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Wildfire evacuation modeling in the big data era: Challenges and opportunities

Authors: Dapeng Li*, South Dakota State University
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Hazards and Vulnerability
Keywords: wildfire evacuation, big data, system coupling, computer models, GIS
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Wildfire has caused significant loss of life and property in the American west in the past few fire seasons. More and more residents in the wildfire urban interface are exposed to wildfire risk with more frequent large fires and longer fire seasons in the Western U.S. The past few years have witnessed substantial progress in wildfire evacuation modeling, and the recently developed wildfire evacuation models are characterized by system coupling and rely on a wide range of spatial data. The big data era has brought many opportunities and challenges to wildfire evacuation modelers. This paper provides a comprehensive review of various open and proprietary data that have been used in wildfire evacuation modeling and the potential use of some new data (e.g., social media data). Specifically, the review is conducted from a system coupling perspective, and we introduce how to use various kinds of data in different models (e.g., population modeling, evacuation traffic modeling, protective action trigger modeling, and fire spread modeling) and model coupling. We use Truckee, CA as a case to demonstrate how to leverage big data in wildfire evacuation modeling for fire-prone communities. Lastly, we conclude the paper with the primary challenges and future research directions.

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