International Construction Specialty Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (ICSC) (5th : 2015)

Risk of wildfires with known ignition points : case of residential buildings Kalhor, Elmira; Valentin, Vanessa


Wildfire is considered the dominant disaster in many regions of the world including the United States, Australia, Canada and parts of Europe. However, unlike other natural disasters, such as flooding, earthquakes and hurricanes, the risk of wildfire to the built environment is not vigorously studied. Most of the research in the wildfire risk management area is limited to the study and management of wildfire within the wildland. On the other hand, there is an increasing progress of housing projects towards the natural lands. The Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) is where the developed and undeveloped areas meet. Because of high vulnerability of the WUIs to wildfires, there is a need to identify, quantify and manage the expected damage of wildfires to the WUIs. This study calculates the risk of wildfires to residential buildings considering a specific ignition point. The model inputs include the spatial distribution of the buildings, an absolute or proxy value for the damage from wildfire, and atmospheric and landscape attributes needed to simulate the fire propagation on a specific land. The model outputs are the distribution of damage at each time interval from the initial ignition and total risk of a fire with a given ignition point.

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