Track: Risk Analysis
The Emerging Role of Analytics in Wildfire Management, or, “Moneyball for Fire”
Wednesday, April 14, 1-1:40pm EDT
Wildfires present a growing threat to landscapes and communities around the globe. Wildfire managers face a complex decision environment in which they are asked to minimize costs and losses while maximizing public and firefighter safety, often under substantial uncertainty, compressed timeframes, and intense sociopolitical pressure. Enhanced analytics and performance measures reflect one point of leverage for increasing the capacity of fire management organizations to deal with this escalating complexity. In this talk I will review emerging decision support tools along with their application to real-world fire management, with a focus on predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms now widely deployed on National Forest System lands throughout the western USA. In short, I am interested in the question of whether the fire science and management communities can together develop a “Moneyball for fire” paradigm – one where decisions and actions are risk-informed, evidence-based, enriched with analytics, and aligned with long-term objectives.