Forest fire risk assessment using point process modelling of fire occurrence and Monte Carlo fire simulation

Hyeyoung Woo, Woodam Chung, Jonathan M. Graham, Byungdoo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Risk assessment of forest fires requires an integrated estimation of fire occurrence probability and burn probability because fire spread is largely influenced by ignition locations as well as fuels, weather, topography and other environmental factors. This study aims to assess forest fire risk over a large forested landscape using both fire occurrence and burn probabilities. First, we use a spatial point processing method to generate a fire occurrence probability surface. We then perform a Monte Carlo fire spread simulation using multiple fire ignition points generated from the fire occurrence surface to compute burn probability across the landscape. Potential loss per land parcel due to forest fire is assessed as the combination of burn probability and government-appraised property values. We applied our methodology to the municipal boundary of Gyeongju in the Republic of Korea. The results show that the density of fire occurrence is positively associated with low elevation, moderate slope, coniferous land cover, distance to roads, high density of tombs and interaction among fire ignition locations. A correlation analysis among fire occurrence probability, burn probability, land property value and potential value loss indicates that fire risk in the study landscape is largely associated with the spatial pattern of burn probability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-805
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Wildland Fire
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2017


  • fire behaviour
  • fire simulation modelling
  • ignition
  • propagation.


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