2020 Westside fire synthesis and quantitative wildfire risk assessment and mitigation framework

Principal Investigator: Jake Verschuyl, PhD, NCASI / Director of Forestry Research, Western U.S. & B.C.

Supported by: Western Trade Association Member Companies

Project Summary: Wildfires can have severe and lasting impacts on ecological, economic, and social resources.  To reduce and mitigate fire severity, managers require information about relative influences of topography, weather, fuels, prior management activities, biophysical setting, human infrastructure, and other variables that influence wildfire occurrence, spread, and severity. We propose a formal quantitative risk assessment for western Cascades and Coast Range forests in Oregon that provides a spatially explicit assessment of fire risk as a function of anthropogenic and natural factors.

Initially, we envision a formal risk assessment for a small group of watersheds (e.g., representing consolidated and multi-ownership categories) accompanied by a review manuscript and a fact sheet to support policy and regulatory discussions.  Based on the watershed assessment, we will scope a “crest to coast” assessment of wildfire risk, including resources, collaborators, and schedule.