Predicting fire behavior in the wildland-urban interface
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): K. M. Feary; L. Neuenschwander
Editor(s): T. L. Pruden; L. A. Brennan
Publication Year: 1998

Cataloging Information

  • catastrophic fires
  • computer programs
  • education
  • fire exclusion
  • fire hazard reduction
  • fire intensity
  • fuel accumulation
  • GIS
  • land use
  • public information
  • water
  • wildfires
  • wildland fuels
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 36502
Tall Timbers Record Number: 10885
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Tall Timbers shelf
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Fire exclusion in wildlands during the last century has caused the excessive accumulation of fuels that has resulted in catastrophic fires. In spite of devastating losses from fire, human development continues to increase in the wildland-urban interface. Additional houses and other structures are being built each year in areas that are prone to high-intensity wildfires, with increasing threats to life and property.The term 'risk' is sometimes considered synonymous with 'hazard.' However, risk has the additional implication of the chance of a particular event actually occurring. By determining areas of high risk from fire, managers (including planners and policy makers) can establish priorities in reducing adjacent wildland fire hazards. Evaluation of hazards can be accomplished by utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map high hazard areas where wildland and urban land uses meet. A GIS landscape database containing utilities, structures, access, water, and adjacent wildland fuels and vegetation can be used to develop fire cost plus loss scenarios. Fire behavior models, such as FARSITE, can simulate fire activity given specified parameters. Besides helping managers establish plans for reducing fire risk, these tools can also be used to help educate the public. GIS mapping will enable managers to illustrate areas that are at high risk of fire and to speculate on the probable consequences of taking no suppression action. Prudent use of prescribed fire can reduce property loss, minimize costs, and potentially save lives. © 1998, Tall Timbers Research, Inc. Abstract reproduced by permission.

Feary, K. M., and L. Neuenschwander. 1998. Predicting fire behavior in the wildland-urban interface, in Pruden, T. L. and Brennan, L. A., Prodeedings 20th Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference: Fire in ecosystem management: shifting the paradigm from suppression to prescription. Boise, ID. Tall Timbers Research, Inc.,Tallahassee, FL. p. 44-48,