential to sequester C over the medium/long term. Therefore, after complete regeneration of the vegetation, the PyC generated may represent an additional C pool and, hence, recurring fire-regrowth cycles could represent net sinks of atmospheric C. To estimate the quantitative importance of PyC production, accurate data on PyC generation with respect to the fuel combusted are needed. Unfortunately, detailed quantification of fuel prior to fire is normally only available for prescribed and experimental fires, which are usually of low-intensity and therefore not representative of higher-intensity wildfires. Furthermore, what little data is available is usually based on only a specific fraction of the PyC present following burning rather than the whole range of PyC products and pools (i.e. PyC in soil, ash, downed wood and standing vegetation). To address this research gap, we utilized the globally unique FireSmart experimental forest fires in Northwest Canada. They are aimed to reproduce wildfire conditions typical for boreal forest and, at the same time, allow pre-fire fuel assessment, fire behaviour monitoring and immediate post-fire fuel and PyC inventory. This

  15. Prioritization of Forest Restoration Projects: Tradeoffs between Wildfire Protection, Ecological Restoration and Economic Objectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin C. Vogler

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The implementation of US federal forest restoration programs on national forests is a complex process that requires balancing diverse socioecological goals with project economics. Despite both the large geographic scope and substantial investments in restoration projects, a quantitative decision support framework to locate optimal project areas and examine tradeoffs among alternative restoration strategies is lacking. We developed and demonstrated a new prioritization approach for restoration projects using optimization and the framework of production possibility frontiers. The study area was a 914,657 ha national forest in eastern Oregon, US that was identified as a national priority for restoration with the goal of increasing fire resiliency and sustaining ecosystem services. The results illustrated sharp tradeoffs among the various restoration goals due to weak spatial correlation of forest stressors and provisional ecosystem services. The sharpest tradeoffs were found in simulated projects that addressed either wildfire risk to the urban interface or wildfire hazard, highlighting the challenges associated with meeting both economic and fire protection goals. Understanding the nature of tradeoffs between restoration objectives and communicating them to forest stakeholders will allow forest managers to more effectively design and implement economically feasible restoration projects.

  16. Strategic Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derleth, Jason; Lobia, Marcus

    2009-01-01

    This slide presentation provides an overview of the attempt to develop and demonstrate a methodology for the comparative assessment of risks across the entire portfolio of NASA projects and assets. It includes information about strategic risk identification, normalizing strategic risks, calculation of relative risk score, and implementation options.

  17. Overview of risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rimington, J.D.

    1992-01-01

    The paper begins by defining some terms, and then refer to a number of technical and other difficulties. Finally it attempts to set out why risk assessment is important and what its purposes are. 2) First, risk and risk assessment - what are they?. 3) Risk is a subject of universal significance. Life is very uncertain, and we can achieve no object or benefit in it except by approaching nearer to particular hazards which lie between us and our objects. That approach represents acceptance of risk. 4) Risk assessment is a way of systematising our approach to hazard with a view to determining what is more and what is less risky. It helps us in the end to diminish our exposure while obtaining whatever benefits we have in mind, or to optimise the risks and the benefits

  18. Overview of risk assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rimington, J D [Health and Safety Executive (United Kingdom)

    1992-07-01

    The paper begins by defining some terms, and then refer to a number of technical and other difficulties. Finally it attempts to set out why risk assessment is important and what its purposes are. 2) First, risk and risk assessment - what are they?. 3) Risk is a subject of universal significance. Life is very uncertain, and we can achieve no object or benefit in it except by approaching nearer to particular hazards which lie between us and our objects. That approach represents acceptance of risk. 4) Risk assessment is a way of systematising our approach to hazard with a view to determining what is more and what is less risky. It helps us in the end to diminish our exposure while obtaining whatever benefits we have in mind, or to optimise the risks and the benefits.

  19. Future Wildfire and Managed Fire Interactions in the Lake Tahoe Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheller, R.; Kretchun, A.

    2017-12-01

    Managing large forested landscape in the context of a changing climate and altered disturbance regimes presents new challenges and require integrated assessments of forest disturbance, management, succession, and the carbon cycle. Successful management under these circumstances will require information about trade-offs among multiple objectives and opportunities for spatially optimized landscape-scale management. Improved information about the effects of climate on forest communities, disturbance feedbacks, and the effectiveness of mitigation strategies enables actionable options for landscape managers. We evaluated the effects of fire suppression, wildfires, and forest fuel (thinning) treatments on the long-term carbon storage potential for Lake Tahoe Basin (LTB) forests under various climate futures. We simulated management scenarios that encompass fuel treatments across the larger landscape, beyond the Wildland Urban Interface. We improved upon current fire modeling under climate change via an integrated fire modeling module that, a) explicitly captures the influence of climate, fuels, topography, active fire management (e.g., fire suppression), and fuel treatments, and b) can be parameterized from available data, e.g., remote sensing, field reporting, fire databases, expert opinion. These improvements increase geographic flexibility and decrease reliance on broad historical fire regime statistics - imperfect targets for a no analog future and require minimal parameterization and calibration. We assessed the interactions among fuel treatments, prescribe fire, fire suppression, and stochastically recurring wildfires. Predicted changes in climate and ignition patterns in response to future climatic conditions, vegetation dynamics, and fuel treatments indicate larger potential long-term effects on C emissions, forest structure, and forest composition than prior studies.

  20. Assessing mechanical mastication and thinning-piling-burning treatments on the pinyon-juniper woodlands of southwestern Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerald Gottfried; Steve Overby

    2011-01-01

    New knowledge of fire regimes in the pinyon-juniper woodlands of the interior western United States has altered management views. Once known as being at low wildfire risk, these woodlands are now at a higher risk for severe wildfires because of high tree densities exacerbated by ongoing drought and region-wide bark beetle (Ips confusus) infestation. To help reduce...

  1. [Urban ecological risk assessment: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Mei-E; Chen, Wei-Ping; Peng, Chi

    2014-03-01

    With the development of urbanization and the degradation of urban living environment, urban ecological risks caused by urbanization have attracted more and more attentions. Based on urban ecology principles and ecological risk assessment frameworks, contents of urban ecological risk assessment were reviewed in terms of driven forces, risk resources, risk receptors, endpoints and integrated approaches for risk assessment. It was suggested that types and degrees of urban economical and social activities were the driven forces for urban ecological risks. Ecological functional components at different levels in urban ecosystems as well as the urban system as a whole were the risk receptors. Assessment endpoints involved in changes of urban ecological structures, processes, functional components and the integrity of characteristic and function. Social-ecological models should be the major approaches for urban ecological risk assessment. Trends for urban ecological risk assessment study should focus on setting a definite protection target and criteria corresponding to assessment endpoints, establishing a multiple-parameter assessment system and integrative assessment approaches.

  2. Extreme wildfire events are linked to global-change-type droughts in the northern Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruffault, Julien; Curt, Thomas; Martin-StPaul, Nicolas K.; Moron, Vincent; Trigo, Ricardo M.

    2018-03-01

    Increasing drought conditions under global warming are expected to alter the frequency and distribution of large and high-intensity wildfires. However, our understanding of the impact of increasing drought on extreme wildfires events remains incomplete. Here, we analyzed the weather conditions associated with the extreme wildfires events that occurred in Mediterranean France during the exceptionally dry summers of 2003 and 2016. We identified that these fires were related to two distinct shifts in the fire weather space towards fire weather conditions that had not been explored before and resulting from specific interactions between different types of drought and different fire weather types. In 2016, a long-lasting press drought intensified wind-driven fires. In 2003, a hot drought combining a heat wave with a press drought intensified heat-induced fires. Our findings highlight that increasing drought conditions projected by climate change scenarios might affect the dryness of fuel compartments and lead to a higher frequency of extremes wildfires events.

  3. Simulating high spatial resolution high severity burned area in Sierra Nevada forests for California Spotted Owl habitat climate change risk assessment and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keyser, A.; Westerling, A. L.; Jones, G.; Peery, M. Z.

    2017-12-01

    Sierra Nevada forests have experienced an increase in very large fires with significant areas of high burn severity, such as the Rim (2013) and King (2014) fires, that have impacted habitat of endangered species such as the California spotted owl. In order to support land manager forest management planning and risk assessment activities, we used historical wildfire histories from the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity project and gridded hydroclimate and land surface characteristics data to develope statistical models to simulate the frequency, location and extent of high severity burned area in Sierra Nevada forest wildfires as functions of climate and land surface characteristics. We define high severity here as BA90 area: the area comprising patches with ninety percent or more basal area killed within a larger fire. We developed a system of statistical models to characterize the probability of large fire occurrence, the probability of significant BA90 area present given a large fire, and the total extent of BA90 area in a fire on a 1/16 degree lat/lon grid over the Sierra Nevada. Repeated draws from binomial and generalized pareto distributions using these probabilities generated a library of simulated histories of high severity fire for a range of near (50 yr) future climate and fuels management scenarios. Fuels management scenarios were provided by USFS Region 5. Simulated BA90 area was then downscaled to 30 m resolution using a statistical model we developed using Random Forest techniques to estimate the probability of adjacent 30m pixels burning with ninety percent basal kill as a function of fire size and vegetation and topographic features. The result is a library of simulated high resolution maps of BA90 burned areas for a range of climate and fuels management scenarios with which we estimated conditional probabilities of owl nesting sites being impacted by high severity wildfire.

  4. Application of an Original Wildfire Smoke Health Cost Benefits Transfer Protocol to the Western US, 2005-2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Benjamin A.; Berrens, Robert P.

    2017-11-01

    Recent growth in the frequency and severity of US wildfires has led to more wildfire smoke and increased public exposure to harmful air pollutants. Populations exposed to wildfire smoke experience a variety of negative health impacts, imposing economic costs on society. However, few estimates of smoke health costs exist and none for the entire Western US, in particular, which experiences some of the largest and most intense wildfires in the US. The lack of cost estimates is troublesome because smoke health impacts are an important consideration of the overall costs of wildfire. To address this gap, this study provides the first time series estimates of PM2.5 smoke costs across mortality and several morbidity measures for the Western US over 2005-2015. This time period includes smoke from several megafires and includes years of record-breaking acres burned. Smoke costs are estimated using a benefits transfer protocol developed for contexts when original health data are not available. The novelty of our protocol is that it synthesizes the literature on choices faced by researchers when conducting a smoke cost benefit transfer. On average, wildfire smoke in the Western US creates 165 million in annual morbidity and mortality health costs.

  5. Estimation of Total Yearly CO2 Emissions by Wildfires in Mexico during the Period 1999–2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flor Bautista Vicente

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The phenomenon of wildfires became a global environmental problem which demands estimations of their CO2 emissions. Wildfires have deteriorated the air quality increasingly. Using available information on documented wildfires and a data set of satellite detected hot spots, total yearly emissions of CO2 in Mexico were estimated for the period 1999–2010. A map of the main vegetation groups was used to calculate total areas for every vegetation type. The yearly number of hot spots per vegetation type was calculated. Estimates of emitted CO2 in a wildfire were then accomplished by considering parameters such as: forest fuel load, vegetation type, burning efficiency, and mean burned area. The number of wildfires and total affected areas showed an annual variability. The yearly mean of affected area by a single wildfire varied between 0.2 and 0.3 km2. The total affected area during the period 1999 to 2010 was 86800 km2 which corresponds to 4.3% of the Mexican territory. Total CO2 emissions were approximately 112 Tg. The most affected vegetation types were forest and rainforest.

  6. Does Place Attachment Predict Wildfire Mitigation and Preparedness? A Comparison of Wildland-Urban Interface and Rural Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anton, Charis E; Lawrence, Carmen

    2016-01-01

    Wildfires are a common occurrence in many countries and are predicted to increase as we experience the effects of climate change. As more people are expected to be affected by fires, it is important to increase people's wildfire mitigation and preparation. Place attachment has been theorized to be related to mitigation and preparation. The present study examined place attachment and wildfire mitigation and preparation in two Australian samples, one rural and one on the wildland-urban interface. The study consisted of 300 participants who responded to questionnaires about their place attachment to their homes and local areas, as well as describing their socio-demographic characteristics and wildfire mitigation and preparedness. Hierarchical regression showed that place attachment to homes predicted wildfire mitigation and preparedness in the rural sample but not in the wildland-urban interface sample. The results suggest that place attachment is a motivator for mitigation and preparation only for people living rurally. Reminding rural residents of their attachment to home at the beginning of wildfire season may result in greater mitigation and preparedness. Further research focusing on why attachment does not predict mitigation and preparedness in the wildland-urban interface is needed.

  7. [Forensic assessment of violence risk].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pujol Robinat, Amadeo; Mohíno Justes, Susana; Gómez-Durán, Esperanza L

    2014-03-01

    Over the last 20 years there have been steps forward in the field of scientific research on prediction and handling different violent behaviors. In this work we go over the classic concept of "criminal dangerousness" and the more current of "violence risk assessment". We analyze the evolution of such assessment from the practice of non-structured clinical expert opinion to current actuarial methods and structured clinical expert opinion. Next we approach the problem of assessing physical violence risk analyzing the HCR-20 (Assessing Risk for Violence) and we also review the classic and complex subject of the relation between mental disease and violence. One of the most problematic types of violence, difficult to assess and predict, is sexual violence. We study the different actuarial and sexual violence risk prediction instruments and in the end we advise an integral approach to the problem. We also go through partner violence risk assessment, describing the most frequently used scales, especially SARA (Spouse Assault Risk Assessment) and EPV-R. Finally we give practical advice on risk assessment, emphasizing the importance of having maximum information about the case, carrying out a clinical examination, psychopathologic exploration and the application of one of the described risk assessment scales. We'll have to express an opinion about the dangerousness/risk of future violence from the subject and some recommendations on the conduct to follow and the most advisable treatment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier España, S.L. All rights reserved.

  8. Effects of Lakes on Wildfire Activity in the Boreal Forests of Saskatchewan, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott E. Nielsen

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Large lakes can act as firebreaks resulting in distinct patterns in the forest mosaic. Although this is well acknowledged, much less is known about how wildfire is affected by different landscape measures of water and their interactions. Here we examine how these factors relate to historic patterns of wildfire over a 35-year period (1980–2014 for the boreal forest of Saskatchewan, Canada. This includes the amount of water in different-sized neighborhoods, the presence of islands, and the direction, distance, and shape of nearest lake of different sizes. All individual factors affected wildfire presence, with lake sizes ≥5000 ha and amount of water within a 1000-ha surrounding area the most supported spatial scales. Overall, wildfires were two-times less likely on islands, more likely further from lakes that were circular in shape, and in areas with less surrounding water. Interactive effects were common, including the effect of direction to lake as a function of distance from lakeshore and amount of surrounding water. Our results point to a strong, but complex, bottom-up control of local wildfire activity based on the configuration of natural firebreaks. In fact, fire rotation periods predicted for one area varied more than 15-fold (<47 to >700 years depending on local patterns in lakes. Old-growth forests within this fire-prone ecosystem are therefore likely to depend on the surrounding configuration of larger lakes.

