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Monday, April 9 • 5:30pm - 7:00pm
POSTER: Geospatial Web Applications for NPS Fire Management at the Wildland-Urban Interface

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AUTHORS: Megan Culler, Justin Shedd, Jelena Vukomanovic* – North Carolina State University

ABSTRACT: This project demonstrates the potential role of geospatial web applications in what-if scenarios for wildfires. It aims to help the National Parks Service (NPS) quantify and visualize wildfire risks at the wildland-urban interface using geospatial data and an ArcGIS web mapping application. Wildfire suppression is common practice across Park Units and while wildfire suppression is intended to reduce fire impacts, it leads to a buildup of fuels and ultimately larger and more intense fires. In addition, population growth and increased urban development near national parks have led to increased risk to communities at the urban-wildland interface. These conditions make it important to identify areas in national parks that are at high risk of fire and assess the potential impacts of fire on surrounding communities, natural resources, and cultural resources, demonstrating the value of fuel treatments and identifying priority areas to treat. The project entailed the calculation of a Fire Return Interval Departure index for selected parks, resulting in a map layer showing the relative risk of fire based on the natural fire regime and on the years since the last fire for a given area. This layer is included in a web application along with data layers representing features at risk, including critical habitats for threatened and endangered species, sites in the National Register of Historic Places, and the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index – a suite of demographic and socioeconomic metrics about community resilience during natural disasters. The web application includes tools that allow the user to select an area of interest, visualize features that could be affected if a wildfire were to occur there, and summarize its socioeconomic and demographic variables. This project has the potential to be expanded to incorporate a range of data for assessing potential wildfire scenarios.

Monday April 9, 2018 5:30pm - 7:00pm CDT
Monroe Room

Attendees (2)