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Game Simulation and Wild Land Fire

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The use of a game simulation for evaluation of alternative fire suppression defense systems used by different management trains against a potentially catastrophic fire in California wild lands is described. The fire management teams are either native or foreign to the simulated Ranger Unit. The estimated final acreage burns are reduced by between approximately 82 and 91 percent front the potential acreage burn with no suppression effort. However, use of an augmented California Division of Forestry suppression defense system rather than a present system that existed in 1960 does not always result in lower acreage burns. The use of foreign as opposed to native fire management teams results in lower acreage burns using the same defense system. The fire management teams consistently use tactics which, if successful, would result in lower acreage burns than predicted for even short periods of a few hours. The three primary goals of the fire management teams--minimization of acreage burn, structure protection, and personnel safety--vary in relative importance depending on fire conditions. The ground unit strength is increased by nearly 78 percent with the augmented system. Management decision teams using this system tend to keep reserve levels greater than in proportion to the size of the increase in strength. Finally, comparison of the fire truck dispatches made by the fire management teams with alternative orders directed at minimizing total travel time of each dispatch shows a potential time savings using the minimum travel time criteria of between approximately 21 hours and 214 hours. The implications and limitations of these results with respect to possible policy decisions are outlined.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Economist, Institute for Defense Analyses, Arlington, Va.

Publication date: 1966-12-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
    Other SAF Publications
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