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Microsimulation of neighborhood evacuations in the urban-wildland interface

Author(s): Thomas J. Cova, Justin P. Johnson
Year Published: 2002

Residential development in fire-prone wildlands is occurring at an unprecedented rate. Community-based evacuation planning in many areas is an emerging need. In this paper we present a method for using microscopic traffic simulation to develop and test neighborhood evacuation plans in the urban - wildland interface. The method allows an analyst to map the subneighborhood variation in household evacuation travel times under various scenarios. A custom scenario generator manages household trip generation, departure timing, and destination choice. Traffic simulation, route choice, and dynamic visualization are handled by a commercial system. We present a case study for a controversial fire-prone canyon community east of Salt Lake City, Utah. GIS was used to map the spatial effects of a proposed second access road on household evacuation times. Our results indicate that the second road will reduce some household travel times much more than others, but all evacuation travel times will become more consistent.

Citation: Cova, T. J.; Johnson, Justin P. 2002. Microsimulation of neighborhood evacuations in the urban-wildland interface. Environment and Planning. A 34(12): 2211-2229.
Topic(s): Fire Communication & Education, Public Perspectives of Fire Management, Wildland Urban Interface
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 11491
FRAMES RCS number: 13298
Record updated: Sep 8, 2020