“Wildfire evacuation decision-making is challenging because the incident commanders need to take into account fire progression, population distribution and evacuation traffic,” explained Dapeng Li, an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at South Dakota State University.

Li’s research uses data-based models to help emergency managers make those decisions.  Specifically, he uses fire spread modeling to predict how fast the fire will travel and employs traffic simulation model to estimate how much time the people need to evacuate to safe places.

 “It’s the coupling of the two models that helps us develop a better understanding of the dynamics and mechanisms behind the evacuation process. It’s more complex than we thought,” Li said. The wildfire evacuation modeling research was part of Li’s doctoral work at the University of Utah. His results are published in a special issue on fire evacuation modeling in Fire Technology.

Read the full article here: https://unews.utah.edu/when-to-evacuate-residents-during-a-wildfire/