Built structure identification in wildland fire decision support

David E. Calkin, Jon D. Rieck, Kevin D. Hyde, Jeffrey D. Kaiden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Recent ex-urban development within the wildland interface has significantly increased the complexity and associated cost of federal wildland fire management in the United States. Rapid identification of built structures relative to probable fire spread can help to reduce that complexity and improve the performance of incident management teams. Approximate structure locations can be mapped as specific-point building cluster features using cadastral data records. This study assesses the accuracy and precision of building clusters relative to GPS structure locations and compares these results with area mapping of housing density using census-based products. We demonstrate that building clusters are reasonably accurate and precise approximations of structure locations and provide superior strategic information for wildland fire decision support compared with area density techniques. Real-time delivery of structure locations and other values-at-risk mapped relative to probable fire spread through the Wildland Fire Decision Support System Rapid Assessment of Values at Risk procedure supports development of wildland fire management strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-90
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Wildland Fire
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


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