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2021 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

10. Dynamic Relocation of Aerial Firefighting Resources to Reduce Expected Wildfire Damage

Authors : Nicholas Davey, Simon Dunstall, Saman Halgamuge

Published in: Data and Decision Sciences in Action 2

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

Aerial firefighting resources are an integral part of modern wildfire suppression strategies. In many locations around the world where wildfires pose a serious threat, firefighting authorities have access to fleets of different aircraft. These can be used to provide support to land-based resources during the extended attack of existing fires or to quickly suppress recent spark events during the initial attack phase. As the amount of time that a fire has been burning is a predictor of the amount of damage it causes, fast aerial response times are critical. Therefore, there is significant value in dynamically repositioning aircraft to airbases and fires over the course of a fire day or fire season. In this paper, we devise one such approach based on model-predictive control to make relocation decisions at various times over a single day. These relocation decisions are based on solving an underlying Mixed-integer linear program (MILP) so as to minimize expected damage over a lookahead horizon. The inputs to this program are updated at each of these decision times based on prevailing stochastic weather conditions, the current state of fires in the region, and the current assignment of aircraft to bases and fires. The expected fire damage profiles used in this model are based on empirical data that is pre-computed for the region of interest. We apply our model to a scenario in Central Chile and show that with careful parameter selections it is possible to make improved relocation decisions to reduce the expected fire damage in a region using this approach.

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Metadata
Title
Dynamic Relocation of Aerial Firefighting Resources to Reduce Expected Wildfire Damage
Authors
Nicholas Davey
Simon Dunstall
Saman Halgamuge
Copyright Year
2021
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-60135-5_10