Planning for dire wildfire evacuations

Authors: Tom Cova*, University of Utah
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Transportation Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: hazards, transportation, evacuation, gis
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 7
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Recent extreme wildfires are motivating unprecedented evacuation planning. A critical need is to consider dire scenarios that allow less time to clear an area than required. While these scenarios often begin with an ignition near a community, any scenario can become dire due to natural, human, and technological factors. While research has widely addressed scenarios with ample time and favorable conditions, protecting people in dire scenarios is much more challenging. This paper describes a framework for generating dire scenarios that includes difficult starting conditions, delayed decision-making, variable fire spread-rates, limited warning technology, and random adverse events. The goal is to move beyond favorable scenarios and generate challenging ones that inspire novel protective planning.

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