Tuesday, 18 November 2003: 10:30 AM
Florida's Communities At Risk
Susan McLellan, Florida Division of Forestry, Tallahassee, FL; and J. D. Brenner
The Florida Division of Forestry has developed a very comprehensive tool that allows any Florida citizen to view the potential risk from wildfire for all lands within Florida. This tool depicts the relative risk from wildfire on a scale from level one to level 9, or from green to red, where red are those areas at highest risk and green, at the lowest risk level. The National Fire Plan has required that a national list of communities at risk to wildland fire be developed in order to identify those areas within the US that are most at risk from wildfire. This list was first published in the federal register on January 4, 2001.
The information from the Wildland Fire Risk Assessment System was used to prioritize all of Floridaís Communities with respect to wildfires. The process used was to assume a distance of three miles from each community would reflect at least two burning periods, and then to analyze the risk from wildfire to that community based on the mean values of the Wildland Fire Suseptibility Index(WFSI) generated by the Wildland Fire Risk Assessment System. This analysis was accomplished using ESRIís ArcView tool. Using this information the Florida Division of Forestry was able to rank the communities as at High, Medium and Low risk to wildfire. At this time, this is the only system that uses an analytical tool to make this determination.