Document


Title

Characterizing the dynamics of wildland-urban interface and the potential impacts on fire activity in Alaska from 2000 to 2010
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Xiaoyu Liang; Desheng Liu; Zhihao Wang; Jian Wang
Publication Year: 2022

Cataloging Information

Keyword(s):
  • adaptive management
  • climate change
  • community adaptation
  • human-fire interactions
  • wildfire preparedness
Region(s):
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: September 9, 2022
FRAMES Record Number: 66579

Description

Climate change is exacerbating the fire activity in Alaska, which exposes lives and properties to great risk, especially residents living in Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI). Therefore, it is crucial to characterize the spatial distribution and temporal dynamics of WUI and assess its impacts on fire activity. However, existing WUI delineations in Alaska do not cover all communities and apply different mapping approaches, making it difficult to examine the WUI distribution and dynamics across the state. This study created the first statewide WUI map using census data and National Land Cover Database, and characterized the dynamics of WUI from 2000 to 2010. Furthermore, the relationship between WUI and fire was identified using fire ignition and fire perimeter datasets from Alaska Interagency Coordination Center. The findings showed WUI that only covered 0.22 % of the total area in Alaska contained 73.45 % of the housing units. Nearly 85 % of newly added WUI housing units were found in WUI, and the growth rates in WUI housing units far exceeded that in non-WUI. As the distance from WUI increased, both human and lightning ignition density decreased but the percentage of fire perimeters increased within 30 km from WUI. Our results demonstrated the importance of tracking the dynamics of WUI and characterizing the social change behind the pattern to strengthen wildfire preparedness and facilitate community-adapted management.

Online Link(s):
Citation:
Liang, Xiaoyu; Liu, Desheng; Wang, Zhihao; Wang, Jian. 2022. Characterizing the dynamics of wildland-urban interface and the potential impacts on fire activity in Alaska from 2000 to 2010. Landscape and Urban Planning 228:104553.