International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire
International Journal of Wildland Fire

International Journal of Wildland Fire

Volume 26 Number 7 2017

Towards Enhanced Risk Management: Planning, Decision Making, and Monitoring of US Wildfire Response

WF17089Towards enhanced risk management: planning, decision making and monitoring of US wildfire response

Christopher J. Dunn, David E. Calkin and Matthew P. Thompson
pp. 551-556

This paper is the preface to a special issue focused on US wildfire response. The nine papers included build from a 2016 conference special session on monitoring, modelling and accountability of fire management policies and practices. Here we provide the unifying theme for these papers, summarise each from this perspective, and conclude with key points emerging from this compilation.


Recent fire science publications reveal a paradigm shift is emerging in response to the growing frequency of large wildland fires and the inherent flaws or failures of fire exclusion exhibited by the ‘wildfire paradox’. A new paradigm of ecological fire management may offer some hope of resolving the paradox.

WF16137A review of challenges to determining and demonstrating efficiency of large fire management

Matthew P. Thompson, Francisco Rodríguez y Silva, David E. Calkin and Michael S. Hand
pp. 562-573

We review challenges to determining and demonstrating efficiency of strategic approaches to managing low-probability, high-consequence large fire events. Key knowledge gaps relate to quantifying the consequences of fire and how they may change under alternative suppression strategies.


In this paper we present a framework for linking fire weather-derived fire danger indices with field observations of categorical fire behaviour to assess and map the potential for extreme fire behaviour. This approach transforms current and expected fire weather conditions into simple and actionable metrics of fire behaviour risk that wildland firefighters can use to meet required objectives while keeping people safe.


This research supports planning for and management of wildfires to improve resource allocation decisions and to reduce risk to fire responders. We use historical fire perimeters to identify landscape features and conditions associated with where fires stop, and leverage these relationships to predict potential future fire control locations.


Large-fire management data are used to examine the relationship between the daily observed percentage of fire perimeter contained and the reported percentage containment during an incident, the incident level exposure index for resources, and resource abundance before and after fire cessation.

WF16126The influence of incident management teams on the deployment of wildfire suppression resources

Michael Hand, Hari Katuwal, David E. Calkin and Matthew P. Thompson
pp. 615-629

Factors associated with daily use of suppression resources on large wildfires are investigated. After controlling for fire, landscape and geographic characteristics, unobserved differences between incident management teams account for ~14% of variation in suppression resources used to manage wildfire incidents.

WF16073A simulation and optimisation procedure to model daily suppression resource transfers during a fire season in Colorado

Yu Wei, Erin J. Belval, Matthew P. Thompson, Dave E. Calkin and Crystal S. Stonesifer
pp. 630-641

We developed and implemented a model to improve engine and crew assignments and transfers during a fire season. We implemented this model to study how multiple factors may influence engine and crew transfer costs and efficiencies. Results show we could decrease engine and crew transport costs through efficient resource dispatching.

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