From Static to Dynamic Prediction: Wildfire Risk Assessment Based on Multiple Environmental Factors

03/14/2021 ∙ by Tanqiu Jiang, et al. ∙ 0

Wildfire is one of the biggest disasters that frequently occurs on the west coast of the United States. Many efforts have been made to understand the causes of the increases in wildfire intensity and frequency in recent years. In this work, we propose static and dynamic prediction models to analyze and assess the areas with high wildfire risks in California by utilizing a multitude of environmental data including population density, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), tree mortality area, tree mortality number, and altitude. Moreover, we focus on a better understanding of the impacts of different factors so as to inform preventive actions. To validate our models and findings, we divide the land of California into 4,242 grids of 0.1 degrees × 0.1 degrees in latitude and longitude, and compute the risk of each grid based on spatial and temporal conditions. By performing counterfactual analysis, we uncover the effects of several possible methods on reducing the number of high risk wildfires. Taken together, our study has the potential to estimate, monitor, and reduce the risks of wildfires across diverse areas provided that such environment data is available.

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