Mitigating wildfire impacts on mobility using GIS, fire simulation, and operations modeling

Oregon’s status as the largest timber producer in the USA, combined with the dry climates during fire season combined with a myriad of other factors have resulted in large scale forest fires that threaten the many logging towns east of I-5. Many of these towns that are vulnerable to the wildfires are accessible by single roads that could easily be cut off and thus block aid to and evacuation from these towns. This was seen very recently during the 2020 wildfires, which resulted in the deaths of 11 people and destruction of thousands of homes, exposing the vulnerability of Oregon’s logging towns. These fires have highlighted the need for preparedness by transportation agencies, particularly relating to its maintenance of rural roadway networks, to serve the twin purposes of enabling rapid evacuation of affected populations and enabling access to affected areas by first responders and firefighters. While current knowledge enables decision-makers to simulate the spread of wildfires, and separately establish the impact of closed roads on mobility, what is currently unknown is the impact of wildfires on transportation infrastructure and methods to mitigate its impact. This research will thus fill this gap in transportation by using a simulation-based approach to model the impact of wildfires on road networks; with the goal of enabling decision making regarding the allocation of debris clearance, firefighting, and recovery equipment to mitigate the impact of the wildfires and enable speedy recovery of affected communities.

Language

  • English

Project

  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $80000
  • Contract Numbers:

    69A355174110

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium

    University of Washington
    More Hall Room 112
    Seattle, WA  United States  98195-2700

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Oregon State University, Corvallis

    School of Civil and Construction Engineering, 101 Kearney Hall
    Corvallis, OR  United States  97331-2302
  • Project Managers:

    Louis, Joseph

  • Performing Organizations:

    Oregon State University, Corvallis

    Department of Civil Engineering
    202 Apperson Hall
    Corvallis, OR  United States  97331-2302
  • Principal Investigators:

    Louis, Joseph

    Turkan, Yelda

  • Start Date: 20210316
  • Expected Completion Date: 20220315
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01784891
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: 69A355174110
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Oct 15 2021 2:58PM