Wildfire Threat Analysis in a UK Forest-Urban Interface

Julia Mcmorrow, Jonathan Aylen, Aleksandra Kazmierczak, Rob Gazzard, James Morison, Andy Moffat

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

We undertook a 6-month, NERC-funded scoping study of Wildfire Threat Analysis (WTA) to test its suitability for a UK forest-urban interface. Threat here is a cumulative combination of three GIS modules: Risk of Ignition (RoI); Hazard (head fire intensity, rate of spread); and Values at Risk (VaR).RoI and VaR modules were successfully developed for a 11x12 km area around Crowthorne/Swinley Forest, where a major fire occurred in May 2011. Guided by expert knowledge at two stakeholder workshops, we adapted the New Zealand WTA framework, producing a data catalogue of > 90 GIS layers. RoI scores were assigned to public access and land cover layers using geo-locations of Incident Recording System vegetation fires and expert elicitation. Lack of suitable fire climate data prevented a Hazard module from being developed. Using stakeholder knowledge, a 25m cell size RoI map and three VaR maps (infrastructure/property, ecosystem services and social vulnerability) were produced from weighted combinations of layers. Taken together, hotspots requiring management were identified.The WTA framework should be tested for other types of UK rural-urban interface, and at coarser scales up to the 2km grid at which probabilistic fire severity data is available. Fine Fuel Moisture Code could be included as a scaling factor within a national RoI model to give spatially-distributed estimates for probability of sustained ignition.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationhost publication
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventMet Office 2nd Wildfire Workshop - Met Office, Exeter
Duration: 3 Dec 20144 Dec 2014

Conference

ConferenceMet Office 2nd Wildfire Workshop
CityMet Office, Exeter
Period3/12/144/12/14

Keywords

  • wildfire risk
  • forest fire
  • rural-urban interface

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