In recent years, the field of wildfire risk management has seen dramatic advances. One notable improvement is in the realm of pre-fire suppression response planning, in particular the expansion from the assessment of risks posed by fire to the assessment of opportunities to effectively manage fire. Such proactive assessment and planning is critical to ensure that suppression response strategies and tactics are more likely to be safe and efficient. In this paper we will review the state-of-the-art in wildfire suppression planning, and illustrate application of advanced planning tools on a fire-prone landscape in Colorado, USA. Specifically we will use geospatial tools to quantify a composite index of suppression difficulty, and map this layer in relation to two key protection priorities that often drive suppression response decisions: built structures, and high value watersheds. We will discuss how our assessment results can inform planning and prioritization efforts, and offer suggestions for future research.
Part of the book: Environmental Risks