Canadian Forest Service Publications

A wildfire threat rating system for the McGregor model forest. 1996. Hawkes, B.C.; Beck, J.; Sahle, W. Pages 1-15 in Proceedings of the 13th Fire and Meteorology Conference, October 28-31, 1996, Lorne, Australia. International Association of Wildland Fire, Fairfield, WA.

Year: 1996

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 4694

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Abstract

A prototype wildfire threat rating system (WTRS) has been produced for the McGregor Model Forest, based on threat analysis systems developed initially in Australia. Wildfire threat is based on fire risk, values at risk, fire behavior, and suppression capability, which in turn have been determined as a function of 13 factors. These factors were defined using a number of digital data sources: forest inventory and silvicultural information; digital terrain slope and aspect data; road, river and lake data; fire history records; town, recreation site, and critical vistas locations; and, helicopter initial attack base locations. This paper describes briefly the design, implementation and preliminary results of the prototype WTRS, which has been developed via Geographic Information System (GIS) technology (ARC/INFO).

The contribution of the wildfire threat components are discussed. The fire management implications of the WTRS are discussed with special reference to the Forest Practices Code Act and Regulations and proposed fire management guidelines for British Columbia. It was concluded that wildfire threat analysis, when implemented via GIS, will allow resource managers to explore alternative fuel and fire management options to reduce the probability of large, intense, wildfires. The system, when incorporated within a forest management planning system, will allow the evaluation of wildfire threat associated with alternative forest management plans.