Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

July 31, 2023

FORT economist James Meldrum in featured in the US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station Science You Can Use Bulletin, "Sometimes Simple Works: the value of rapid parcel-level wildfire risk assessments."

Infographic of house and plot of land with categories listed for rapid wildfire risk assessment.
(Figure 1) A visual guide to Rapid Wildfire Risk Assessment from the Wildfire Research Team (WiRē). Risk assessment is broken down into four categories: 1) home ignition potential, 2) defensible space, 3) background conditions, and 4) access. 

As wildfire occurrence and severity increases, so does the need for accurate methods of wildfire risk assessment. The Wildfire Research Center (WiRē) developed a Rapid Assessment tool that is not only simple for wildfire practitioners to implement, but provides higher specificity than previous tools as it incorporates research on individual differences in home susceptibility to wildfire (Figure 1). 

For this bulletin, James Meldrum was interviewed about his recent publication (Meldrum et al., 2022, Parcel level risk affects wildland fire outcomes: Insights from homes destroyed in the 2020 East Troublesome Fire, Fire) in which he and his coauthors found that properties in Grand County identified as higher risk by the Rapid Assessment tool were more likely to have been destroyed by the East Troublesome Fire. Given this, they recommend using the tool to identify at-risk properties and determine potential mitigation actions to reduce wildfire risk to individual homes and across communities. The bulletin also describes Meldrum's ongoing efforts to collaborate with Grand County Wildfire Council and other partners to understand and support decisions about wildfire risk mitigation on private property.

Science You Can Use aims to provide scientific information to people who make and influence decisions about managing land. Read more articles from Science You Can Use on their website.


Get Our News

These items are in the RSS feed format (Really Simple Syndication) based on categories such as topics, locations, and more. You can install and RSS reader browser extension, software, or use a third-party service to receive immediate news updates depending on the feed that you have added. If you click the feed links below, they may look strange because they are simply XML code. An RSS reader can easily read this code and push out a notification to you when something new is posted to our site.