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Public Lands Management Issues

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Humans are responsible for nearly seventy thousand wildfires in the US each year, and human-caused fires have burned more than 2 million acres in five of the past ten years. Wildfires are a major contributor to US greenhouse gas emissions, adding 126.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. These emissions can be significantly reduced with improved wildfire management strategies. This research examines the connection between human-caused fire proximity to physical characteristics, criminal activities, and other factors within National Forests. It presents a spatial pattern model that predicts the likelihood of fire ignition location based on physical attributes, such as: the spatial location of fire ignition crimes and other crimes on national forests, and the spatial location of national forest physical characteristics (e.g., roads, trails, recreational/unique resources, etc.). This research will present natural resource managers with practical applications of spatial analysis techniques utilizing GIS, as well as help public land managers target and deploy personnel in areas most prone to human fire ignitions during times of high fire risk.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2011

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