You are here: Home
/ Publication Information
Title: Assessing fire risk in the wildland-urban interface.
Author: Haight, Robert G.; Cleland, David T.; Hammer, Roger B.; Radeloff, Volker B.; Rupp, T. Scott
Source: Journal of Forestry 102(7):41-48.
Publication Series: Journal/Magazine Article (JRNL)
Description: Identifying areas of the wildland-urban interface (WUI) that are prone to severe wildfire is an important step in prioritizing fire prevention and preparedness projects. Our objective is to determine at a regional scale the relative risk of severe wildfire in WUI areas and the numbers of people and houses in high-risk areas. For a study area in northern lower Michigan, we first develop a spatial database of WUI areas (both intermix and interface) using housing data from the 2000 US Census and 1994 vegetation data from the Gap Analysis Project of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Then, we develop a spatial database of historic (pre-1900) fire regimes and current (1994) fuels to identify areas with high risk of stand-replacing fires. High-risk areas historically supported jack pine (P. banksiana Lamb.) and mixed pine forests with stand-replacing fire rotations less than 100 years and currently support upland conifer and hardwood forests. Analysis of the databases shows that 26% of the study area is WUI. About 25% of the WUI has relatively high fire risk. Over 88% of the WUI with high fire risk has low housing density (<1 house per 2 ha) and is classified as intermix where fuels and structures intermingle. The predominance of high-risk intermix areas with low-density housing has implications for planning effective fuel treatments and evacuation plans.
Keywords: fire risk, fire regime, fuel distribution, housing density, Michigan, population density, wildland-urban interface, US Census
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
- This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
XML: View XML
Haight, Robert G.; Cleland, David T.; Hammer, Roger B.; Radeloff, Volker B.; Rupp, T. Scott 2004. Assessing fire risk in the wildland-urban interface. Journal of Forestry 102(7):41-48.
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility