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Open AccessCommunication

Forest Roads and Operational Wildfire Response Planning

1
Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA
2
Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
3
Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stefano Grigolato
Forests 2021, 12(2), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12020110
Received: 7 December 2020 / Revised: 8 January 2021 / Accepted: 12 January 2021 / Published: 20 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planning, Design, and Maintenance of Forest Road Networks)
Supporting wildfire management activities is frequently identified as a benefit of forest roads. As such, there is a growing body of research into forest road planning, construction, and maintenance to improve fire surveillance, prevention, access, and control operations. Of interest here is how road networks directly support fire control operations, and how managers incorporate that information into pre-season assessment and planning. In this communication we briefly review and illustrate how forest roads relate to recent advances in operationally focused wildfire decision support. We focus on two interrelated products used on the National Forest System and adjacent lands throughout the western USA: potential wildland fire operational delineations (PODs) and potential control locations (PCLs). We use real-world examples from the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado, USA to contextualize these concepts and illustrate how fire analytics and local fire managers both identified roads as primary control features. Specifically, distance to road was identified as the most important predictor variable in the PCL boosted regression model, and 82% of manager-identified POD boundaries aligned with roads. Lastly, we discuss recommendations for future research, emphasizing roles for enhanced decision support and empirical analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: risk management; wildland fire; transportation planning; hazardous fuels; suppression; machine learning; expert judgment risk management; wildland fire; transportation planning; hazardous fuels; suppression; machine learning; expert judgment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Thompson, M.P.; Gannon, B.M.; Caggiano, M.D. Forest Roads and Operational Wildfire Response Planning. Forests 2021, 12, 110. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12020110

AMA Style

Thompson MP, Gannon BM, Caggiano MD. Forest Roads and Operational Wildfire Response Planning. Forests. 2021; 12(2):110. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12020110

Chicago/Turabian Style

Thompson, Matthew P.; Gannon, Benjamin M.; Caggiano, Michael D. 2021. "Forest Roads and Operational Wildfire Response Planning" Forests 12, no. 2: 110. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12020110

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