  9. Global pyrogeography: the current and future distribution of wildfire.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meg A Krawchuk

    Full Text Available Climate change is expected to alter the geographic distribution of wildfire, a complex abiotic process that responds to a variety of spatial and environmental gradients. How future climate change may alter global wildfire activity, however, is still largely unknown. As a first step to quantifying potential change in global wildfire, we present a multivariate quantification of environmental drivers for the observed, current distribution of vegetation fires using statistical models of the relationship between fire activity and resources to burn, climate conditions, human influence, and lightning flash rates at a coarse spatiotemporal resolution (100 km, over one decade. We then demonstrate how these statistical models can be used to project future changes in global fire patterns, highlighting regional hotspots of change in fire probabilities under future climate conditions as simulated by a global climate model. Based on current conditions, our results illustrate how the availability of resources to burn and climate conditions conducive to combustion jointly determine why some parts of the world are fire-prone and others are fire-free. In contrast to any expectation that global warming should necessarily result in more fire, we find that regional increases in fire probabilities may be counter-balanced by decreases at other locations, due to the interplay of temperature and precipitation variables. Despite this net balance, our models predict substantial invasion and retreat of fire across large portions of the globe. These changes could have important effects on terrestrial ecosystems since alteration in fire activity may occur quite rapidly, generating ever more complex environmental challenges for species dispersing and adjusting to new climate conditions. Our findings highlight the potential for widespread impacts of climate change on wildfire, suggesting severely altered fire regimes and the need for more explicit inclusion of fire in research

  10. Global pyrogeography: the current and future distribution of wildfire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krawchuk, Meg A; Moritz, Max A; Parisien, Marc-André; Van Dorn, Jeff; Hayhoe, Katharine

    2009-01-01

    Climate change is expected to alter the geographic distribution of wildfire, a complex abiotic process that responds to a variety of spatial and environmental gradients. How future climate change may alter global wildfire activity, however, is still largely unknown. As a first step to quantifying potential change in global wildfire, we present a multivariate quantification of environmental drivers for the observed, current distribution of vegetation fires using statistical models of the relationship between fire activity and resources to burn, climate conditions, human influence, and lightning flash rates at a coarse spatiotemporal resolution (100 km, over one decade). We then demonstrate how these statistical models can be used to project future changes in global fire patterns, highlighting regional hotspots of change in fire probabilities under future climate conditions as simulated by a global climate model. Based on current conditions, our results illustrate how the availability of resources to burn and climate conditions conducive to combustion jointly determine why some parts of the world are fire-prone and others are fire-free. In contrast to any expectation that global warming should necessarily result in more fire, we find that regional increases in fire probabilities may be counter-balanced by decreases at other locations, due to the interplay of temperature and precipitation variables. Despite this net balance, our models predict substantial invasion and retreat of fire across large portions of the globe. These changes could have important effects on terrestrial ecosystems since alteration in fire activity may occur quite rapidly, generating ever more complex environmental challenges for species dispersing and adjusting to new climate conditions. Our findings highlight the potential for widespread impacts of climate change on wildfire, suggesting severely altered fire regimes and the need for more explicit inclusion of fire in research on global

  11. Risk Assessment and Integration Team (RAIT) Portfolio Risk Analysis Strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Michelle

    2010-01-01

    Impact at management level: Qualitative assessment of risk criticality in conjunction with risk consequence, likelihood, and severity enable development of an "investment policy" towards managing a portfolio of risks. Impact at research level: Quantitative risk assessments enable researchers to develop risk mitigation strategies with meaningful risk reduction results. Quantitative assessment approach provides useful risk mitigation information.

  12. Deforestation as a result of wildfire incidence in the Worobong Forest Reserve in the Eastern Region of Ghana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danquah, S.

    2009-04-01

    This submission captures report on the perennial occurrence of wildfires and their accompanying effects on the inhabitants and the fringe forest communities in the Worobong Forest Reserve within the Eastern part of Ghana. Wildfire continues to be the single serious threat to the sustainable development and management of forest and wildlife resources in Ghana, thus depriving indigenous fringe forest communities of enormous socio-economic benefit of the forest. Locally, fire is used in the preparation of farm lands, tapping of palm-wine, charcoal production, honey harvesting, etc. This paper identifies some of the effects of wildfires on the indigenous communities and various interventions made to address the wildfire menace in the area of study over the years. Keywords: Wildfire, Fringe Forest Communities, Sustainable Development Resources, Socio-Economic Benefits

  13. [Risk Assessment and Risk Management of Chemicals in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tie-yu; Zhou, Yun-qiao; Li, Qi-feng; Lü, Yong-long

    2016-02-15

    Risk assessment and risk management have been increasingly approved as an effective approach for appropriate disposal and scientific management of chemicals. This study systematically analyzed the risk assessment methods of chemicals from three aspects including health risk, ecological risk and regional risk. Based on the current situation of classification and management towards chemicals in China, a specific framework of risk management on chemicals was proposed by selecting target chemicals, predominant industries and related stakeholders as the objects. The results of the present study will provide scientific support for improving risk assessment and reasonable management of chemicals in China.

  14. Probabilistic soil erosion modeling using the Erosion Risk Management Tool (ERMIT) after wildfires

    Science.gov (United States)

    P. R. Robichaud; W. J. Elliot; J. W. Wagenbrenner

    2011-01-01

    The decision of whether or not to apply post-fire hillslope erosion mitigation treatments, and if so, where these treatments are most needed, is a multi-step process. Land managers must assess the risk of damaging runoff and sediment delivery events occurring on the unrecovered burned hillslope. We developed the Erosion Risk Management Tool (ERMiT) to address this need...

  15. Status of vegetation cover after 25 years since the last wildfire (Río Verde, Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Murillo, Juan F.; Remond, Ricardo; Ruiz-Sinoga, José D.

    2016-04-01

    Climatic conditions play an important role in the post-fire vegetation recovery as well as other factors like topography, soil, and pre and post-fire land use (Shakesby, 2011; Robichaud et al., 2013). This study deals with the characterization of the vegetation cover status in an area affected by a wildfire 25 years ago. Namely, the objectives are to: i) compare the current and previous vegetation cover to wildfire; and ii) evaluate whether the current vegetation has recovered the previous cover to wildfire. The study area is mainly located in the Rio Verde watershed (Sierra de las Nieves, South of Spain). It corresponds to an area affected by a wildfire in August 8th, 1991. The burned area was equal to 8,156 ha. The burn severity was spatially very high. The main geographic features of the burned area are: mountainous topography (altitudes ranging from 250 m to 1700 m; slope gradient >25%; exposure mainly southfacing); igneous (peridotites), metamorphic (gneiss) and calcareous rocks (limestones); and predominant forest land use (Pinus pinaster sp. woodlands, 10%; pinus opened forest + shrubland, 40%; shrubland, 35%; and bare soil + grassland, 15%). Remote sensing techniques and GIS analysis has been applied to achieve the objectives. Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 images were used: July 13th, 1991 and July 1st, 2013, for the previous wildfire situation and 22-years after, respectively. The 1990 CORINE land cover was also considered to map 1991 land uses prior the wildfire. The Andalucía Regional Government wildfire historic records were used to select the burned area and its geographical limit. 1991 and 2013 land cover maps were obtained by means of object-oriented classifications. Also, NDVI index were calculated and mapped for both years in order to compare the status of vegetation cover. According to the results, the combination of remote sensing and GIS analysis let map the most recovered areas affected by the wildfire in 1991. The vegetation indexes indicated that

  16. Patient caries risk assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Twetman, Svante; Fontana, Margherita

    2009-01-01

    Risk assessment is an essential component in the decision-making process for the correct prevention and management of dental caries. Multiple risk factors and indicators have been proposed as targets in the assessment of risk of future disease, varying sometimes based on the age group at which...... they are targeted. Multiple reviews and systematic reviews are available in the literature on this topic. This chapter focusses primarily on results of reviews based on longitudinal studies required to establish the accuracy of caries risk assessment. These findings demonstrate that there is a strong body...... of evidence to support that caries experience is still, unfortunately, the single best predictor for future caries development. In young children, prediction models which include a variety of risk factors seem to increase the accuracy of the prediction, while the usefulness of additional risk factors...

  17. Modelling Carbon Emissions in Calluna vulgaris–Dominated Ecosystems when Prescribed Burning and Wildfires Interact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santana, Victor M.; Alday, Josu G.; Lee, HyoHyeMi; Allen, Katherine A.; Marrs, Rob H.

    2016-01-01

    A present challenge in fire ecology is to optimize management techniques so that ecological services are maximized and C emissions minimized. Here, we modeled the effects of different prescribed-burning rotation intervals and wildfires on carbon emissions (present and future) in British moorlands. Biomass-accumulation curves from four Calluna-dominated ecosystems along a north-south gradient in Great Britain were calculated and used within a matrix-model based on Markov Chains to calculate above-ground biomass-loads and annual C emissions under different prescribed-burning rotation intervals. Additionally, we assessed the interaction of these parameters with a decreasing wildfire return intervals. We observed that litter accumulation patterns varied between sites. Northern sites (colder and wetter) accumulated lower amounts of litter with time than southern sites (hotter and drier). The accumulation patterns of the living vegetation dominated by Calluna were determined by site-specific conditions. The optimal prescribed-burning rotation interval for minimizing annual carbon emissions also differed between sites: the optimal rotation interval for northern sites was between 30 and 50 years, whereas for southern sites a hump-backed relationship was found with the optimal interval either between 8 to 10 years or between 30 to 50 years. Increasing wildfire frequency interacted with prescribed-burning rotation intervals by both increasing C emissions and modifying the optimum prescribed-burning interval for minimum C emission. This highlights the importance of studying site-specific biomass accumulation patterns with respect to environmental conditions for identifying suitable fire-rotation intervals to minimize C emissions. PMID:27880840

  18. Modelling Carbon Emissions in Calluna vulgaris-Dominated Ecosystems when Prescribed Burning and Wildfires Interact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santana, Victor M; Alday, Josu G; Lee, HyoHyeMi; Allen, Katherine A; Marrs, Rob H

    2016-01-01

    A present challenge in fire ecology is to optimize management techniques so that ecological services are maximized and C emissions minimized. Here, we modeled the effects of different prescribed-burning rotation intervals and wildfires on carbon emissions (present and future) in British moorlands. Biomass-accumulation curves from four Calluna-dominated ecosystems along a north-south gradient in Great Britain were calculated and used within a matrix-model based on Markov Chains to calculate above-ground biomass-loads and annual C emissions under different prescribed-burning rotation intervals. Additionally, we assessed the interaction of these parameters with a decreasing wildfire return intervals. We observed that litter accumulation patterns varied between sites. Northern sites (colder and wetter) accumulated lower amounts of litter with time than southern sites (hotter and drier). The accumulation patterns of the living vegetation dominated by Calluna were determined by site-specific conditions. The optimal prescribed-burning rotation interval for minimizing annual carbon emissions also differed between sites: the optimal rotation interval for northern sites was between 30 and 50 years, whereas for southern sites a hump-backed relationship was found with the optimal interval either between 8 to 10 years or between 30 to 50 years. Increasing wildfire frequency interacted with prescribed-burning rotation intervals by both increasing C emissions and modifying the optimum prescribed-burning interval for minimum C emission. This highlights the importance of studying site-specific biomass accumulation patterns with respect to environmental conditions for identifying suitable fire-rotation intervals to minimize C emissions.

  19. Building better environmental risk assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raymond eLayton

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Risk assessment is a reasoned, structured approach to address uncertainty based on scientific and technical evidence. It forms the foundation for regulatory decision making, which is bound by legislative and policy requirements, as well as the need for making timely decisions using available resources. In order to be most useful, environmental risk assessments (ERA for genetically modified (GM crops should provide consistent, reliable, and transparent results across all types of GM crops, traits, and environments. The assessments must also separate essential information from scientific or agronomic data of marginal relevance or value for evaluating risk and complete the assessment in a timely fashion. Challenges in conducting ERAs differ across regulatory systems – examples are presented from Canada, Malaysia, and Argentina. One challenge faced across the globe is the conduct of risk assessments with limited resources. This challenge can be overcome by clarifying risk concepts, placing greater emphasis on data critical to assess environmental risk (for example, phenotypic and plant performance data rather than molecular data, and adapting advances in risk analysis from other relevant disciplines.

  20. Building Better Environmental Risk Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Layton, Raymond; Smith, Joe; Macdonald, Phil; Letchumanan, Ramatha; Keese, Paul; Lema, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Risk assessment is a reasoned, structured approach to address uncertainty based on scientific and technical evidence. It forms the foundation for regulatory decision-making, which is bound by legislative and policy requirements, as well as the need for making timely decisions using available resources. In order to be most useful, environmental risk assessments (ERAs) for genetically modified (GM) crops should provide consistent, reliable, and transparent results across all types of GM crops, traits, and environments. The assessments must also separate essential information from scientific or agronomic data of marginal relevance or value for evaluating risk and complete the assessment in a timely fashion. Challenges in conducting ERAs differ across regulatory systems – examples are presented from Canada, Malaysia, and Argentina. One challenge faced across the globe is the conduct of risk assessments with limited resources. This challenge can be overcome by clarifying risk concepts, placing greater emphasis on data critical to assess environmental risk (for example, phenotypic and plant performance data rather than molecular data), and adapting advances in risk analysis from other relevant disciplines. PMID:26301217

  1. Building Better Environmental Risk Assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Layton, Raymond; Smith, Joe; Macdonald, Phil; Letchumanan, Ramatha; Keese, Paul; Lema, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Risk assessment is a reasoned, structured approach to address uncertainty based on scientific and technical evidence. It forms the foundation for regulatory decision-making, which is bound by legislative and policy requirements, as well as the need for making timely decisions using available resources. In order to be most useful, environmental risk assessments (ERAs) for genetically modified (GM) crops should provide consistent, reliable, and transparent results across all types of GM crops, traits, and environments. The assessments must also separate essential information from scientific or agronomic data of marginal relevance or value for evaluating risk and complete the assessment in a timely fashion. Challenges in conducting ERAs differ across regulatory systems - examples are presented from Canada, Malaysia, and Argentina. One challenge faced across the globe is the conduct of risk assessments with limited resources. This challenge can be overcome by clarifying risk concepts, placing greater emphasis on data critical to assess environmental risk (for example, phenotypic and plant performance data rather than molecular data), and adapting advances in risk analysis from other relevant disciplines.

  2. Risk Assessment Stability: A Revalidation Study of the Arizona Risk/Needs Assessment Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwalbe, Craig S.

    2009-01-01

    The actuarial method is the gold standard for risk assessment in child welfare, juvenile justice, and criminal justice. It produces risk classifications that are highly predictive and that may be robust to sampling error. This article reports a revalidation study of the Arizona Risk/Needs Assessment instrument, an actuarial instrument for juvenile…

  3. How wildfire risk is related to urban planning and Fire Weather Index in SE France (1990-2013).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, D M; Carrega, P; Ren, Y; Caillouet, P; Bouillon, C; Robert, S

    2018-04-15

    Wildfires burn >450,000ha of forest every year in Euro-Mediterranean countries. Many fires originate in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) where housing density and weather conditions affect fire occurrence. Housing density is determined by long term land use policies while weather conditions evolve quickly. The first objective was to quantify the impacts of land use policy on WUI characteristics and fire risk in SE France during 1990-2012. The second objective was to quantify how Fire Weather Index (FWI) is related to fire occurrence. WUI was mapped from 1990, 1999, and 2012 building layers and crossed with a NDVI derived vegetation layer. In all, 12 WUI categories were derived: 4 building density classes and 3 vegetation layers. The I87 FWI was based on daily temperature, wind speed, relative humidity and soil water content. Despite a 30% increase in the number of new buildings, WUI area increased by only 5% as new housing filled in open space in existing WUI area. This trend can be linked to national level urban planning legislation and forest fire protection laws. Major driver variables determining housing location were aspect, slope, and distance to city centers. Fire frequency and burned area were nonlinearly related to FWI: 73% of the 99 fires occurred during weeks with FWI values ≥90 even though these accounted for only 44% of all weeks. Burned area was even more sensitive to FWI since 97% of total burned area occurred during weeks with mean FWI values ≥90. All days with burned areas >100ha had FWI values >150. The study demonstrated that WUI legislation can be an efficient tool to limit WUI fire risk. FWI results suggest the predicted increase in extreme summer heat events with global warming could increase burned area as firefighting resources are stretched beyond capacity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. White-headed woodpecker nesting ecology after wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catherine S. Wightman; Victoria A. Saab; Chris Forristal; Kim Mellen-Mclean; Amy Markus

    2010-01-01

    Within forests susceptible to wildfire and insect infestations, land managers need to balance dead tree removal and habitat requirements for wildlife species associated with snags. We used Mahalanobis distance methods to develop predictive models of white-headed woodpecker (Picoides albolarvatus) nesting habitat in postfire ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)-dominated...

