Modeling wildfire evacuation as a coupled human-environmental system using triggers

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Geography
Author Li, Dapeng
Title Modeling wildfire evacuation as a coupled human-environmental system using triggers
Date 2016
Description Wildfire is a common hazard in the western U.S. that can cause significant loss of life and property. When a fire approaches a community and becomes a threat to the residents, emergency managers need to take into account both fire behavior and the expected response of the threatened population to warnings before they issue protective action recommendations to the residents at risk. In wildfire evacuation practices, incident commanders use prominent geographic features (e.g., rivers, roads, and ridgelines) as trigger points, such that when a fire crosses a feature, the selected protective action recommendation will be issued to the residents at risk. This dissertation examines the dynamics of evacuation timing by coupling wildfire spread modeling, trigger modeling, reverse geocoding, and traffic simulation to model wildfire evacuation as a coupled human-environmental system. This dissertation is composed of three manuscripts. In the first manuscript, wildfire simulation and household-level trigger modeling are coupled to stage evacuation warnings. This work presents a bottom-up approach to constructing evacuation warning zones and is characterized by fine-grain, data-driven spatial modeling. The results in this work will help improve our understanding and representation of the spatiotemporal dynamics in wildfire evacuation timing and warnings. The second manuscript integrates trigger modeling and reverse geocoding to extract and select prominent geographic features along the boundary of a trigger buffer. A case study using a global gazetteer GeoNames demonstrates the potential value of the proposed method in facilitating communications in real-world evacuation practice. This work also sheds light on using reverse geocoding in other environmental modeling applications. The third manuscript explores the spatiotemporal dynamics behind evacuation timing by coupling fire and traffic simulation models. The proposed method sets wildfire evacuation triggers based on the estimated evacuation times using agent-based traffic simulation and could be potentially used in evacuation planning. In summary, this dissertation enriches existing trigger modeling approaches by coupling fire simulation, reverse geocoding, and traffic simulation. A framework for modeling wildfire evacuation as a coupled human-environmental system using triggers is proposed. Moreover, this dissertation also attempts to advocate and promote open science in wildfire evacuation modeling by using open data and software tools in different phases of modeling and simulation.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject fire spread modeling; GIS; reverse geocoding; traffic simulation; triggers; wildfire evacuation
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Relation is Version of eng
Rights Management ¬©Dapeng Li
Format Medium application/pdf
ARK ark:/87278/s65q90rk
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2018-06-12
Date Modified 2018-06-12
ID 1341313
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s65q90rk
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