Strategic application of wildland fire suppression in the southwestern United States

J Environ Manage. 2019 Sep 1;245:504-518. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.01.003. Epub 2019 May 29.

Abstract

Much of the western United States is experiencing longer fire seasons 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. Modeling 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.

MeSH terms

  • Fires*
  • Forests
  • Southwestern United States
  • United States
  • Weather
  • Wildfires*