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Modeling ground firefighting resource activities to manage risk given uncertain weather

Author(s): Erin J. Belval, Yu Wei, Michael Bevers
Year Published: 2019

Wildland firefighting requires managers to make decisions in complex decision environments that hold many uncertainties; these decisions need to be adapted dynamically over time as fire behavior evolves. Models used in firefighting decisions should also have the capability to adapt to changing conditions. In this paper, detailed line construction constraints are presented for use with a stochastic mixed integer fire growth and behavior program. These constraints allow suppression actions to interact dynamically with stochastic predicted fire behavior and account for many of the detailed line construction considerations. Such considerations include spatial restrictions for fire crew travel and operations. Crew safety is also addressed; crews must keep a variable safety buffer between themselves and the fire. Fireline quality issues are accounted for by comparing control line capacity with fireline intensity to determine when a fireline will hold. The model assumes crews may work at varying production rates throughout their shifts, providing flexibility to fit work assignments with the predicted fire behavior. Nonanticipativity is enforced to ensure solutions are feasible for all modeled weather scenarios. Test cases demonstrate the model’s utility and capability on a raster landscape.

Citation: Belval EJ, Wei Y, and Bevers M. 2019. Modeling Ground Firefighting Resource Activities to Manage Risk Given Uncertain Weather. Forests 10(12): 1077; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10121077
Topic(s): Fire Behavior, Data Evaluation or Data Analysis for Fire Modeling, Fire Prediction, Fire & Fuels Modeling, Human Dimensions of Fire Management, Human Factors of Firefighter Safety, Risk
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 20415
Record updated: Jan 26, 2020