Simulating future residential property losses from wildfire in Flathead County, Montana: Chapter 1

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Abstract

Wildfire damages to private residences in the United States and elsewhere have increased as a result of expansion of the wildland-urban interface (WUI) and other factors. Understanding this unwelcome trend requires analytical frameworks that simulate how various interacting social, economic, and biophysical factors influence those damages. A methodological framework is developed for simulating expected residential property losses from wildfire [E(RLW)], which is a probabilistic monetary measure of wildfire risk to residential properties in the WUI. E(RLW) is simulated for Flathead County, Montana for five, 10-year subperiods covering the period 2010-2059, under various assumptions about future climate change, economic growth, land use policy, and forest management. Results show statistically significant increases in the spatial extent of WUI properties, the number of residential structures at risk from wildfire, and E(RLW) over the 50-year evaluation period for both the county and smaller subareas (i.e., neighborhoods and parcels). The E(RLW) simulation framework presented here advances the field of wildfire risk assessment by providing a finer-scale tool that incorporates a set of dynamic, interacting processes. The framework can be applied using other scenarios for climate change, economic growth, land use policy, and forest management, and in other areas.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Simulating future residential property losses from wildfire in Flathead County, Montana: Chapter 1
Volume 33
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Nova Science Publishers
Publisher location New York, NY
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 40 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Advances in Environmental Research
First page 1
Last page 40
Country United States
State Montana
County Flathead County