Redefining OK-FIRE Mesonet Platform as an Impact-Based Decision-Support Service and Assessing its Economic Valuation

Authors: Monica Mattox*, , Jadwiga Ziolkowska, University of Oklahoma
Topics: Applied Geography, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Climatology and Meteorology
Keywords: Mesonet, fire, OK-FIRE, impact based decision support service, decision support, decision making, impacts, IDSS, weather, Oklahoma, economic benefit, willingness to pay, valuation
Session Type: Guided Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Roosevelt 3.5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

With over 50% of Oklahoma classified as rangeland and 28% comprised of forest, Oklahoma is perpetually under threat of wildfire. In the past three years alone, the state has witnessed catastrophic fires that destroyed nearly 2 million acres. With an increasing threat in wildfire severity and acreage burned, especially in light of a changing climate and growing population, the need for fire management decision-support services was essential in Oklahoma. OK-FIRE, Oklahoma's first state-wide fire decision-support tool, was created in 2006 in response to the need for a weather- and climate-driven fire support system. The tool was established on the backbone of the Oklahoma Mesonet, an automated weather network, and incorporates various current and forecasted climate and weather variables. The products developed from this data provide the ability to plan for and forecast fire weather and environmental conditions, ultimately reducing impacts and mitigating associated threats. The aim of this research was to redefine OK-FIRE as an Impact-Based Decision-Support Service (IDSS) to incorporate how societal impacts drive their decision-making and support. OK-FIRE as an IDSS can act as a case study for implementing such programs in areas that face similar threats and identify how impacts are a crucial component of decision-support services. As a follow-up, assessment of the economic benefit of OK-FIRE via surveys, including Willingness-to-Pay surveys, interviews, and focus groups, can determine potential justifications, benefits, challenges, and needs for those interested in establishing comparable programs.

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