  5. Wildfires, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity in Tropical Dry Forest in India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmerbeck, Joachim; Fiener, Peter

    2015-08-01

    This review is intended to contribute to the understanding of the interlinkage between wildfire in India's tropical dry forest (TDF) and selected ecosystem services (ES), namely forest provisioning and water regulating services, as well as biodiversity. TDF covers approximately 146,000 km2 (4.4 %) of India, whereas according to the MODIS fire product about 2200 km2 (1.4 %) burns per year. As studies on wildfire effects upon ESs and biodiversity in Indian TDFs are rare we partly transferred findings from other (dry) forest areas to the environmental situation in India. In India (intentionally lit) wildfires have a very important connection to local livelihoods and the availability of non-wood forest products. Very important adverse long-term effects are the deterioration of forest ecosystems and soil degradation. The potential for TDF to regulate hydrological cycles is expected to be greater in the absence of fire than with it. A general judgment on the effect of fire on biodiversity is difficult as it depends on the community and species involved but a loss of biodiversity under regular burnings is apparent. Consequently, forest managers need sound knowledge regarding the interplay of wildfires and ecosystem behavior in general and more specific knowledge regarding the effects on taxa being considered for conservation efforts. Generally, much more research is needed to understand the trade-offs between the short-term benefits gained from forest provisioning services and long-term adverse effects.

  6. Wildfires, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity in Tropical Dry Forest in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmerbeck, Joachim; Fiener, Peter

    2015-08-01

    This review is intended to contribute to the understanding of the interlinkage between wildfire in India's tropical dry forest (TDF) and selected ecosystem services (ES), namely forest provisioning and water regulating services, as well as biodiversity. TDF covers approximately 146,000 km(2) (4.4%) of India, whereas according to the MODIS fire product about 2200 km(2) (1.4%) burns per year. As studies on wildfire effects upon ESs and biodiversity in Indian TDFs are rare we partly transferred findings from other (dry) forest areas to the environmental situation in India. In India (intentionally lit) wildfires have a very important connection to local livelihoods and the availability of non-wood forest products. Very important adverse long-term effects are the deterioration of forest ecosystems and soil degradation. The potential for TDF to regulate hydrological cycles is expected to be greater in the absence of fire than with it. A general judgment on the effect of fire on biodiversity is difficult as it depends on the community and species involved but a loss of biodiversity under regular burnings is apparent. Consequently, forest managers need sound knowledge regarding the interplay of wildfires and ecosystem behavior in general and more specific knowledge regarding the effects on taxa being considered for conservation efforts. Generally, much more research is needed to understand the trade-offs between the short-term benefits gained from forest provisioning services and long-term adverse effects.

  7. Governance of Land Use Planning to Reduce Fire Risk to Homes Mediterranean France and California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan D. Kocher

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Wildfire is a natural part of forested Mediterranean systems. As humans continue to live and build housing in these areas, wildfire is a constant threat to homes and lives. The goal of this paper is to describe aspects of land-use planning that are used to reduce wildfire risk in institutionally divergent regions; southern France and California. By reviewing relevant legislation and planning documents and conducting in person interviews with fire and planning professionals, we identify the institutions which participate in land use planning to reduce fire risk and the key laws and regulations that guide planning decisions. Our results indicate that France has a more centralized system for planning for fire, with national level entities heavily involved in local land use planning. California, on the other hand sees almost no federal oversite, and, while state law requires local plans to include wildfire risk, most fine grain decisions are left to local planners and decision makers. In both regions, however, we see a reliance on technical support provided from outside local jurisdictions. Increased coordination between local, regional, and national governments could improve land use planning in both locations.

  8. Towards Data-Driven Simulations of Wildfire Spread using Ensemble-based Data Assimilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochoux, M. C.; Bart, J.; Ricci, S. M.; Cuenot, B.; Trouvé, A.; Duchaine, F.; Morel, T.

    2012-12-01

    Real-time predictions of a propagating wildfire remain a challenging task because the problem involves both multi-physics and multi-scales. The propagation speed of wildfires, also called the rate of spread (ROS), is indeed determined by complex interactions between pyrolysis, combustion and flow dynamics, atmospheric dynamics occurring at vegetation, topographical and meteorological scales. Current operational fire spread models are mainly based on a semi-empirical parameterization of the ROS in terms of vegetation, topographical and meteorological properties. For the fire spread simulation to be predictive and compatible with operational applications, the uncertainty on the ROS model should be reduced. As recent progress made in remote sensing technology provides new ways to monitor the fire front position, a promising approach to overcome the difficulties found in wildfire spread simulations is to integrate fire modeling and fire sensing technologies using data assimilation (DA). For this purpose we have developed a prototype data-driven wildfire spread simulator in order to provide optimal estimates of poorly known model parameters [*]. The data-driven simulation capability is adapted for more realistic wildfire spread : it considers a regional-scale fire spread model that is informed by observations of the fire front location. An Ensemble Kalman Filter algorithm (EnKF) based on a parallel computing platform (OpenPALM) was implemented in order to perform a multi-parameter sequential estimation where wind magnitude and direction are in addition to vegetation properties (see attached figure). The EnKF algorithm shows its good ability to track a small-scale grassland fire experiment and ensures a good accounting for the sensitivity of the simulation outcomes to the control parameters. As a conclusion, it was shown that data assimilation is a promising approach to more accurately forecast time-varying wildfire spread conditions as new airborne-like observations of

  9. RISK MANAGEMENT: AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO RISK MANAGEMENT AND ASSESSMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szabo Alina

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The objective of this paper is to offer an overview over risk management cycle by focusing on prioritization and treatment, in order to ensure an integrated approach to risk management and assessment, and establish the ‘top 8-12’ risks report within the organization. The interface with Internal Audit is ensured by the implementation of the scoring method to prioritize risks collected from previous generated risk report. Methodology/approach: Using evidence from other research in the area and the professional expertise, this article outlines an integrated approach to risk assessment and risk management reporting processes, by separating the risk in two main categories: strategic and operational risks. The focus is on risk prioritization and scoring; the final output will comprise a mix of strategic and operational (‘top 8-12’ risks, which should be used to establish the annual Internal Audit plan. Originality/value: By using an integrated approach to risk assessment and risk management will eliminate the need for a separate Internal Audit risk assessment over prevailing risks. It will reduce the level of risk assessment overlap by different functions (Tax, Treasury, Information System over the same risk categories as a single methodology, is used and will align timings of risk assessment exercises. The risk prioritization by usage of risk and control scoring criteria highlights the combination between financial and non-financial impact criteria allowing risks that do not naturally lend themselves to a financial amount to be also assessed consistently. It is emphasized the usage of score method to prioritize the risks included in the annual audit plan in order to increase accuracy and timelines.

  10. Demographic controls of future global fire risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knorr, W.; Arneth, A.; Jiang, L.

    2016-08-01

    Wildfires are an important component of terrestrial ecosystem ecology but also a major natural hazard to societies, and their frequency and spatial distribution must be better understood. At a given location, risk from wildfire is associated with the annual fraction of burned area, which is expected to increase in response to climate warming. Until recently, however, only a few global studies of future fire have considered the effects of other important global environmental change factors such as atmospheric CO2 levels and human activities, and how these influence fires in different regions. Here, we contrast the impact of climate change and increasing atmospheric CO2 content on burned area with that of demographic dynamics, using ensembles of climate simulations combined with historical and projected population changes under different socio-economic development pathways for 1901-2100. Historically, humans notably suppressed wildfires. For future scenarios, global burned area will continue to decline under a moderate emissions scenario, except for low population growth and fast urbanization, but start to increase again from around mid-century under high greenhouse gas emissions. Contrary to common perception, we find that human exposure to wildfires increases in the future mainly owing to projected population growth in areas with frequent wildfires, rather than by a general increase in burned area.

  11. Post-wildfire seeding in forests of the western United States: An evidence-based review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donna Peppin; Peter Z. Fule; Carolyn Hull Sieg; Jan L. Beyers; Molly E. Hunter

    2010-01-01

    Broadcast seeding is one of the most widely used post-wildfire emergency response treatments intended to reduce soil erosion, increase vegetative ground cover, and minimize establishment and spread of non-native plant species. We conducted an evidence-based review to examine the effectiveness and effects of post-wildfire seeding treatments on soil stabilization, non-...

  12. Spatiotemporal variability in wildfire patterns and analysis of the main drivers in Honduras using GIS and MODIS data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdez Vasquez, M. C.; Chen, C. F.

    2017-12-01

    Wildfires are unrestrained fires in an area of flammable vegetation and they are one of the most frequent disasters in Honduras during the dry season. During this period, anthropogenic activity combined with the harsh climatic conditions, dry vegetation and topographical variables, cause a large amount of wildfires. For this reason, there is a need to identify the drivers of wildfires and their susceptibility variations during the wildfire season. In this study, we combined the wildfire points during the 2010-2016 period every 8 days with a series of variables using the random forest (RF) algorithm. In addition to the wildfire points, we randomly generated a similar amount of background points that we use as pseudo-absence data. To represent the human imprint, we included proximity to different types of roads, trails, settlements and agriculture sites. Other variables included are the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectra-radiometer (MODIS)-derived 8-day composites of land surface temperature (LST) and the normalized multi-band drought index (NMDI), derived from the MODIS surface reflectance data. We also included monthly average precipitation, solar radiation, and topographical variables. The exploratory analysis of the variables reveals that low precipitation combined with the low NMDI and accessibility to non-paved roads were the major drivers of wildfires during the early months of the dry season. During April, which is the peak of the dry season, the explanatory variables of relevance also included elevation and LST in addition to the proximity to paved and non-paved roads. During May, proximity to crops becomes relevant, in addition to the aforesaid variables. The average estimated area with high and very high wildfire susceptibility was 22% of the whole territory located mainly in the central and eastern regions, drifting towards the northeast areas during May. We validated the results using the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC

  13. Risk assessment: 'A consumer's perspective'

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waterhouse, Rachel

    1992-01-01

    The paper assesses the concept of risk, risk assessment and tolerability of risk from consumer point of view. Review of existing UK and EC directives on certain products and appliances is also covered

  14. Risk assessment: 'A consumer's perspective'

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Waterhouse, Rachel [Consumer' s Association, Health and Safety Commission (United Kingdom)

    1992-07-01

    The paper assesses the concept of risk, risk assessment and tolerability of risk from consumer point of view. Review of existing UK and EC directives on certain products and appliances is also covered.

  15. Wildfire and fuel treatment effects on forest carbon dynamics in the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph C. Restiano; David L. Peterson

    2013-01-01

    Sequestration of carbon (C) in forests has the potential to mitigate the effects of climate change by offsetting future emissions of greenhouse gases. However, in dry temperate forests, wildfire is a natural disturbance agent with the potential to release large fluxes of C into the atmosphere. Climate-driven increases in wildfire extent and severity arc expected to...

  16. Using risk assessment in periodontics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodman, Alan J

    2014-08-01

    Risk assessment has become a regular feature in both dental practice and society as a whole, and principles used to assess risk in society are similar to those used in a clinical setting. Although the concept of risk assessment as a prognostic indicator for periodontal disease incidence and activity is well established in the management of periodontitis, the use of risk assessment to manage the practical treatment of periodontitis and its sequelae appears to have less foundation. A simple system of initial risk assessment - building on the use of the Basic Periodontal Examination (BPE), clinical, medical and social factors - is described, linked to protocols for delivering care suited to general dental practice and stressing the role of long-term supportive care. The risks of not treating the patient are considered, together with the possible causes of failure, and the problems of successful treatment are illustrated by the practical management of post-treatment recession.

  17. The impact of the High Park Wildfire on stream water quality and implications for drinking water treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosario-Ortiz, F.

    2014-12-01

    The Cache La Poudre (CLP) watershed in Northern Colorado was impacted by the High Park fire, which burned from June 9th through July 1st of 2012. The CLP watershed serves as a source of drinking water for three water districts in Northern Colorado, including the City of Fort Collins. Sampling was conducted during four different storm events immediately after the fire was extinguished. The sampling was expanded through spring and summer 2013 in order to capture the flush of debris from the wildfire into the CLP River. Samples were also collected from an unburned control site for comparison. Surface water samples were analyzed for parameters including nutrients, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration and dissolved organic matter (DOM) characterization. In addition, bench scale treatment analyses were conducted to better understand the impacts of the wildfire on treatment processes for drinking water utilities. Lastly, leaching of stream bank sediments was conducted to determine the potential longer term inputs of burned material to the stream water. The overarching goals of the sampling campaign were to: 1) Evaluate the impact that wildfires have on the properties of DOM, specifically with respect to DBP formation and speciation (TTHM, HAA5, HAN, NDMA); 2) Establish the condition under which the source water could be effectively treated (using coagulation) to remove DBP precursors; 3) Evaluate the use of fluorescence spectroscopy as a surrogate for the concentration and reactivity of DOM in the CLP watershed; and 4) Assess the quantity and quality of DOM leached from streambed sediments. Preliminary results showed elevated DOC levels during the storm events and at wildfire impacted sites compared to the unburned site following the fire. DBP yields were higher for the four storm events following the fire when compared to yields for the control site located upstream of the burn area, and also when compared to data from a previous DBP study conducted on similar

  18. A total risk assessment methodology for security assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Auilar, Richard; Pless, Daniel J.; Kaplan, Paul Garry; Silva, Consuelo Juanita; Rhea, Ronald Edward; Wyss, Gregory Dane; Conrad, Stephen Hamilton

    2009-01-01

    Sandia National Laboratories performed a two-year Laboratory Directed Research and Development project to develop a new collaborative risk assessment method to enable decision makers to fully consider the interrelationships between threat, vulnerability, and consequence. A five-step Total Risk Assessment Methodology was developed to enable interdisciplinary collaborative risk assessment by experts from these disciplines. The objective of this process is promote effective risk management by enabling analysts to identify scenarios that are simultaneously achievable by an adversary, desirable to the adversary, and of concern to the system owner or to society. The basic steps are risk identification, collaborative scenario refinement and evaluation, scenario cohort identification and risk ranking, threat chain mitigation analysis, and residual risk assessment. The method is highly iterative, especially with regard to scenario refinement and evaluation. The Total Risk Assessment Methodology includes objective consideration of relative attack likelihood instead of subjective expert judgment. The 'probability of attack' is not computed, but the relative likelihood for each scenario is assessed through identifying and analyzing scenario cohort groups, which are groups of scenarios with comparable qualities to the scenario being analyzed at both this and other targets. Scenarios for the target under consideration and other targets are placed into cohort groups under an established ranking process that reflects the following three factors: known targeting, achievable consequences, and the resources required for an adversary to have a high likelihood of success. The development of these target cohort groups implements, mathematically, the idea that adversaries are actively choosing among possible attack scenarios and avoiding scenarios that would be significantly suboptimal to their objectives. An adversary who can choose among only a few comparable targets and scenarios (a

  19. Evaluating Fire Risk in the Northeastern United States in the Past, Present, and Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, D.; Bradley, R. S.

