Canadian Forest Service Publications

Impacts of wildland fire effects on resources and assets through expert elicitation to support fire response decisions. 2019. McFayden, C.B.; Boychuk, D.; Woolford, D.G.; Wheatley, M.J.; Johnston, L. International Journal of Wildland Fire 28: 885-900.

Year: 2019

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39989

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1071/WF18189

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Plain Language Summary

Planning for and responding to wildland fires requires assessment of the potential impacts, which is generally difficult to do. An expert elicitation approach for quantifying the potential impacts on resources and assets, was developed, applied, and validated.

Abstract: A modelling framework to spatially score the impacts from the effects of wildland fire on specific resources and assets was developed for and applied to the Province of Ontario, Canada. This impact model represents the potential “loss” which can be used in the different decision-making methods common in fire response operations (e.g., risk assessment, decision analysis and expertise-based). Resources and assets considered include point features such as buildings, linear features such as transmission lines, and areal features such as forest management areas. Fire impacts considered include three broad, yet crucial impact categories: social, economic, and emergency response. Category-specific scores were determined through expert elicitation and then adjusted to account for fire intensity. Expert elicitation was shown to compare favourably with other methods in terms of the complexity, time, set-up cost, and operational use. When compared to historical fire data from Ontario, impact model scores were found to be significantly associated with the objective to suppress or monitor fires. The model framework provides a consistent pre-fire impact assessment to support individual fire response decisions. The impact assessment can also represent the total impact for areas of Ontario that do not have prescriptive response in a formal fire response plan.