The Causal Factors of Fire Occurrences in Semi-Arid Environments: Case Studies of Phoenix and Las Vegas

Authors: Shitian Wan*, University of Cincinnati, Yuhe Gao*, University of Cincinnati
Topics: United States, Environment
Keywords: wildfire, environment, planning
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Wildfire can cause disastrous effects, not only that the economic costs of property loss can be staggering, but also it can destroy ecosystems and even threaten human lives. The recent 2018 California wildfire, which is the deadliest and most destructive wildfire on record, showed clearly the devastating consequences of wildfires. A better understanding of the wildfire incidents is therefore crucial in fire prevention and also for future planning. The objective of this study is to determine the causal factors that instigate wildfire occurrences. Las Vegas in Nevada and Phoenix in Arizona are selected as the study areas. A fishnet is built to divide the study areas into grids. Based on the values of factors, such as distance to roads, population, land cover types, elevation, in each grid, a step-wise regression model is used to reveal the crucial factors that contribute to wildfire occurrences as well as the spatial relationships of these factors with fire distribution patterns. The result of this study will help first responders, urban planners, government agencies, and the public to predict fire occurrences so as to prevent massive economic and ecological damages.

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