NIST and USFS Hazard Scale for Wildfires
According to NIST and the USFS this is worldwide the first comprehensive fire behavior modeling effort. The development of a wildfire hazard scale for structures and communities, like the one reported on in this NIST / USFS publication, will significantly alter the way how risks are assessed in the Wildland Urban Interface and Intermix from various perspectives and interests.
The science of using satellite based geographic and geo-spacial data that includes vegetation, climate and weather, as well as slope grades and aspect in sophisticated computer models is rapidly advancing. Today parcels of 20 acres can be individually evaluated for their risk of being involved in wildfire.
Fire departments will use this tool to better plan their resources and to identify vulnerable areas in their jurisdiction. City planning committees can use this tool to improve their general development plans and adjust building codes. Insurance companies can use this tool to evaluate their exposure to potential liabilities before underwriting policies. Lenders too can use this tool to evaluate their loans, especially for larger subdivisions, for possible risks.
Please see the original publication at the NIST website via this link..... http://www.nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/TechnicalNotes/NIST.TN.1748.pdf
Using the LANDIS geo-spacial modeling tool, the researchers around Janet Franklin were investigating vegetation changes in the Southern California foothills following fires.
This bears significance because a changing vegetation means a change in fuel types, which can mean different risks during future fires.
Please see the original publication released in "Ecosystems" here.... http://www.tinyurl.com/n6yr2nu