    2017-12-01

    One poorly understood consequence of climate change is its effects on extreme events such as wildfires. Robust associations between wildfire frequency and climatic variability have been shown to exist, indicating that future climate change may continue to have a significant effect on wildfire activity. The Northeastern United States (NEUS) has seen some of the most infamous and largest historic fires in North America, such as the Miramichi Fire of 1825 and the fires of 1947. Although return intervals for large fires in the NEUS are long (hundreds of years), wildfires have played a critical role in ecosystem development and forest structure in the region. Understanding and predicting fire occurrence and vulnerability in the NEUS, especially in a changing climate, is economically and culturally important yet remains difficult due to human impacts (i.e. fire suppression activities and human disturbance). Thus, an alternative method for investigating fire risk in the NEUS is needed. Here, we present a compilation of meteorological data collected from Automated Surface Observing Systems (ASOS) from the NEUS throughout the 20th century through present day. We use these data to compute fifteen common "fire danger indices" employed in the USA and Canada to investigate changes in the region's fire risk over time, as well as the skill of each of these indices at predicting wildfire activity relative to the historical record of fires in the NEUS. We use dynamically-downscaled regional climate model output for the 21st century to project future wildfire activity based on the fire danger indices capable of capturing historical fire activity in the NEUS. These projections will aid in predicting how fire risk in the NEUS will evolve with anticipated climate change.

  20. Supporting Risk Assessment: Accounting for Indirect Risk to Ecosystem Components.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cathryn Clarke Murray

    Full Text Available The multi-scalar complexity of social-ecological systems makes it challenging to quantify impacts from human activities on ecosystems, inspiring risk-based approaches to assessments of potential effects of human activities on valued ecosystem components. Risk assessments do not commonly include the risk from indirect effects as mediated via habitat and prey. In this case study from British Columbia, Canada, we illustrate how such "indirect risks" can be incorporated into risk assessments for seventeen ecosystem components. We ask whether (i the addition of indirect risk changes the at-risk ranking of the seventeen ecosystem components and if (ii risk scores correlate with trophic prey and habitat linkages in the food web. Even with conservative assumptions about the transfer of impacts or risks from prey species and habitats, the addition of indirect risks in the cumulative risk score changes the ranking of priorities for management. In particular, resident orca, Steller sea lion, and Pacific herring all increase in relative risk, more closely aligning these species with their "at-risk status" designations. Risk assessments are not a replacement for impact assessments, but-by considering the potential for indirect risks as we demonstrate here-they offer a crucial complementary perspective for the management of ecosystems and the organisms within.

  1. 24 CFR 35.315 - Risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Risk assessment. 35.315 Section 35... Provided by a Federal Agency Other Than HUD § 35.315 Risk assessment. Each owner shall complete a risk assessment in accordance with 40 CFR 745.227(d). Each risk assessment shall be completed in accordance with...

  2. A conservation paradox in the Great Basin—Altering sagebrush landscapes with fuel breaks to reduce habitat loss from wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinneman, Douglas J.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Coates, Peter S.; Germino, Matthew J.; Pilliod, David S.; Vaillant, Nicole M.

    2018-03-15

    Interactions between fire and nonnative, annual plant species (that is, “the grass/fire cycle”) represent one of the greatest threats to sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystems and associated wildlife, including the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). In 2015, U.S. Department of the Interior called for a “science-based strategy to reduce the threat of large-scale rangeland fire to habitat for the greater sage-grouse and the sagebrush-steppe ecosystem.” An associated guidance document, the “Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy Actionable Science Plan,” identified fuel breaks as high priority areas for scientific research. Fuel breaks are intended to reduce fire size and frequency, and potentially they can compartmentalize wildfire spatial distribution in a landscape. Fuel breaks are designed to reduce flame length, fireline intensity, and rates of fire spread in order to enhance firefighter access, improve response times, and provide safe and strategic anchor points for wildland fire-fighting activities. To accomplish these objectives, fuel breaks disrupt fuel continuity, reduce fuel accumulation, and (or) increase plants with high moisture content through the removal or modification of vegetation in strategically placed strips or blocks of land.Fuel breaks are being newly constructed, enhanced, or proposed across large areas of the Great Basin to reduce wildfire risk and to protect remaining sagebrush ecosystems (including greater sage-grouse habitat). These projects are likely to result in thousands of linear miles of fuel breaks that will have direct ecological effects across hundreds of thousands of acres through habitat loss and conversion. These projects may also affect millions of acres indirectly because of edge effects and habitat fragmentation created by networks of fuel breaks. Hence, land managers are often faced with a potentially paradoxical situation: the need to substantially alter sagebrush habitats with fuel breaks

  3. An evaluation of image based techniques for wildfire detection and fuel mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabbert, Dustin W.

    Few events can cause the catastrophic impact to ecology, infrastructure, and human safety of a wildland fire along the wildland urban interface. The suppression of natural wildland fires over the past decade has caused a buildup of dry, dead surface fuels: a condition that, coupled with the right weather conditions, can cause large destructive wildfires that are capable of threatening both ancient tree stands and manmade infrastructure. Firefighters use fire danger models to determine staffing needs on high fire risk days; however models are only as effective as the spatial and temporal density of their observations. OKFIRE, an Oklahoma initiative created by a partnership between Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma, has proven that fire danger assessments close to the fire - both geographically and temporally - can give firefighters a significant increase in their situational awareness while fighting a wildland fire. This paper investigates several possible solutions for a small Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) which could gather information useful for detecting ground fires and constructing fire danger maps. Multiple fire detection and fuel mapping programs utilize satellites, manned aircraft, and large UAS equipped with hyperspectral sensors to gather useful information. Their success provides convincing proof of the utility that could be gained from low-altitude UAS gathering information at the exact time and place firefighters and land managers are interested in. Close proximity, both geographically and operationally, to the end can reduce latency times below what could ever be possible with satellite observation. This paper expands on recent advances in computer vision, photogrammetry, and infrared and color imagery to develop a framework for a next-generation UAS which can assess fire danger and aid firefighters in real time as they observe, contain, or extinguish wildland fires. It also investigates the impact information gained by this

  4. Exploring the uncertainties in cancer risk assessment using the integrated probabilistic risk assessment (IPRA) approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slob, Wout; Bakker, Martine I; Biesebeek, Jan Dirk Te; Bokkers, Bas G H

    2014-08-01

    Current methods for cancer risk assessment result in single values, without any quantitative information on the uncertainties in these values. Therefore, single risk values could easily be overinterpreted. In this study, we discuss a full probabilistic cancer risk assessment approach in which all the generally recognized uncertainties in both exposure and hazard assessment are quantitatively characterized and probabilistically evaluated, resulting in a confidence interval for the final risk estimate. The methodology is applied to three example chemicals (aflatoxin, N-nitrosodimethylamine, and methyleugenol). These examples illustrate that the uncertainty in a cancer risk estimate may be huge, making single value estimates of cancer risk meaningless. Further, a risk based on linear extrapolation tends to be lower than the upper 95% confidence limit of a probabilistic risk estimate, and in that sense it is not conservative. Our conceptual analysis showed that there are two possible basic approaches for cancer risk assessment, depending on the interpretation of the dose-incidence data measured in animals. However, it remains unclear which of the two interpretations is the more adequate one, adding an additional uncertainty to the already huge confidence intervals for cancer risk estimates. © 2014 Society for Risk Analysis.

  5. Supporting Risk Assessment: Accounting for Indirect Risk to Ecosystem Components

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mach, Megan E.; Martone, Rebecca G.; Singh, Gerald G.; O, Miriam; Chan, Kai M. A.

    2016-01-01

    The multi-scalar complexity of social-ecological systems makes it challenging to quantify impacts from human activities on ecosystems, inspiring risk-based approaches to assessments of potential effects of human activities on valued ecosystem components. Risk assessments do not commonly include the risk from indirect effects as mediated via habitat and prey. In this case study from British Columbia, Canada, we illustrate how such “indirect risks” can be incorporated into risk assessments for seventeen ecosystem components. We ask whether (i) the addition of indirect risk changes the at-risk ranking of the seventeen ecosystem components and if (ii) risk scores correlate with trophic prey and habitat linkages in the food web. Even with conservative assumptions about the transfer of impacts or risks from prey species and habitats, the addition of indirect risks in the cumulative risk score changes the ranking of priorities for management. In particular, resident orca, Steller sea lion, and Pacific herring all increase in relative risk, more closely aligning these species with their “at-risk status” designations. Risk assessments are not a replacement for impact assessments, but—by considering the potential for indirect risks as we demonstrate here—they offer a crucial complementary perspective for the management of ecosystems and the organisms within. PMID:27632287

  6. Avalanche risk assessment in Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komarov, Anton; Seliverstov, Yury; Sokratov, Sergey; Glazovskaya, Tatiana; Turchaniniva, Alla

    2017-04-01

    The avalanche prone area covers about 3 million square kilometers or 18% of total area of Russia and pose a significant problem in most mountain regions of the country. The constant growth of economic activity, especially in the North Caucasus region and therefore the increased avalanche hazard lead to the demand of the large-scale avalanche risk assessment methods development. Such methods are needed for the determination of appropriate avalanche protection measures as well as for economic assessments during all stages of spatial planning of the territory. The requirement of natural hazard risk assessments is determined by the Federal Law of Russian Federation. However, Russian Guidelines (SP 11-103-97; SP 47.13330.2012) are not clearly presented concerning avalanche risk assessment calculations. A great size of Russia territory, vast diversity of natural conditions and large variations in type and level of economic development of different regions cause significant variations in avalanche risk values. At the first stage of research the small scale avalanche risk assessment was performed in order to identify the most common patterns of risk situations and to calculate full social risk and individual risk. The full social avalanche risk for the territory of country was estimated at 91 victims. The area of territory with individual risk values lesser then 1×10(-6) covers more than 92 % of mountain areas of the country. Within these territories the safety of population can be achieved mainly by organizational activities. Approximately 7% of mountain areas have 1×10(-6) - 1×10(-4) individual risk values and require specific mitigation measures to protect people and infrastructure. Territories with individual risk values 1×10(-4) and above covers about 0,1 % of the territory and include the most severe and hazardous mountain areas. The whole specter of mitigation measures is required in order to minimize risk. The future development of such areas is not recommended

  7. Risk assessment in international operations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stricklin, Daniela L.

    2008-01-01

    During international peace-keeping missions, a diverse number of non-battle hazards may be encountered, which range from heavily polluted areas, endemic disease, toxic industrial materials, local violence, traffic, and even psychological factors. Hence, elevated risk levels from a variety of sources are encountered during deployments. With the emphasis within the Swedish military moving from national defense towards prioritization of international missions in atypical environments, the risk of health consequences, including long term health effects, has received greater consideration. The Swedish military is interested in designing an optimal approach for assessment of health threats during deployments. The Medical Intelligence group at FOI CBRN Security and Defence in Umea has, on request from and in collaboration with the Swedish Armed Forces, reviewed a variety of international health threat and risk assessment models for military operations. Application of risk assessment methods used in different phases of military operations will be reviewed. An overview of different international approaches used in operational risk management (ORM) will be presented as well as a discussion of the specific needs and constraints for health risk assessment in military operations. This work highlights the specific challenges of risk assessment that are unique to the deployment setting such as the assessment of exposures to a variety of diverse hazards concurrently

  8. Implications of probabilistic risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cullingford, M.C.; Shah, S.M.; Gittus, J.H.

    1987-01-01

    Probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) is an analytical process that quantifies the likelihoods, consequences and associated uncertainties of the potential outcomes of postulated events. Starting with planned or normal operation, probabilistic risk assessment covers a wide range of potential accidents and considers the whole plant and the interactions of systems and human actions. Probabilistic risk assessment can be applied in safety decisions in design, licensing and operation of industrial facilities, particularly nuclear power plants. The proceedings include a review of PRA procedures, methods and technical issues in treating uncertainties, operating and licensing issues and future trends. Risk assessment for specific reactor types or components and specific risks (eg aircraft crashing onto a reactor) are used to illustrate the points raised. All 52 articles are indexed separately. (U.K.)

  9. Understanding the Socioeconomic Effects of Wildfires on Western U.S. Public Lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, J. J.; Srivastava, L.; Marcos-Martinez, R.

    2017-12-01

    Climate change has resulted in the increased severity and frequency of forest disturbances due to wildfires, droughts, pests and diseases that compromise the sustainable provision of forest ecosystem services (e.g., water quantity and quality, carbon sequestration, recreation). A better understanding of the environmental and socioeconomic consequences of forest disturbances (i.e., wildfires) could improve the management and protection of public lands. We used a single-site benefit transfer function and spatially explicit information for demographic, socioeconomic, and site-specific characteristics to estimate the monetized value of market and non-market ecosystem services provided by forests on Western US public lands. These estimates are then used to approximate the costs of forest disturbances caused by wildfires of varying frequency and intensity, and across sites with heterogeneous characteristics and protection and management strategies. Our analysis provides credible estimates of the benefits of the forest for land management by the United States Forest Service, thereby assisting forest managers in planning resourcing and budgeting priorities.

  10. Texas Disasters II: Utilizing NASA Earth Observations to Assist the Texas Forest Service in Mapping and Analyzing Fuel Loads and Phenology in Texas Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooke, Michael; Williams, Meredith; Fenn, Teresa

    2016-01-01

    The risk of severe wildfires in Texas has been related to weather phenomena such as climate change and recent urban expansion into wild land areas. During recent years, Texas wild land areas have experienced sequences of wet and dry years that have contributed to increased wildfire risk and frequency. To prevent and contain wildfires, the Texas Forest Service (TFS) is tasked with evaluating and reducing potential fire risk to better manage and distribute resources. This task is made more difficult due to the vast and varied landscape of Texas. The TFS assesses fire risk by understanding vegetative fuel types and fuel loads. To better assist the TFS, NASA Earth observations, including Landsat and Moderate Resolution Imaging Specrtoradiometer (MODIS) data, were analyzed to produce maps of vegetation type and specific vegetation phenology as it related to potential wildfire fuel loads. Fuel maps from 2010-2011 and 2014-2015 fire seasons, created by the Texas Disasters I project, were used and provided alternating, complementary map indicators of wildfire risk in Texas. The TFS will utilize the end products and capabilities to evaluate and better understand wildfire risk across Texas.

  11. Uncertainties in risk assessment at USDOE facilities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamilton, L.D.; Holtzman, S.; Meinhold, A.F.; Morris, S.C.; Rowe, M.D.

    1994-01-01

    The United States Department of Energy (USDOE) has embarked on an ambitious program to remediate environmental contamination at its facilities. Decisions concerning cleanup goals, choices among cleanup technologies, and funding prioritization should be largely risk-based. Risk assessments will be used more extensively by the USDOE in the future. USDOE needs to develop and refine risk assessment methods and fund research to reduce major sources of uncertainty in risk assessments at USDOE facilities. The terms{open_quote} risk assessment{close_quote} and{open_quote} risk management{close_quote} are frequently confused. The National Research Council (1983) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA, 1991a) described risk assessment as a scientific process that contributes to risk management. Risk assessment is the process of collecting, analyzing and integrating data and information to identify hazards, assess exposures and dose responses, and characterize risks. Risk characterization must include a clear presentation of {open_quotes}... the most significant data and uncertainties...{close_quotes} in an assessment. Significant data and uncertainties are {open_quotes}...those that define and explain the main risk conclusions{close_quotes}. Risk management integrates risk assessment information with other considerations, such as risk perceptions, socioeconomic and political factors, and statutes, to make and justify decisions. Risk assessments, as scientific processes, should be made independently of the other aspects of risk management (USEPA, 1991a), but current methods for assessing health risks are based on conservative regulatory principles, causing unnecessary public concern and misallocation of funds for remediation.

  12. Uncertainties in risk assessment at USDOE facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamilton, L.D.; Holtzman, S.; Meinhold, A.F.; Morris, S.C.; Rowe, M.D.

