Optimizing initial attack effectiveness by using performance measures
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): Andrew G. Kirsch; Douglas B. Rideout
Compiler(s): Michael Bevers; Tara M. Barrett
Publication Year: 2005

Cataloging Information

  • fire management
  • fire suppression
  • ignition
  • statistical analysis
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: May 6, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 45997
Tall Timbers Record Number: 21647
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: A13.88:PNW-656
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, 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.


Increased scruitiny of federally funded programs combined with changes in fire management has created a demand for a new fire program analysis model. There is now a need for a model that displays tradeoffs between initial attack effectiveness and alternative funding levels. The model is formulated as an integer linear program that operates in a performance based, cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) environment. Using the performance measure of weighted area protected (WAP), the model employs a non-monetized approach to interagency fire planning. The model optimizes the initial attack deployment for a user-defined set of fires that a manager would like to be prepared for across alternative budget levels. The paper shows how an integer programming formulation can use optimal deployment to address the annual fire program. It is also shown, for the first time how simultaneous ignitions can be incorporated into an optimization approach. This compact and robust model can provide the basis for a wider scale formulation with the potential to measure an organization's performance and promote a higher level of accountability and efficiency in fire programs.

Online Link(s):
Kirsch, A. G., and D. B. Rideout. 2005. Optimizing initial attack effectiveness by using performance measures, in Bevers, M. and Barrett, T. M., Systems Analysis in Forest Resources: Proceedings of the 2003 Symposium. Stevenson, WA. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station,Portland, OR. p. 183-187,General Technical Report PNW-GTR-656.