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Colin B. McFayden, Den Boychuk, Douglas G. Woolford, Melanie J. Wheatley, Lynn Johnston
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Human Dimensions of Fire Management
Decisionmaking & Sensemaking
Risk assessment

NRFSN number: 20375
Record updated:

A modelling framework to spatially score the impacts from wildland fire effects on specific resources and assets was developed for and applied to the province of Ontario, Canada. This impact model represents the potential ‘loss’, which can be used in the different decision-making methods common in fire response operations (e.g. risk assessment, decision analysis and expertise-based). Resources and assets considered include point features such as buildings, linear features such as transmission lines, and areal features such as forest management areas. Three categories of fire impacts were included: social, economic and emergency response. Category-specific scores were determined through expert elicitation and then adjusted to account for fire intensity. Expert elicitation was shown to compare favourably with other methods in terms of the complexity, time, set-up cost and operational use. When compared with historical fire data from Ontario, it was found that impact model scores were associated with the objective to suppress or monitor fires. The model framework provides a consistent pre-fire impact assessment to support individual fire response decisions. The impact assessment can also represent the total impact for areas of Ontario that do not have prescriptive response in a formal fire response plan.


McFayden CB, Boychuk D, Woolford DG, Wheatley MJ, and Johnston L. 2019. Impacts of wildland fire effects on resources and assets through expert elicitation to support fire response decisions. International Journal of Wildland Fire 28 (11): 885-900.

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