Triaging the Wildland Interface Problem in the Moraga-Orinda Fire District to Maximize Vegetation Management Efforts [open pdf - 94KB]
"This research project evaluated risk factors that impact the ability of fire suppression forces to quickly extinguish a wildland-interface fire before it spreads so that lives can be saved and property protected. The problem was that wildland-interface fires continue to pose a significant threat to human life, property and the environment. The purpose of this applied research paper was to determine to what extent the residential communities protected by the Moraga-Orinda Fire District were threatened by wildland-interface fires and whether the Moraga-Orinda Fire District could mitigate that threat potential. The research employed was both evaluative and action. The research was evaluative through the utilization of a community risk factor survey, the results of which were used to prioritize zone areas within the community from highest risk to lowest risk. The research was action research in that the information gathered was applied in a real-world context through the implementation of a vegetation management program. The research questions to be answered were: 1. What is the potential to the communities served by the Moraga-Orinda Fire District for wildland-interface fires? 2. What changes are required for the communities served by the Moraga-Orinda Fire District to mitigate the wildland-interface fire threat? 3. How should the Moraga-Orinda Fire District implement a fuel reduction program? The principle utilized a neighborhood risk factor survey to classify and prioritize neighborhood areas into zones based on vehicle access, topography, slope vegetation, predominant aspect, predominant fuel types, condition of vegetation relating to fire safety, roof and building construction, distance between structures, active homeowner groups, electrical services and average number of fires per 1,000 acres per ten years."
United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Learning Resource Center: http://www.lrc.fema.gov/