    1994-01-01

    The United States Department of Energy (USDOE) has embarked on an ambitious program to remediate environmental contamination at its facilities. Decisions concerning cleanup goals, choices among cleanup technologies, and funding prioritization should be largely risk-based. Risk assessments will be used more extensively by the USDOE in the future. USDOE needs to develop and refine risk assessment methods and fund research to reduce major sources of uncertainty in risk assessments at USDOE facilities. The terms open-quote risk assessment close-quote and open-quote risk management close-quote are frequently confused. The National Research Council (1983) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA, 1991a) described risk assessment as a scientific process that contributes to risk management. Risk assessment is the process of collecting, analyzing and integrating data and information to identify hazards, assess exposures and dose responses, and characterize risks. Risk characterization must include a clear presentation of open-quotes... the most significant data and uncertainties...close quotes in an assessment. Significant data and uncertainties are open-quotes...those that define and explain the main risk conclusionsclose quotes. Risk management integrates risk assessment information with other considerations, such as risk perceptions, socioeconomic and political factors, and statutes, to make and justify decisions. Risk assessments, as scientific processes, should be made independently of the other aspects of risk management (USEPA, 1991a), but current methods for assessing health risks are based on conservative regulatory principles, causing unnecessary public concern and misallocation of funds for remediation

  13. Advanced Test Reactor outage risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thatcher, T.A.; Atkinson, S.A.

    1997-01-01

    Beginning in 1997, risk assessment was performed for each Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) outage aiding the coordination of plant configuration and work activities (maintenance, construction projects, etc.) to minimize the risk of reactor fuel damage and to improve defense-in-depth. The risk assessment activities move beyond simply meeting Technical Safety Requirements to increase the awareness of risk sensitive configurations, to focus increased attention on the higher risk activities, and to seek cost-effective design or operational changes that reduce risk. A detailed probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) had been performed to assess the risk of fuel damage during shutdown operations including heavy load handling. This resulted in several design changes to improve safety; however, evaluation of individual outages had not been performed previously and many risk insights were not being utilized in outage planning. The shutdown PRA provided the necessary framework for assessing relative and absolute risk levels and assessing defense-in-depth. Guidelines were written identifying combinations of equipment outages to avoid. Screening criteria were developed for the selection of work activities to receive review. Tabulation of inherent and work-related initiating events and their relative risk level versus plant mode has aided identification of the risk level the scheduled work involves. Preoutage reviews are conducted and post-outage risk assessment is documented to summarize the positive and negative aspects of the outage with regard to risk. The risk for the outage is compared to the risk level that would result from optimal scheduling of the work to be performed and to baseline or average past performance

  14. Monitoring the Impacts of Wildfires on Forest Ecosystems and Public Health in the Exo-Urban Environment Using High-Resolution Satellite Aerosol Products from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huff, Amy K; Kondragunta, Shobha; Zhang, Hai; Hoff, Raymond M

    2015-01-01

    Increasing development of exo-urban environments and the spread of urbanization into forested areas is making humans and forest ecosystems more susceptible to the risks associated with wildfires. Larger and more damaging wildfires are having a negative impact on forest ecosystem services, and smoke from wildfires adversely affects the public health of people living in exo-urban environments. Satellite aerosol measurements are valuable tools that can track the evolution of wildfires and monitor the transport of smoke plumes. Operational users, such as air quality forecasters and fire management officials, can use satellite observations to complement ground-based and aircraft measurements of wildfire activity. To date, wildfire applications of satellite aerosol products, such as aerosol optical depth (AOD), have been limited by the relatively coarse resolution of available AOD data. However, the new Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) satellite has high-resolution AOD that is ideally suited to monitoring wildfire impacts on the exo-urban scale. Two AOD products are available from VIIRS: the 750-m × 750-m nadir resolution Intermediate Product (IP) and the 6-km × 6-km resolution Environmental Data Record product, which is aggregated from IP measurements. True color (red, green, and blue [RGB]) imagery and a smoke mask at 750-m × 750-m resolution are also available from VIIRS as decision aids for wildfire applications; they serve as counterparts to AOD measurements by providing visible information about areas of smoke in the atmosphere. To meet the needs of operational users, who do not have time to process raw data files and need access to VIIRS products in near-real time (NRT), VIIRS AOD and RGB NRT imagery are available from the Infusing satellite Data into Environmental Applications (IDEA) web site. A key feature of IDEA is an interactive visualization tool that allows users to

  15. GAR Global Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maskrey, Andrew; Safaie, Sahar

    2015-04-01

    Disaster risk management strategies, policies and actions need to be based on evidence of current disaster loss and risk patterns, past trends and future projections, and underlying risk factors. Faced with competing demands for resources, at any level it is only possible to priorities a range of disaster risk management strategies and investments with adequate understanding of realised losses, current and future risk levels and impacts on economic growth and social wellbeing as well as cost and impact of the strategy. The mapping and understanding of the global risk landscape has been greatly enhanced by the latest iteration of the GAR Global Risk Assessment and the objective of this submission is to present the GAR global risk assessment which contributed to Global Assessment Report (GAR) 2015. This initiative which has been led by UNISDR, was conducted by a consortium of technical institutions from around the world and has covered earthquake, cyclone, riverine flood, and tsunami probabilistic risk for all countries of the world. In addition, the risks associated with volcanic ash in the Asia-Pacific region, drought in various countries in sub-Saharan Africa and climate change in a number of countries have been calculated. The presentation will share thee results as well as the experience including the challenges faced in technical elements as well as the process and recommendations for the future of such endeavour.

  16. Deterministic quantitative risk assessment development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dawson, Jane; Colquhoun, Iain [PII Pipeline Solutions Business of GE Oil and Gas, Cramlington Northumberland (United Kingdom)

    2009-07-01

    Current risk assessment practice in pipeline integrity management is to use a semi-quantitative index-based or model based methodology. This approach has been found to be very flexible and provide useful results for identifying high risk areas and for prioritizing physical integrity assessments. However, as pipeline operators progressively adopt an operating strategy of continual risk reduction with a view to minimizing total expenditures within safety, environmental, and reliability constraints, the need for quantitative assessments of risk levels is becoming evident. Whereas reliability based quantitative risk assessments can be and are routinely carried out on a site-specific basis, they require significant amounts of quantitative data for the results to be meaningful. This need for detailed and reliable data tends to make these methods unwieldy for system-wide risk k assessment applications. This paper describes methods for estimating risk quantitatively through the calibration of semi-quantitative estimates to failure rates for peer pipeline systems. The methods involve the analysis of the failure rate distribution, and techniques for mapping the rate to the distribution of likelihoods available from currently available semi-quantitative programs. By applying point value probabilities to the failure rates, deterministic quantitative risk assessment (QRA) provides greater rigor and objectivity than can usually be achieved through the implementation of semi-quantitative risk assessment results. The method permits a fully quantitative approach or a mixture of QRA and semi-QRA to suit the operator's data availability and quality, and analysis needs. For example, consequence analysis can be quantitative or can address qualitative ranges for consequence categories. Likewise, failure likelihoods can be output as classical probabilities or as expected failure frequencies as required. (author)

  17. Evaluation of thermal risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Loos, J.J.; Perry, E.S.

    1993-01-01

    Risk assessment was done in 1983 to estimate the ecological hazard of increasing the generating load and thermal output of an electric generating station. Subsequently, long-term monitoring in the vicinity of the station allowed verification of the predictions made in the risk assessment. This presentation will review the efficacy of early risk assessment methods in producing useful predictions from a resource management point of view. In 1984, the Chalk Point Generating facility of the Potomac Electric Power Company increased it's median generating load by 100%. Prior to this operational change, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia synthesized site specific data, model predictions, and results from literature to assess the risk of additional waste heat to the Patuxent River subestuary of Chesapeake Bay. Risk was expressed as the number of days per year that various species of fish and the blue crab would be expected to avoid the discharge vicinity. Accuracy of these predictions is assessed by comparing observed fish and crab distributions and their observed frequencies of avoidance to those predicted. It is concluded that the predictions of this early risk assessment were sufficiently accurate to produce a reliable resource management decision

  18. On risk assessment of energy production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kunii, Katsuhiko

    2005-07-01

    Today we cannot ignore the risk of health and/or environment by energy production such as power generation since the risk has been made large enough. In this report an information survey has been done in order to know the outline and points of risk assessment. Based on the information of reports and literature about risk assessment, have been surveyed mainly the external cost assessment of power generation (in which quantification of health and/or environment risk has been done), in addition, risks of disasters, accidents, investments, finance etc. and impacts of those risks on social activities. The remarks obtained by the survey are as follows: 1) Some of external cost assessment of power generation show different results even if the assessment conditions of technology, site, etc. are mostly the same. It is necessary to remark on the information such as basic data, model, background, application limit of assessment considering the reliability. 2) Especially it is considered that the reliability of risk assessment is not enough at present because of the lack of basic data. (author)

  19. Defense Programs Transportation Risk Assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clauss, D.B.

    1994-01-01

    This paper provides an overview of the methodology used in a probabilistic transportation risk assessment conducted to assess the probabilities and consequences of inadvertent dispersal of radioactive materials arising from severe transportation accidents. The model was developed for the Defense Program Transportation Risk Assessment (DPTRA) study. The analysis incorporates several enhancements relative to previous risk assessments of hazardous materials transportation including newly-developed statistics on the frequencies and severities of tractor semitrailer accidents and detailed route characterization using the 1990 Census data

  20. Risk Factor Assessment Branch (RFAB)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Risk Factor Assessment Branch (RFAB) focuses on the development, evaluation, and dissemination of high-quality risk factor metrics, methods, tools, technologies, and resources for use across the cancer research continuum, and the assessment of cancer-related risk factors in the population.

  1. Risk assessments ensure safer power

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1982-02-19

    A growth industry is emerging devoted to the study and comparison of the economic, social and health risks posed by large industrial installations. Electricity generation is one area coming under particularly close scrutiny. Types of risk, ways of assessing risk and the difference between experts' analyses and the public perception of risk are given. An example of improved risk assessment helping to reduce deaths and injuries in coal mining is included.

  2. Terrestrial Condition Assessment for National Forests of the USDA Forest Service in the Continental US

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Cleland

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The terrestrial condition assessment (TCA evaluates effects of uncharacteristic stressors and disturbance agents on land-type associations (LTAs to identify restoration opportunities on national forest system (NFS lands in the United States. A team of agency scientists and managers, representing a broad array of natural resource disciplines, developed a logic structure for the TCA to identify appropriate data sources to support analyses. Primary national data sources included observed insect- and pathogen-induced mortality, key critical loads for soil and the atmosphere, long term seasonal departures in temperature and precipitation, road densities, uncharacteristic wildfires, historical fire regime departure, wildfire potential, insect and pathogen risk, and vegetation departure from natural range of variability. The TCA was implemented with the ecosystem management decision support (EMDS system, a spatial decision support system for landscape analysis and planning. EMDS uses logic models to interpret data, synthesizes information over successive layers of logic topics, and draws inferences about the ecological integrity of LTAs as an initial step to identifying high priority LTAs for landscape restoration on NFS lands. Results from the analysis showed that about 74 percent of NFS lands had moderate or better overall ecological integrity. Major impacts to ecological integrity included risk of mortality due to insects and disease, extent of current mortality, extent of areas with high and very high wildfire hazard potential, uncharacteristically severe wildfire, and elevated temperatures. In the discussion, we consider implications for agency performance reporting on restoration activities, and subsequent possible steps, including strategic and tactical planning for restoration. The objective of the paper is to describe the TCA framework with results from a national scale application on NFS lands.

  3. Risk assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Liselotte; Rasmussen, Kirsten; Elsass, Peter

    2010-01-01

    International research suggests that using formalized risk assessment methods may improve the predictive validity of professionals' predictions of risk of future violence. This study presents data on forensic psychiatric patients discharged from a forensic unit in Denmark in year 2001-2002 (n=107...... and the individual dynamic items strengthen the use of this scheme in clinical practice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)...

  4. Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... HRS Find a Specialist Share Twitter Facebook SCA Risk Assessment Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) occurs abruptly and without ... people of all ages and health conditions. Start Risk Assessment The Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Risk Assessment Tool ...

  5. Hydrologic effects of large southwestern USA wildfires significantly increase regional water supply: fact or fiction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wine, M. L.; Cadol, D.

    2016-08-01

    In recent years climate change and historic fire suppression have increased the frequency of large wildfires in the southwestern USA, motivating study of the hydrological consequences of these wildfires at point and watershed scales, typically over short periods of time. These studies have revealed that reduced soil infiltration capacity and reduced transpiration due to tree canopy combustion increase streamflow at the watershed scale. However, the degree to which these local increases in runoff propagate to larger scales—relevant to urban and agricultural water supply—remains largely unknown, particularly in semi-arid mountainous watersheds co-dominated by winter snowmelt and the North American monsoon. To address this question, we selected three New Mexico watersheds—the Jemez (1223 km2), Mogollon (191 km2), and Gila (4807 km2)—that together have been affected by over 100 wildfires since 1982. We then applied climate-driven linear models to test for effects of fire on streamflow metrics after controlling for climatic variability. Here we show that, after controlling for climatic and snowpack variability, significantly more streamflow discharged from the Gila watershed for three to five years following wildfires, consistent with increased regional water yield due to enhanced infiltration-excess overland flow and groundwater recharge at the large watershed scale. In contrast, we observed no such increase in discharge from the Jemez watershed following wildfires. Fire regimes represent a key difference between the contrasting responses of the Jemez and Gila watersheds with the latter experiencing more frequent wildfires, many caused by lightning strikes. While hydrologic dynamics at the scale of large watersheds were previously thought to be climatically dominated, these results suggest that if one fifth or more of a large watershed has been burned in the previous three to five years, significant increases in water yield can be expected.

  6. Declines revisited: Long-term recovery and spatial population dynamics oftailed frog larvae after wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Honeycutt, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Drought has fueled an increased frequency and severity of large wildfires in many ecosystems. Despite an increase in research on wildfire effects on vertebrates, the vast majority of it has focused on short-term (effects and there is still little information on the time scale of population recovery for species that decline in abundance after fire. In 2003, a large wildfire in Montana (USA) burned the watersheds of four of eight streams that we sampled for larval Rocky Mountain tailed frogs (Ascaphus montanus) in 2001. Surveys during 2004–2005 revealed reduced abundance of larvae in burned streams relative to unburned streams, with greater declines associated with increased fire extent. Rocky Mountain tailed frogs have low vagility and have several unusual life-history traits that could slow population recovery, including an extended larval period (4 years), delayed sexual maturity (6–8 years), and low fecundity (negative effects of burn extent on larval abundance weakened> 58% within 12 years after the fire. We also found moderate synchrony among populations in unburned streams and negative spatial autocorrelation among populations in burned streams. We suspect negative spatial autocorrelation among spatially-clustered burned streams reflected increased post-fire patchiness in resources and different rates of local recovery. Our results add to a growing body of work that suggests populations in intact ecosystems tend to be resilient to habitat changes caused by wildfire. Our results also provide important insights into recovery times of populations that have been negatively affected by severe wildfire.

  7. Integrated climate change risk assessment:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaspersen, Per Skougaard; Halsnæs, Kirsten

    2017-01-01

    Risk assessments of flooding in urban areas during extreme precipitation for use in, for example, decision-making regarding climate adaptation, are surrounded by great uncertainties stemming from climate model projections, methods of downscaling and the assumptions of socioeconomic impact models...... to address the complex linkages between the different kinds of data required in assessing climate adaptation. It emphasizes that the availability of spatially explicit data can reduce the overall uncertainty of the risk assessment and assist in identifying key vulnerable assets. The usefulness...... of such a framework is demonstrated by means of a risk assessment of flooding from extreme precipitation for the city of Odense, Denmark. A sensitivity analysis shows how the presence of particularly important assets, such as cultural and historical heritage, may be addressed in assessing such risks. The output...

  8. Forest bioenergy system to reduce the hazard of wildfires: White Mountains, Arizona

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Neary, Daniel G.; Zieroth, Elaine J.

