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Wildfire risk and hazard: procedures for the first approximation

Author(s): David E. Calkin, Alan A. Ager, Julie W. Gilbertson-Day
Year Published: 2010

This report was designed to meet three broad goals: (1) evaluate wildfire hazard on Federal lands; (2) develop information useful in prioritizing where fuels treatments and mitigation measures might be proposed to address significant fire hazard and risk; and (3) develop risk-based performance measures to document the effectiveness of fire management programs. The research effort described in this report is designed to develop, from a strategic view, a first approximation of how fire likelihood and fire intensity influence risk to social, economic, and ecological values at the national scale. The approach uses a quantitative risk framework that approximates expected losses and benefits to highly valued resources from wildfire. Specifically, burn probabilities and intensities are estimated with a fire simulation model and are coupled with spatially explicit data on human and ecological values and fire-effects response functions to estimate the percent loss or benefit. This report describes the main components of the risk framework, including the burn probability models, highly valued resource data, and development of response functions, and illustrates the application to the State of Oregon. The State of Oregon was selected for prototype due to the wide range of variability in ecoregions represented in the state. All of the highly valued resource themes were represented in the mix of developed and natural resources present in the state. National risk and hazard approximation results for the Continental United States are available at the following location: www.fs.fed.us/wwetac/wflc/.

Citation: Calkin, David E.; Ager, Alan A.; Gilbertson-Day, Julie, eds. 2010. Wildfire risk and hazard: procedures for the first approximation. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-235. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 62 p.
Topic(s): Fire Behavior, Simulation Modeling, Fuels, Fuel Treatments & Effects, Risk, Risk assessment, Wildland Urban Interface
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Technical Report or White Paper
NRFSN number: 12726
FRAMES RCS number: 8366
Record updated: Mar 5, 2019