Initial attack fire suppression, spatial resource allocation, and fire prevention policy in California, the United States, and the Republic of Korea Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/bc386n748

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  • In this dissertation, I combined a scenario-based, standard-response optimization model with a stochastic simulation model to improve the efficiency of the deployment of initial attack firefighting resources on wildland fires in California and the Republic of Korea. The optimization model minimizes the expected number of fires that do not receive a standard response—defined as the number of resources by type that must arrive at the fire within a specified time limit—subject to budget and station capacity constraints and uncertainty about the daily number and location of fires. The simulation model produces a set of fire scenarios in which a combination of fire count, fire locations, fire ignition times, and fire behavior occur. Compared with the current deployment, the deployment obtained with optimization shifts resources from the planning unit with the highest fire load to the planning unit with the highest standard response requirements. Resource deployments that result from relaxing constraints on station capacity achieve greater containment success by encouraging consolidation of resources into stations with high dispatch frequency, thus increasing the probability of resource availability on high fire count days. I extended the standard response framework to examine how a policy priority influences the optimal spatial allocation and performance of initial attack resources. I found that the policy goal of a fire manager changes the optimal spatial allocation of initial attack firefighting resources on a heterogeneous landscape, especially, for the socio-economic value of a potential fire location. Furthermore, I investigated the tradeoff between the number of firefighting resources and the level of fire ignition prevention efforts mitigating the probability of human-made fires in the Republic of Korea where most fires are caused by human activities. I found that fire ignition prevention is as cost-effective as initial attack resources given the current budget in the Republic of Korea on reducing the expected number of fires not receiving the standard response. From the comparison of the California and Republic of Korea cases, I can identify "rules of thumb" to be followed when allocating IA resources in particular ecological and policy settings.
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