Large-Scale Fire Risk Planning for Initial Attack and Fuels: The U.S. State of Idaho

Large-Scale Fire Risk Planning for Initial Attack and Fuels: The U.S. State of Idaho

Douglas B. Rideout Nicole Kernohan Joe-Riley Epps 

WESTFIRE Research Centre, Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, Colorado State University, USA

Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, USA

24 January 2019
| Citation



Public officials charged with managing the risk of wildland fire are looking for ways to apply risk analysis at large scales affecting a wide range of resources, including life and property. The ability to address risk analysis at a large scale is just now emerging with new technologies and analytics in such applications as STARFire. This paper summarizes how the STARFire planning and budgeting system were applied across the state of Idaho, and how it can be used to support state-wide planning using the Idaho State Fire Management Plan initiative as an example. The STARFire planning and budgeting system generated a large-scale risk analysis across the entire state of Idaho for the United States Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The STARFire analysis is driven by a single performance metric ‘return on investment’ to make efficient use of scarce funding. We collabo- rated with officials at the BLM to identify and assemble key spatial input data such as: a full range of values at risk, fire behaviour and fire history, and fire management cost information. This and related information was analysed using the STARFire spatial planning and budgeting system to produce a state-wide risk analysis, an integrated fuels and initial attack analysis and an integrated budget analysis across programs. The analysis demonstrated the ability to assess BLM lands across the state and scale between the state and the associated planning units within the state. This is the first time that such an analysis has been performed at such a large scale (across multiple landscapes) at the program level. The associated planning unit level analysis was validated with BLM officials. Products support the BLM’s first state-wide spatial fire management planning initiative.


economics, fire management plan, fuel treatment, Idaho, landscape analysis, risk, spatial planning, STARFire, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, wildland fire


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