    2007-01-01

    In an innovative effort, the USDA Forest Service is planning to reduce the long-term threat of catastrophic wildfires by inaugurating a series of forest thinnings for bioenergy. The start-up project is in the Nutrioso area of the Alpine Ranger District, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. ''The Nutrioso Wildland/Urban Interface Fuels Reduction Project'', under the authority of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003, addresses the existing condition of the forest, defines the desired condition of the forest, and proposes actions that will result in a healthier forest and a reduced risk from wildfire. This project is part of larger-scale, small-diameter tree thinning covering an area of 607 km 2 over a 10-yr period. Although the Nutrioso Project encompasses 213 km 2 of mixed ownerships, only National Forest lands (79%) will be treated. A variety of thinning and fire prescriptions have been established depending on slopes, road access, and distance from private land. The mostly small-diameter (<12 cm) trees in ponderosa pine and mixed conifer stands are being removed under a ''Stewardship Contract'' for utilization in small power plants (<3 MW), and a wood-heating pellet manufacturing facility. The outlet for the wood fuel pellets is the growing market for house and business heating, and co-generation fuel in a 615 MW coal-fired power station. This paper examines the scope, costs, and environmental trade-offs of this pioneering and remarkably successful effort in forest bioenergy in the southwestern USA. (author)

  9. Making the decision to mitigate risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingrid M. Martin; Holly Wise Bender; Carol Raish

    2007-01-01

    Why individuals choose to mitigate, downplay, or ignore risk has been a topic of much research over the past 25 years for natural- and human-created risks, such as earthquakes, flooding, smoking, contraceptive use, and alcohol consumption. Wildfire has been a relatively recent focus in the natural hazard literature, perhaps a result of several years of catastrophic...

  10. A simulation of probabilistic wildfire risk components for the continental United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Finney; Charles W. McHugh; Isaac C. Grenfell; Karin L. Riley; Karen C. Short

    2011-01-01

    This simulation research was conducted in order to develop a large-fire risk assessment system for the contiguous land area of the United States. The modeling system was applied to each of 134 Fire Planning Units (FPUs) to estimate burn probabilities and fire size distributions. To obtain stable estimates of these quantities, fire ignition and growth was simulated for...

  11. Aerosol Optical Properties and Trace Gas Emissions From Laboratory-Simulated Western US Wildfires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selimovic, V.; Yokelson, R. J.; Warneke, C.; Roberts, J. M.; De Gouw, J. A.; Reardon, J.; Griffith, D. W. T.

    2017-12-01

    Western wildfires have a major impact on air quality in the US. In the fall of 2016, 107 fires were burned in the large-scale combustion facility at the US Forest Service Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory as part of the Fire Influence on Regional and Global Environments Experiment (FIREX). Canopy, litter, duff, dead wood, and other fuels from various widespread coniferous and chaparral ecosystems were burned in combinations to represent relevant configurations in the field and as pure components to investigate the effects of individual fuels. The smoke emissions were characterized by a large suite of state-of-the-art instruments. In this study we report emission factor (EF, g compound emitted per kg fuel burned) measurements in fresh smoke of a diverse suite of critically-important trace gases measured by open-path Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (OP-FTIR). We also report aerosol optical properties (absorption EF, single scattering albedo (SSA) and Ångström absorption exponent (AAE)) as well as black carbon (BC) EF measured by photoacoustic extinctiometers (PAX) at 870 and 401 nm. A careful comparison with available field measurements of wildfires confirms that representative data can be extracted from the lab fire data. The OP-FTIR data show that ammonia (1.65 g kg-1), acetic acid (2.44 g kg-1), and other trace gases are significant emissions not previously measured for US wildfires. The PAX measurements show that brown carbon (BrC) absorption is most dominant for combustion of duff (AAE 7.13) and rotten wood (AAE 4.60): fuels that are consumed in greater amounts during wildfires than prescribed fires. We confirm that about 86% of the aerosol absorption at 401 nm in typical fresh wildfire smoke is due to BrC.

  12. Perceptions of Post-Wildfire Landscape Change and Recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooistra, C. M.; Hall, T. E.; Paveglio, T.; Carroll, M.; Smith, A. M.

    2013-12-01

    Considering the dynamic nature of the earth and climate systems and the increasing potential for widespread forest disturbances, it is important to understand the implications of landscape changes, and perceptions of changes, on people's responses to forest disturbances. Understanding how people perceive landscape change over time following forest disturbances helps researchers, land managers, and community leaders identify important biophysical and social characteristics that influence the vulnerability of people who experience forest disturbances, as well as their responses to those disturbances. This poster describes people's perceptions of landscape change following a significant wildfire. The lightning ignited Dahl fire burned 12 miles southeast of Roundup, MT mostly on private land in the summer of June 2012. The fire burned approximately 22,000 acres and destroyed 73 residences. We conducted interviews in the summer of 2013 with more than 40 residents, land managers, emergency personnel, and other stakeholders. While interviews covered several topics, this poster focuses on responses to questions regarding perceptions of short- and long-term landscape change after the fire, including both social and biophysical perspectives. Interviews revealed that people's understanding of the role of wildfires as a natural ecosystem process, as well as their connections with the landscape (i.e., sense of place), were important factors that influenced their perceptions of landscape change after the fire. Many respondents discussed the landscape ';recovering' to pre-fire conditions in longer-term timeframes, such as ';multiple generations.' They often referenced previous wildfires, the Hawk Creek fire (1984) and the Majeras fire (2006), by explaining how parts of the landscape affected by the Dahl fire might compare to certain areas of the previous fires. Variations in recovery expectations were often based on perceptions of the severity of the fire (especially temperature

  13. Assessing Your Weight and Health Risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Health Professional Resources Assessing Your Weight and Health Risk Assessment of weight and health risk involves using ... risk for developing obesity-associated diseases or conditions. Risk Factors for Health Topics Associated With Obesity Along ...

  14. Recovery of microbial community structure and functioning after wildfire in semi-arid environments: optimising methods for monitoring and assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Martini, Dylan; Erickson, Todd; Merritt, David; Dixon, Kingsley

    2015-04-01

    Introduction In semi-arid areas such as northern Western Australia, wildfires are a natural part of the environment and many ecosystems in these landscapes have evolved and developed a strong relationship with fire. Soil microbial communities play a crucial role in ecosystem processes by regulating the cycling of nutrients via decomposition, mineralization, and immobilization processes. Thus, the structure (e.g. soil microbial biomass) and functioning (e.g. soil microbial activity) of microbial communities, as well as their changes after ecosystem disturbance, can be useful indicators of soil quality and health recovery. In this research, we assess the impacts of fire on soil microbial communities and their recovery in a biodiverse semi-arid environment of Western Australia (Pilbara region). New methods for determining soil microbial respiration as an indicator of microbial activity and soil health are also tested. Methodology Soil samples were collected from 10 similar ecosystems in the Pilbara with analogous native vegetation, but differing levels of post-fire disturbance (i.e. 3 months, 1 year, 5, 7 and 14 years after wildfire). Soil microbial activity was measured with the Solvita test which determines soil microbial respiration rate based on the measurement of the CO2 burst of a dry soil after it is moistened. Soils were dried and re-wetted and a CO2 probe was inserted before incubation at constant conditions of 25°C during 24 h. Measurements were taken with a digital mini spectrometer. Microbial (bacteria and fungi) biomass and community composition were measured by phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA). Results Immediately after the fire (i.e. 3 months), soil microbial activity and microbial biomass are similar to 14 years 'undisturbed' levels (53.18±3.68 ppm CO2-CO and 14.07±0.65 mg kg-1, respectively). However, after the first year post-fire, with larger plant productivity, microbial biomass and microbial activity increase rapidly, peaking after 5

  15. Airborne measurements of western U.S. wildfire emissions: Comparison with prescribed burning and air quality implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaoxi; Huey, L. Gregory; Yokelson, Robert J.; Selimovic, Vanessa; Simpson, Isobel J.; Müller, Markus; Jimenez, Jose L.; Campuzano-Jost, Pedro; Beyersdorf, Andreas J.; Blake, Donald R.; Butterfield, Zachary; Choi, Yonghoon; Crounse, John D.; Day, Douglas A.; Diskin, Glenn S.; Dubey, Manvendra K.; Fortner, Edward; Hanisco, Thomas F.; Hu, Weiwei; King, Laura E.; Kleinman, Lawrence; Meinardi, Simone; Mikoviny, Tomas; Onasch, Timothy B.; Palm, Brett B.; Peischl, Jeff; Pollack, Ilana B.; Ryerson, Thomas B.; Sachse, Glen W.; Sedlacek, Arthur J.; Shilling, John E.; Springston, Stephen; St. Clair, Jason M.; Tanner, David J.; Teng, Alexander P.; Wennberg, Paul O.; Wisthaler, Armin; Wolfe, Glenn M.

    2017-06-01

    Wildfires emit significant amounts of pollutants that degrade air quality. Plumes from three wildfires in the western U.S. were measured from aircraft during the Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS) and the Biomass Burning Observation Project (BBOP), both in summer 2013. This study reports an extensive set of emission factors (EFs) for over 80 gases and 5 components of submicron particulate matter (PM1) from these temperate wildfires. These include rarely, or never before, measured oxygenated volatile organic compounds and multifunctional organic nitrates. The observed EFs are compared with previous measurements of temperate wildfires, boreal forest fires, and temperate prescribed fires. The wildfires emitted high amounts of PM1 (with organic aerosol (OA) dominating the mass) with an average EF that is more than 2 times the EFs for prescribed fires. The measured EFs were used to estimate the annual wildfire emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, total nonmethane organic compounds, and PM1 from 11 western U.S. states. The estimated gas emissions are generally comparable with the 2011 National Emissions Inventory (NEI). However, our PM1 emission estimate (1530 ± 570 Gg yr-1) is over 3 times that of the NEI PM2.5 estimate and is also higher than the PM2.5 emitted from all other sources in these states in the NEI. This study indicates that the source of OA from biomass burning in the western states is significantly underestimated. In addition, our results indicate that prescribed burning may be an effective method to reduce fine particle emissions.

  16. Working with neighborhood organizations to promote wildfire preparedness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holly Johnson Shiralipour; Martha C. Monroe; Michelle Payton

    2006-01-01

    Several government agencies and other natural resource managers have instituted outreach programs to promote wildfire preparedness in wildland-urban interface (WUI) neighborhoods that complement community-wide efforts. To help these programs become more effective, research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of the role that neighbors and neighborhood...

  17. Inclusion of biomass burning in WRF-Chem: impact of wildfires on weather forecasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Grell

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available A plume rise algorithm for wildfires was included in WRF-Chem, and applied to look at the impact of intense wildfires during the 2004 Alaska wildfire season on weather simulations using model resolutions of 10 km and 2 km. Biomass burning emissions were estimated using a biomass burning emissions model. In addition, a 1-D, time-dependent cloud model was used online in WRF-Chem to estimate injection heights as well as the vertical distribution of the emission rates. It was shown that with the inclusion of the intense wildfires of the 2004 fire season in the model simulations, the interaction of the aerosols with the atmospheric radiation led to significant modifications of vertical profiles of temperature and moisture in cloud-free areas. On the other hand, when clouds were present, the high concentrations of fine aerosol (PM2.5 and the resulting large numbers of Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN had a strong impact on clouds and cloud microphysics, with decreased precipitation coverage and precipitation amounts during the first 12 h of the integration. During the afternoon, storms were of convective nature and appeared significantly stronger, probably as a result of both the interaction of aerosols with radiation (through an increase in CAPE as well as the interaction with cloud microphysics.

  18. Airborne In-Situ Trace Gas Measurements of Multiple Wildfires in California (2013-2014)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iraci, L. T.; Yates, E. L.; Tanaka, T.; Roby, M.; Gore, W.; Clements, C. B.; Lareau, N.; Ambrosia, V. G.; Quayle, B.; Schroeder, W.

    2014-12-01

    Biomass burning emissions are an important source of a wide range of trace gases and particles that can impact local, regional and global air quality, climate forcing, biogeochemical cycles and human health. In the western US, wildfires dominate over prescribed fires, contributing to atmospheric trace gas budgets and regional and local air pollution. Limited sampling of emissions from wildfires means western US emission estimates rely largely on data from prescribed fires, which may not be a suitable proxy for wildfire emissions. We report here in-situ measurements of carbon dioxide, methane, ozone and water vapor from the plumes of a variety of wildfires sampled in California in the fire seasons of 2013 and 2014. Included in the analysis are the Rim Fire (August - October 2013, near Yosemite National Park), the Morgan Fire (September 2013, near Clayton, CA), and the El Portal Fire (July - August 2014, in Yosemite National Park), among others. When possible, fires were sampled on multiple days. Emission ratios and estimated emission factors will be presented and discussed in the context of fuel composition, plume structure, and fire phase. Correlations of plume chemical composition to MODIS/VIIRS Fire Radiative Power (FRP) and other remote sensing information will be explored. Furthermore, the role of plumes in delivery of enhanced ozone concentrations to downwind municipalities will be discussed.

  19. Risk assessment theory, methods, and applications

    CERN Document Server

    Rausand, Marvin

    2011-01-01

    With its balanced coverage of theory and applications along with standards and regulations, Risk Assessment: Theory, Methods, and Applications serves as a comprehensive introduction to the topic. The book serves as a practical guide to current risk analysis and risk assessment, emphasizing the possibility of sudden, major accidents across various areas of practice from machinery and manufacturing processes to nuclear power plants and transportation systems. The author applies a uniform framework to the discussion of each method, setting forth clear objectives and descriptions, while also shedding light on applications, essential resources, and advantages and disadvantages. Following an introduction that provides an overview of risk assessment, the book is organized into two sections that outline key theory, methods, and applications. * Introduction to Risk Assessment defines key concepts and details the steps of a thorough risk assessment along with the necessary quantitative risk measures. Chapters outline...

  20. The issue of risk dilution in risk assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilmot, R.; Robinson, P.

    2004-01-01

    This paper explores an issue that was first highlighted more than 20 years ago during an inquiry concerning the Sizeweli B nuclear power station in the UK. In the probabilistic safety assessment for this plant, the proponent had apparently reduced its estimates of risk by admitting to increased uncertainty about the timing of certain events. This situation is counter-intuitive, since an increase in uncertainty about the factors contributing to safety would be expected to lead to less confidence and hence to greater risk. This paradoxical situation was termed 'risk dilution' and it has been a topic of interest to reviewers of safety cases since. The recent international peer review of the Yucca Mountain performance assessments concluded that there was a potential for risk dilution in the assumptions and calculations presented. The next section describes how assumptions about the timing of events and other aspects of an assessment may lead to risk dilution, and this is followed by two examples based on recent performance assessments. The final section discusses how potential problems can be identified in safety cases, and the types of response that a regulator might adopt as a result. (authors)

  1. Assessing fire impacts on the carbon stability of fire-tolerant forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Lauren T; Bruce, Matthew J; Machunter, Josephine; Kohout, Michele; Krishnaraj, Saravanan Jangammanaidu; Aponte, Cristina

    2017-12-01

    The carbon stability of fire-tolerant forests is often assumed but less frequently assessed, limiting the potential to anticipate threats to forest carbon posed by predicted increases in forest fire activity. Assessing the carbon stability of fire-tolerant forests requires multi-indicator approaches that recognize the myriad ways that fires influence the carbon balance, including combustion, deposition of pyrogenic material, and tree death, post-fire decomposition, recruitment, and growth. Five years after a large-scale wildfire in southeastern Australia, we assessed the impacts of low- and high-severity wildfire, with and without prescribed fire (≤10 yr before), on carbon stocks in multiple pools, and on carbon stability indicators (carbon stock percentages in live trees and in small trees, and carbon stocks in char and fuels) in fire-tolerant eucalypt forests. Relative to unburned forest, high-severity wildfire decreased short-term (five-year) carbon stability by significantly decreasing live tree carbon stocks and percentage stocks in live standing trees (reflecting elevated tree mortality), by increasing the percentage of live tree carbon in small trees (those vulnerable to the next fire), and by potentially increasing the probability of another fire through increased elevated fine fuel loads. In contrast, low-severity wildfire enhanced carbon stability by having negligible effects on aboveground stocks and indicators, and by significantly increasing carbon stocks in char and, in particular, soils, indicating pyrogenic carbon accumulation. Overall, recent preceding prescribed fire did not markedly influence wildfire effects on short-term carbon stability at stand scales. Despite wide confidence intervals around mean stock differences, indicating uncertainty about the magnitude of fire effects in these natural forests, our assessment highlights the need for active management of carbon assets in fire-tolerant eucalypt forests under contemporary fire regimes

  2. Risk Assessment in the Maritime Industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Mousavi

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Risk assessment is a well-developed field which many operators are currently applying to improve their operations and reduce their risk exposure. This paper is intended to provide an overview of the risk assessment for mariners in the Maritime transportation. The risks addressed are primarily those affecting the safety of a vessel, facility or operation. The concept of risk is defined, and the methods available to assess the risks associated with an operation are described. Regulatory requirements that have prompted the development of modern risk assessment practices are described, and future regulatory trends are discussed. There are many different analysis techniques and models that have been developed to aid in conducting risk assessments. A key to any successful risk analysis is choosing the right method (or combination of methods for the situation at hand. This is achieved through critical analysis of the available data concerning marine crises. This paper provides a brief introduction to some of the analysis methods available and suggests risk analysis approaches to support different types of decision making within the maritime transportation to cope with crises. Finally, as awareness of risk assessment increases, the benefits which can be realized through its application will continue to increase. Organizations in both the public and the private sector are becoming more and more familiar with the benefits associated with risk-based approaches to managing safety and consequently reducing crisis in maritime transportation.

