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Strategic response to wildland fire hazards in the southwestern United States

Young, Jesse D., Thode, Andrea E., May Huang, Ching-Hsun, Ager, Alan A.
Journal of environmental management 2019
burning, fire behavior, fire hazard, fuel loading, landscapes, managers, models, risk, weather, wildfires, Southwestern United States
Much of the western United States is experiencing longer fires season with an increased frequency of high severity fires and fire risk. Fire managers in the southwestern United States have increased efforts to reduce fire risk by managing more fires to meet resource objectives (e.g. thin forests, reduce hazardous fuel loads, and restore the landscape). However, little is known about the situational circumstances and decision space that inform the strategic response to wildland fire. Using generalized and time-to-event modeling techniques, we examined how fire management decisions are reached in a context informed by weather, burning conditions, and subsequent fire behavior. Modelling results captured daily containment probabilities along a gradient from limiting natural conditions to suppression invoked containment. Results inform fire management decisions, future research efforts, and the simulation of wildland fires with resource objectives.