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Using reverse geocoding to identify prominent wildfire evacuation trigger points

Author(s): Dapeng Li, Thomas J. Cova, Philip E. Dennison
Year Published: 2017
Description:

Wildfire evacuation trigger points are prominent geographic features (e.g., ridge lines, rivers, and roads) utilized in timing evacuation warnings. When a fire crosses a feature, an evacuation warning is issued to the communities or firefighters in the path of the fire. Current methods for generating trigger buffers have limited utility because the resulting buffers are not explicitly tied to prominent geographic features, making it difficult to visually determine when a fire has breached a trigger point. This work aims to address this limitation by using reverse geocoding to identify prominent geographic trigger points that have more value to emergency managers. The method consists of three steps: 1) generate a trigger buffer using fire-spread modeling; 2) utilize online reverse-geocoding to retrieve geographic features proximal to the buffer boundary; and 3) identify the most prominent geographic features using viewshed analysis and compute the warning time each would offer given predicted fire spread rates to proximal communities. A case study of Julian, California is presented to identify prominent geographic trigger points that may have value to emergency managers in improving the timing of wildfire evacuation warnings in this region.

Citation: Li, Dapeng; Cova, Thomas J.; Dennison, Philip E. 2017. Using reverse geocoding to identify prominent wildfire evacuation trigger points. Applied Geography 87:14-27.
Topic(s): Human Dimensions of Fire Management, Human Factors of Firefighter Safety
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 16290
FRAMES RCS number: 25234
Record updated: Dec 19, 2017