In 2019 the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region funded an assessment of contemporary wildfire hazard across all land ownerships in the state of California. The assessment was based on 1) customized and updated LANDFIRE Remap fuel and vegetation data, 2) a fine-scale gridded historical climatology covering the period 2003-2018 produced by the Desert Research Institute for CalFIRE, and 3) a USFS spatial fire occurrence database covering the period 1992-2017. We used the FSim large-fire simulator and a custom application of FlamMap to produce seamless 30-m resolution rasters of wildfire likelihood, wildfire intensity, and ember production and load. From those we also produced derivative products, including Wildfire Hazard Potential, Suppression Difficulty Index, and Risk to Potential Structures.
In this seminar we will review the methods used and results produced during the assessment, including a relative ranking of wildfire risk to the populated areas of California. We will use the fires of 2020 to verify the performance of the burn probability map. We will preview a publicly available web map application that allows any interested user to browse a subset of the spatial results. And finally, we will discuss planned future work to extend and update this assessment.
Joe H. Scott
Principal Wildfire Analyst
Joe Scott is the Principal Wildfire Analyst with Pyrologix, a wildfire threat assessment research firm based in Missoula, Montana. He has led projects related to surface and canopy fuel characteristics, wildfire behavior modeling, crown fire hazard assessment, and wildfire risk assessment. Joe conducts wildfire hazard and risk assessments to support land management planning, incident management, and utility-wildfire risk management for state and federal agencies and private companies. He has more than 25 years of experience in wildfire behavior modeling research, development, and application.