  3. The MARINA Risk Assessment Strategy: A Flexible Strategy for Efficient Information Collection and Risk Assessment of Nanomaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Peter M J; Gottardo, Stefania; Scott-Fordsmand, Janeck J; van Tongeren, Martie; Semenzin, Elena; Fernandes, Teresa F; Hristozov, Danail; Hund-Rinke, Kerstin; Hunt, Neil; Irfan, Muhammad-Adeel; Landsiedel, Robert; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M; Sánchez Jiménez, Araceli; van Kesteren, Petra C E; Oomen, Agnes G

    2015-11-27

    An engineered nanomaterial (ENM) may actually consist of a population of primary particles, aggregates and agglomerates of various sizes. Furthermore, their physico-chemical characteristics may change during the various life-cycle stages. It will probably not be feasible to test all varieties of all ENMs for possible health and environmental risks. There is therefore a need to further develop the approaches for risk assessment of ENMs. Within the EU FP7 project Managing Risks of Nanoparticles (MARINA) a two-phase risk assessment strategy has been developed. In Phase 1 (Problem framing) a base set of information is considered, relevant exposure scenarios (RESs) are identified and the scope for Phase 2 (Risk assessment) is established. The relevance of an RES is indicated by information on exposure, fate/kinetics and/or hazard; these three domains are included as separate pillars that contain specific tools. Phase 2 consists of an iterative process of risk characterization, identification of data needs and integrated collection and evaluation of data on the three domains, until sufficient information is obtained to conclude on possible risks in a RES. Only data are generated that are considered to be needed for the purpose of risk assessment. A fourth pillar, risk characterization, is defined and it contains risk assessment tools. This strategy describes a flexible and efficient approach for data collection and risk assessment which is essential to ensure safety of ENMs. Further developments are needed to provide guidance and make the MARINA Risk Assessment Strategy operational. Case studies will be needed to refine the strategy.

  4. The MARINA Risk Assessment Strategy: A Flexible Strategy for Efficient Information Collection and Risk Assessment of Nanomaterials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter M. J. Bos

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available An engineered nanomaterial (ENM may actually consist of a population of primary particles, aggregates and agglomerates of various sizes. Furthermore, their physico-chemical characteristics may change during the various life-cycle stages. It will probably not be feasible to test all varieties of all ENMs for possible health and environmental risks. There is therefore a need to further develop the approaches for risk assessment of ENMs. Within the EU FP7 project Managing Risks of Nanoparticles (MARINA a two-phase risk assessment strategy has been developed. In Phase 1 (Problem framing a base set of information is considered, relevant exposure scenarios (RESs are identified and the scope for Phase 2 (Risk assessment is established. The relevance of an RES is indicated by information on exposure, fate/kinetics and/or hazard; these three domains are included as separate pillars that contain specific tools. Phase 2 consists of an iterative process of risk characterization, identification of data needs and integrated collection and evaluation of data on the three domains, until sufficient information is obtained to conclude on possible risks in a RES. Only data are generated that are considered to be needed for the purpose of risk assessment. A fourth pillar, risk characterization, is defined and it contains risk assessment tools. This strategy describes a flexible and efficient approach for data collection and risk assessment which is essential to ensure safety of ENMs. Further developments are needed to provide guidance and make the MARINA Risk Assessment Strategy operational. Case studies will be needed to refine the strategy.

  5. Business risks, functions, methods of assessment and ways to reduce risk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.V. Mihalchuk

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available For successful existence in a market economy entrepreneur have to take bold actions, and this increases the risk. The article describes the concept of entrepreneurship and business risk, positive and negative aspects of functions of risk in business. Therefore, it is necessary to assess the risk properly and be able to manage it to achieve the most effective results in the market. In market conditions the problem of assessing and accounting market becomes independent theoretical and practical significance as an important component of the theory and practice of management. Risk - a key element of business activities. Development of risk situations can lead to both the occurrence of adverse effects (losses, lost profits, and positive results for a company in the form of increased profit. This article describes: the concept of entrepreneurship, risk and business risks, characteristic of positive and negative aspects of risk functions in business, methods of assessment and risk reduction, shows formulae and examples you can use to assess risk in an enterprise. Analyzing already established methods of risk assessment a number of rules were proposed in order to reduce business risk.

  6. Risk Assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Hrdová, Edita

    2012-01-01

    This diploma thesis is focused on companies risk evaluation before endorsement of Loan deriving from business relationships. The aim of this thesis is not only to describe individual steps of risk assessment, but also perfom analysis of particular companies based on available data, i.e. Balance sheet, Profit and Loss statement and external rating and after that propose solution for each company. My analysis will be based on theoretical knowledge, further on experience related to my job role a...

  7. HTGR accident and risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silady, F.A.; Everline, C.J.; Houghton, W.J.

    1982-01-01

    This paper is a synopsis of the high-temperature gas-cooled reactor probabilistic risk assessments (PRAs) performed by General Atomic Company. Principal topics presented include: HTGR safety assessments, peer interfaces, safety research, process gas explosions, quantitative safety goals, licensing applications of PRA, enhanced safety, investment risk assessments, and PRA design integration

  8. Anthropic Risk Assessment on Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piragnolo, M.; Pirotti, F.; Vettore, A.; Salogni, G.

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents a methodology for risk assessment of anthropic activities on habitats and species. The method has been developed for Veneto Region, in order to simplify and improve the quality of EIA procedure (VINCA). Habitats and species, animals and plants, are protected by European Directive 92/43/EEC and 2009/147/EC but they are subject at hazard due to pollution produced by human activities. Biodiversity risks may conduct to deterioration and disturbance in ecological niches, with consequence of loss of biodiversity. Ecological risk assessment applied on Natura 2000 network, is needed to best practice of management and monitoring of environment and natural resources. Threats, pressure and activities, stress and indicators may be managed by geodatabase and analysed using GIS technology. The method used is the classic risk assessment in ecological context, and it defines the natural hazard as influence, element of risk as interference and vulnerability. Also it defines a new parameter called pressure. It uses risk matrix for the risk analysis on spatial and temporal scale. The methodology is qualitative and applies the precautionary principle in environmental assessment. The final product is a matrix which excludes the risk and could find application in the development of a territorial information system.

  9. Risk assessment and the environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fisk, D.J.

    1992-01-01

    This paper reviews the use of risk assessment techniques in the field of environment protection. I will argue that in some important instances the development of environment policy has been a source of fruitful development of a risk based methodologies. In other cases the importation of risk assessment techniques has proved much more problematic. As the scope of environmental regulation increases so does the possibility of inconsistent and arbitrary solutions to problems. The need for a more systematic approach to the development of environmental regulation has never been stronger, so it is important to understand the reasons for the mixed success of risk assessment. This applies equally to those nations with long traditions of the regulation of private sector industry and those just beginning on this course. The way ahead may be to extend our ideas of how to express risk and uncertainty. Some of the recent cause celebres of environment policy show this challenge very clearly. As an example, this paper will look at the problem of assessing the risk of man-made climate change

  10. Risk assessment and the environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fisk, D J [Department of the Environment (United Kingdom)

    1992-07-01

    This paper reviews the use of risk assessment techniques in the field of environment protection. I will argue that in some important instances the development of environment policy has been a source of fruitful development of a risk based methodologies. In other cases the importation of risk assessment techniques has proved much more problematic. As the scope of environmental regulation increases so does the possibility of inconsistent and arbitrary solutions to problems. The need for a more systematic approach to the development of environmental regulation has never been stronger, so it is important to understand the reasons for the mixed success of risk assessment. This applies equally to those nations with long traditions of the regulation of private sector industry and those just beginning on this course. The way ahead may be to extend our ideas of how to express risk and uncertainty. Some of the recent cause celebres of environment policy show this challenge very clearly. As an example, this paper will look at the problem of assessing the risk of man-made climate change.

  11. Examining the Potential of Forest Residue-Based Amendments for Post-Wildfire Rehabilitation in Colorado, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles C. Rhoades

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Wildfire is a natural disturbance, though elemental losses and changes that occur during combustion and post-fire erosion can have long-term impacts on soil properties, ecosystem productivity, and watershed condition. Here we evaluate the potential of forest residue-based materials to rehabilitate burned soils. We compare soil nutrient and water availability, and plant recovery after application of 37 t ha−1 of wood mulch, 20 t ha−1 of biochar, and the combination of the two amendments with untreated, burned soils. We also conducted a greenhouse trial to examine how biochar influenced soil nutrient and water content under two wetting regimes. The effects of wood mulch on plant-available soil N and water content were significant and seasonally consistent during the three-year field study. Biochar applied alone had few effects under field conditions, but significantly increased soil pH, Ca, P, and water in the greenhouse. The mulched biochar treatment had the greatest effects on soil N and water availability and increased cover of the most abundant native plant. We found that rehabilitation treatments consisting of forest residue-based products have potential to enhance soil N and water dynamics and plant recovery following severe wildfire and may be justified where erosion risk or water supply protection are crucial.

  12. Nuclear insurance risk assessment using risk-based methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wendland, W.G.

    1992-01-01

    This paper presents American Nuclear Insurers' (ANI's) and Mutual Atomic Energy Liability Underwriters' (MAELU's) process and experience for conducting nuclear insurance risk assessments using a risk-based methodology. The process is primarily qualitative and uses traditional insurance risk assessment methods and an approach developed under the auspices of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in which ANI/MAELU is an active sponsor. This process assists ANI's technical resources in identifying where to look for insurance risk in an industry in which insurance exposure tends to be dynamic and nonactuarial. The process is an evolving one that also seeks to minimize the impact on insureds while maintaining a mutually agreeable risk tolerance

  13. From Data to Knowledge — Faster: GOES Early Fire Detection System to Inform Operational Wildfire Response and Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koltunov, A.; Quayle, B.; Prins, E. M.; Ambrosia, V. G.; Ustin, S.

    2014-12-01

    Fire managers at various levels require near-real-time, low-cost, systematic, and reliable early detection capabilities with minimal latency to effectively respond to wildfire ignitions and minimize the risk of catastrophic development. The GOES satellite images collected for vast territories at high temporal frequencies provide a consistent and reliable source for operational active fire mapping realized by the WF-ABBA algorithm. However, their potential to provide early warning or rapid confirmation of initial fire ignition reports from conventional sources remains underutilized, partly because the operational wildfire detection has been successfully optimized for users and applications for which timeliness of initial detection is a low priority, contrasting to the needs of first responders. We present our progress in developing the GOES Early Fire Detection (GOES-EFD) system, a collaborative effort led by University of California-Davis and USDA Forest Service. The GOES-EFD specifically focuses on first detection timeliness for wildfire incidents. It is automatically trained for a monitored scene and capitalizes on multiyear cross-disciplinary algorithm research. Initial retrospective tests in Western US demonstrate significantly earlier identification detection of new ignitions than existing operational capabilities and a further improvement prospect. The GOES-EFD-β prototype will be initially deployed for the Western US region to process imagery from GOES-NOP and the rapid and 4 times higher spatial resolution imagery from GOES-R — the upcoming next generation of GOES satellites. These and other enhanced capabilities of GOES-R are expected to significantly improve the timeliness of fire ignition information from GOES-EFD.

  14. The sensitivity of US wildfire occurrence to pre-season soil moisture conditions across ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Daniel; Reager, John T.; Zajic, Brittany; Rousseau, Nick; Rodell, Matthew; Hinkley, Everett

    2018-01-01

    It is generally accepted that year-to-year variability in moisture conditions and drought are linked with increased wildfire occurrence. However, quantifying the sensitivity of wildfire to surface moisture state at seasonal lead-times has been challenging due to the absence of a long soil moisture record with the appropriate coverage and spatial resolution for continental-scale analysis. Here we apply model simulations of surface soil moisture that numerically assimilate observations from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission with the USDA Forest Service’s historical Fire-Occurrence Database over the contiguous United States. We quantify the relationships between pre-fire-season soil moisture and subsequent-year wildfire occurrence by land-cover type and produce annual probable wildfire occurrence and burned area maps at 0.25 degree resolution. Cross-validated results generally indicate a higher occurrence of smaller fires when months preceding fire season are wet, while larger fires are more frequent when soils are dry. This is consistent with the concept of increased fuel accumulation under wet conditions in the pre-season. These results demonstrate the fundamental strength of the relationship between soil moisture and fire activity at long lead-times and are indicative of that relationship’s utility for the future development of national-scale predictive capability.

  15. Carbon sequestration potential and physicochemical properties differ between wildfire charcoals and slow-pyrolysis biochars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santín, Cristina; Doerr, Stefan H; Merino, Agustin; Bucheli, Thomas D; Bryant, Rob; Ascough, Philippa; Gao, Xiaodong; Masiello, Caroline A

    2017-09-11

    Pyrogenic carbon (PyC), produced naturally (wildfire charcoal) and anthropogenically (biochar), is extensively studied due to its importance in several disciplines, including global climate dynamics, agronomy and paleosciences. Charcoal and biochar are commonly used as analogues for each other to infer respective carbon sequestration potentials, production conditions, and environmental roles and fates. The direct comparability of corresponding natural and anthropogenic PyC, however, has never been tested. Here we compared key physicochemical properties (elemental composition, δ 13 C and PAHs signatures, chemical recalcitrance, density and porosity) and carbon sequestration potentials of PyC materials formed from two identical feedstocks (pine forest floor and wood) under wildfire charring- and slow-pyrolysis conditions. Wildfire charcoals were formed under higher maximum temperatures and oxygen availabilities, but much shorter heating durations than slow-pyrolysis biochars, resulting in differing physicochemical properties. These differences are particularly relevant regarding their respective roles as carbon sinks, as even the wildfire charcoals formed at the highest temperatures had lower carbon sequestration potentials than most slow-pyrolysis biochars. Our results challenge the common notion that natural charcoal and biochar are well suited as proxies for each other, and suggest that biochar's environmental residence time may be underestimated when based on natural charcoal as a proxy, and vice versa.

  16. Hyper-dry conditions provide new insights into the cause of extreme floods after wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moody, John A.; Ebel, Brian A.

