Sponsor: California Fire Science Consortium
Dr. Eric Knapp and Yana Valachovic
The 2018 Camp Fire, which destroyed 18,804 structures in northern California, including most of the town of Paradise, provided an opportunity to investigate housing arrangement and vegetation-related factors associated with home survival. We obtained some relatively simple measurements from a randomly selected subset of homes in Paradise, including the distance to the nearest destroyed home and structure, and nearby pre-fire overstory canopy cover at different spatial scales, from aerial imagery, and investigated the strength of their association with home survival. The findings, corroborated by photographs taken of damaged but not destroyed homes, indicate that both structural fuels (burning homes, sheds etc.) and wildland fuels influenced the likelihood of home survival, and point to changes that could substantially improve outcomes.