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Geosciences 2016, 6(3), 35; doi:10.3390/geosciences6030035

Getting Ahead of the Wildfire Problem: Quantifying and Mapping Management Challenges and Opportunities

1
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula, MT 59801, USA
2
Departamento de Ingeniería Forestal, Universidad de Córdoba, Laboratorio de Defensa contra Incendios Forestales E.T.S.de Ingeniería Agronómica y de Montes Edificio Leonardo da Vinci, Campus de Rabanales, Córdoba 14071, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ruiliang Pu
Received: 1 June 2016 / Revised: 12 July 2016 / Accepted: 19 July 2016 / Published: 29 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping and Assessing Natural Disasters Using Geospatial Technologies)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [6657 KB, uploaded 29 July 2016]   |  

Abstract

Wildfire is a global phenomenon that plays a vital role in regulating and maintaining many natural and human-influenced ecosystems but that also poses considerable risks to human populations and infrastructure. Fire managers are charged with balancing the short-term protection of human assets sensitive to fire exposure against the potential long-term benefits that wildfires can provide to natural systems and wildlife populations. The compressed decision timeframes imposed on fire managers during an incident are often insufficient to fully assess a range of fire management options and their respective implications for public and fire responder safety, attainment of land and resource objectives, and future trajectories of hazard and risk. This paper reviews the role of GIS-based assessment and planning to support operational wildfire management decisions, with a focus on recent and emerging research that pre-identifies anthropogenic and biophysical landscape features that can be leveraged to increase the safety and effectiveness of wildfire management operations. We use a case study from the United States to illustrate the development and application of tools that draw from research generated by the global fire management community. View Full-Text
Keywords: risk assessment; spatial fire planning; decision support systems; net value change risk assessment; spatial fire planning; decision support systems; net value change
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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O’Connor, C.D.; Thompson, M.P.; Rodríguez y Silva, F. Getting Ahead of the Wildfire Problem: Quantifying and Mapping Management Challenges and Opportunities. Geosciences 2016, 6, 35.

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