    2012-01-01

    A catastrophic wildfire in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Boulder, Colorado provided a unique opportunity to investigate soil conditions immediately after a wildfire and before alteration by rainfall. Measurements of near-surface (θ; and matric suction, ψ), rainfall, and wind velocity were started 8 days after the wildfire began. These measurements established that hyper-dryconditions (θ 3 cm-3; ψ > ~ 3 x 105 cm) existed and provided an in-situ retention curve for these conditions. These conditions exacerbate the effects of water repellency (natural and fire-induced) and limit the effectiveness of capillarity and gravity driven infiltration into fire-affected soils. The important consequence is that given hyper-dryconditions, the critical rewetting process before the first rain is restricted to the diffusion–adsorption of water-vapor. This process typically has a time scale of days to weeks (especially when the hydrologic effects of the ash layer are included) that is longer than the typical time scale (minutes to hours) of some rainstorms, such that under hyper-dryconditions essentially no rain infiltrates. The existence of hyper-dryconditions provides insight into why, frequently during the first rain storm after a wildfire, nearly all rainfall becomes runoff causing extremefloods and debris flows.

  17. Risk assessment for halogenated solvents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Travis, C.C.

    1988-01-01

    A recent development in the cancer risk area is the advent of biologically based pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic models. These models allow for the incorporation of biological and mechanistic data into the risk assessment process. These advances will not only improve the risk assessment process for halogenated solvents but will stimulate and guide basic research in the biological area

  18. RESIDUAL RISK ASSESSMENT: ETHYLENE OXIDE ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    This document describes the residual risk assessment for the Ethylene Oxide Commercial Sterilization source category. For stationary sources, section 112 (f) of the Clean Air Act requires EPA to assess risks to human health and the environment following implementation of technology-based control standards. If these technology-based control standards do not provide an ample margin of safety, then EPA is required to promulgate addtional standards. This document describes the methodology and results of the residual risk assessment performed for the Ethylene Oxide Commercial Sterilization source category. The results of this analyiss will assist EPA in determining whether a residual risk rule for this source category is appropriate.

  19. A Five-Year CMAQ PM2.5 Model Performance for Wildfires and Prescribed Fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkins, J. L.; Pouliot, G.; Foley, K.; Rappold, A.; Pierce, T. E.

    2016-12-01

    Biomass burning has been identified as an important contributor to the degradation of air quality because of its impact on ozone and particulate matter. Two components of the biomass burning inventory, wildfires and prescribed fires are routinely estimated in the national emissions inventory. However, there is a large amount of uncertainty in the development of these emission inventory sectors. We have completed a 5 year set of CMAQ model simulations (2008-2012) in which we have simulated regional air quality with and without the wildfire and prescribed fire inventory. We will examine CMAQ model performance over regions with significant PM2.5 and Ozone contribution from prescribed fires and wildfires. We will also review plume rise to see how it affects model bias and compare CMAQ current fire emissions input to an hourly dataset from FLAMBE.

  20. Risk assessment: An employer's perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, K.C.

    1992-01-01

    There is no question that a careful assessment of risk is essential for safe industrial operations. For that reason, a thoughtful analysis of the effectiveness of available risk assessment technologies is prerequisite for responsible corporate decision making. An 'employer's' perspective on risk assessment cannot be constrained by any artificial restrictions which that term may imply. In reality, all those who are involved in the execution of an industrial enterprise: managers, regulators, the affected public, and especially those employees exposed to hazards, are necessarily partners in assessment of risk. The perspective of this paper is that of the oil and gas industry, in which the author's organization, Exxon Company, International, participates. The paper addresses what Exxon requires to assess and manage risk in its worldwide operations. The author is aware, however, through contacts with industry colleagues, that some of Exxon's initiatives are representative of similar actions being taken by others. 1992 is the European Year of Safety, Health and Hygiene, coinciding with the United Kingdom's Presidency of the European Council. It is also the year in which new 'goal-setting' regulations covering safety in the U.K. offshore oil industry were put forward by the Health and Safety Commission. These regulations, based largely on Lord Cullen's recommendations following the Piper Alpha tragedy, set the pace for safety in the British North Sea and will significantly impact the safety of offshore oil installations worldwide. The requirement for risk assessment, using a systematic process of analysing and evaluating risk, is a key component of this safety regime

  1. Risk assessment: An employer's perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Williams, K C [Exxon International (United States)

    1992-07-01

    There is no question that a careful assessment of risk is essential for safe industrial operations. For that reason, a thoughtful analysis of the effectiveness of available risk assessment technologies is prerequisite for responsible corporate decision making. An 'employer's' perspective on risk assessment cannot be constrained by any artificial restrictions which that term may imply. In reality, all those who are involved in the execution of an industrial enterprise: managers, regulators, the affected public, and especially those employees exposed to hazards, are necessarily partners in assessment of risk. The perspective of this paper is that of the oil and gas industry, in which the author's organization, Exxon Company, International, participates. The paper addresses what Exxon requires to assess and manage risk in its worldwide operations. The author is aware, however, through contacts with industry colleagues, that some of Exxon's initiatives are representative of similar actions being taken by others. 1992 is the European Year of Safety, Health and Hygiene, coinciding with the United Kingdom's Presidency of the European Council. It is also the year in which new 'goal-setting' regulations covering safety in the U.K. offshore oil industry were put forward by the Health and Safety Commission. These regulations, based largely on Lord Cullen's recommendations following the Piper Alpha tragedy, set the pace for safety in the British North Sea and will significantly impact the safety of offshore oil installations worldwide. The requirement for risk assessment, using a systematic process of analysing and evaluating risk, is a key component of this safety regime.

  2. RELEVANCE OF PROCESS RISK ASSESSMENT IN AIRLINES

    OpenAIRE

    Oksana G. Feoktistova; Igor K. Turkin; Sergey V. Barinov

    2017-01-01

    The notion of “the concept on assumed risk” that took over from the outdated concept of absolute security is analyzed, the increasing significance of operating risk assessment at the present stage is noted. Some basic risk assessment techniques are considered. Matrix technique of risk assessment is considered more thoroughly, and it may be used in risk assessment of airlines in the context of labour protection management system.The ability to correctly assess risks and develop appropriate pre...

  3. An abuse of risk assessment: how regulatory agencies improperly adopted LNT for cancer risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calabrese, Edward J

    2015-04-01

    The Genetics Panel of the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Biological Effects of Atomic Radiation (BEAR) recommended the adoption of the linear dose-response model in 1956, abandoning the threshold dose-response for genetic risk assessments. This recommendation was quickly generalized to include somatic cells for cancer risk assessment and later was instrumental in the adoption of linearity for carcinogen risk assessment by the Environmental Protection Agency. The Genetics Panel failed to provide any scientific assessment to support this recommendation and refused to do so when later challenged by other leading scientists. Thus, the linearity model used in cancer risk assessment was based on ideology rather than science and originated with the recommendation of the NAS BEAR Committee Genetics Panel. Historical documentation in support of these conclusions is provided in the transcripts of the Panel meetings and in previously unexamined correspondence among Panel members.

  4. A framework for combining social impact assessment and risk assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mahmoudi, Hossein; Renn, Ortwin; Vanclay, Frank; Hoffmann, Volker; Karami, Ezatollah

    An increasing focus on integrative approaches is one of the current trends in impact assessment. There is potential to combine impact assessment with various other forms of assessment, such as risk assessment, to make impact assessment and the management of social risks more effective. We identify

  5. A framework for combining social impact assessment and risk assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mahmoudi, Hossein; Renn, Ortwin; Vanclay, Frank; Hoffmann, Volker; Karami, Ezatollah

    2013-01-01

    An increasing focus on integrative approaches is one of the current trends in impact assessment. There is potential to combine impact assessment with various other forms of assessment, such as risk assessment, to make impact assessment and the management of social risks more effective. We identify

  6. Risk indices in comparative risk assessment studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hubert, P.

    1984-01-01

    More than a decade ago the development of comparative risk assessment studies aroused overwhelming interest. There was no doubt that data on the health and safety aspects of energy systems would greatly benefit, or even end, the debate on nuclear energy. Although such attempts are still strongly supported, the rose-coloured expectations of the early days have faded. The high uncertainties, and the contradictory aspect, of the first results might explain this evolution. The loose connection between the range of computed risk indices and the questions on which the debate was focused is another reason for this decline in interest. Important research work is being carried out aiming at reducing the different kinds of uncertainties. Rather than the uncertainties, the paper considers the meaning of available risk indices and proposes more significant indices with respect to the goals of risk assessment. First, the indices which are of frequent use in comparative studies are listed. The stress is put on a French comparative study from which most examples are drawn. Secondly, the increase in magnitude of the indices and the decrease in the attributability of the risk to a given system is shown to be a consequence of the trend towards more comprehensive analyses. Thirdly, the ambiguity of such indices as the collective occupational risk is underlined, and a possible solution is suggested. Whenever risk assessments are related to pragmatic decision making problems it is possible to find satisfactory risk indices. The development of cost-effectiveness analyses and the proposals for quantitative safety goals clearly demonstrate this point. In the field of comparison of social impacts some proposals are made, but there remain some gaps still to be filled. (author)

  7. Stakeholder Understandings of Wildfire Mitigation: A Case of Shared and Contested Meanings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champ, Joseph G.; Brooks, Jeffrey J.; Williams, Daniel R.

    2012-10-01

    This article identifies and compares meanings of wildfire risk mitigation for stakeholders in the Front Range of Colorado, USA. We examine the case of a collaborative partnership sponsored by government agencies and directed to decrease hazardous fuels in interface areas. Data were collected by way of key informant interviews and focus groups. The analysis is guided by the Circuit of Culture model in communication research. We found both shared and differing meanings between members of this partnership (the "producers") and other stakeholders not formally in the partnership (the "consumers"). We conclude that those promoting the partnership's project to mitigate risk are primarily aligned with a discourse of scientific management. Stakeholders outside the partnership follow a discourse of community. We argue that failure to recognize and account for differences in the way risk mitigation is framed and related power dynamics could hamper the communicational efforts of the collaborative partnership and impact goals for fuels reduction. We recommend ways that both groups can capitalize on shared meanings and how agency managers and decision makers can build better working relationships with interface communities and other external stakeholders.

  8. Stakeholder understandings of wildfire mitigation: a case of shared and contested meanings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champ, Joseph G; Brooks, Jeffrey J; Williams, Daniel R

    2012-10-01

    This article identifies and compares meanings of wildfire risk mitigation for stakeholders in the Front Range of Colorado, USA. We examine the case of a collaborative partnership sponsored by government agencies and directed to decrease hazardous fuels in interface areas. Data were collected by way of key informant interviews and focus groups. The analysis is guided by the Circuit of Culture model in communication research. We found both shared and differing meanings between members of this partnership (the "producers") and other stakeholders not formally in the partnership (the "consumers"). We conclude that those promoting the partnership's project to mitigate risk are primarily aligned with a discourse of scientific management. Stakeholders outside the partnership follow a discourse of community. We argue that failure to recognize and account for differences in the way risk mitigation is framed and related power dynamics could hamper the communicational efforts of the collaborative partnership and impact goals for fuels reduction. We recommend ways that both groups can capitalize on shared meanings and how agency managers and decision makers can build better working relationships with interface communities and other external stakeholders.

  9. Aspects regarding explosion risk assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Părăian Mihaela

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Explosive risk occurs in all activities involving flammable substances in the form of gases, vapors, mists or dusts which, in mixture with air, can generate an explosive atmosphere. As explosions can cause human losses and huge material damage, the assessment of the explosion risk and the establishment of appropriate measures to reduce it to acceptable levels according to the standards and standards in force is of particular importance for the safety and health of people and goods.There is no yet a recognized method of assessing the explosion risk, but regardless of the applied method, the likelihood of an explosive atmosphere occurrence has to be determined, together with the occurrence of an efficient ignition source and the magnitude of foreseeable consequences. In assessment processes, consequences analysis has a secondary importance since it’s likely that explosions would always involve considerable damage, starting from important material damages and up to human damages that could lead to death.The purpose of the work is to highlight the important principles and elements to be taken into account for a specific risk assessment. An essential element in assessing the risk of explosion in workplaces where explosive atmospheres may occur is technical installations and personal protective equipment (PPE that must be designed, manufactured, installed and maintained so that they cannot generate a source of ignition. Explosion prevention and protection requirements are governed by specific norms and standards, and a main part of the explosion risk assessment is related to the assessment of the compliance of the equipment / installation with these requirements.

  10. Influences of wildfire and channel reorganization on spatial and temporal variation in stream temperature and the distribution of fish and amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jason B. Dunham; Amanda E. Rosenberger; Charlie H. Luce; Bruce E. Rieman

    2007-01-01

    Wildfire can influence a variety of stream ecosystem properties. We studied stream temperatures in relation to wildfire in small streams in the Boise River Basin, located in central Idaho, USA. To examine the spatio-temporal aspects of temperature in relation to wildfire, we employed three approaches: a pre­post fire comparison of temperatures between two sites (one...

  11. Does wildfire cause cascading effects on aquatic C cycling? A study of soil, well and lake DOC composition and bio/photolability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olefeldt, D.; Turetsky, M. R.; Devito, K. J.; Blodau, C.

    2012-12-01

    In May 2011 a wildfire broke out north of Utikuma Lake in central Alberta, Canada, which eventually burned an area of ~880 km2. Wildfire alters soil properties, potentially altering the chemical composition of terrestrial DOC that reaches downstream aquatic environments. In order to study the potential effects of wildfire on lake carbon cycling, we sampled and incubated DOC from soil samples (n=52), wells (n=35) and lakes (n=32) from within and outside the recent fire perimeter. We incubated the DOC samples under both dark and UV conditions to assess both bio- and photolability, and followed DOC composition throughout the incubations by measuring DOC absorbing and fluorescing properties. A strong effect of wildfire was found among DOC samples leached from surface peatland and upland soils - with fire yielding increased DOC aromaticity associated with decreased biodegradability but also increased photolability. Parallel factor analysis of fluorescence matrices revealed distinct regions that were associated with DOC leached from charred soils, potentially linked to their lower biodegradability. Dark and UV conditions gave rise to very different trajectories of changes to DOC composition throughout incubations, with preferential losses of non-aromatic DOC under dark conditions and aromatic DOC under UV conditions. The DOC composition index that was found to best predict both DOC bio- and photolability was specific UV absorbance, which is also a very simple and quick index to measure. For lakes, we found that the primary influences on DOC composition and bio-/photolability was linked to lake size and hydrogeological setting (whether located on a lacustrine clay plain or in a moraine/outwash region) that controls groundwater influence and the hydrological connectivity to adjacent peatlands. Further analysis of well and lake water incubations will be used to detect whether wildfire can be detected to have a subtle secondary effect on DOC composition and lability or if

  12. Wildfire may increase habitat quality for spring Chinook salmon in the Wenatchee River subbasin, WA, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebecca L. Flitcroft; Jeffrey A. Falke; Gordon H. Reeves; Paul F. Hessburg; Kris M. McNyset; Lee E. Benda

    2016-01-01

    Pacific Northwest salmonids are adapted to natural disturbance regimes that create dynamic habitat patterns over space and through time. However, human land use, particularly long-term fire suppression, has altered the intensity and frequency of wildfire in forested upland and riparian areas. To examine the potential impacts of wildfire on aquatic systems, we developed...

  13. Chlorine transportation risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lautkaski, Risto; Mankamo, Tuomas.

    1977-02-01

    An assessment has been made on the toxication risk of the population due to the bulk rail transportation of liquid chlorine in Finland. Fourteen typical rail accidents were selected and their probability was estimated using the accident file of the Finnish State Railways. The probability of a chlorine leak was assessed for each type of accident separately using four leak size categories. The assessed leakage probability was dominated by station accidents, especially by collisions of a chlorine tanker and a locomotive. Toxication hazard areas were estimated for the leak categories. A simple model was constructed to describe the centring of the densely populated areas along the railway line. A comparison was made between the obtained risk and some other risks including those due to nuclear reactor accidents. (author)

  14. Probabilistic risk assessment, Volume I