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  • Improve fire warning and evacuation capabilities, with possible mandatory evacuation under conditions of extreme fire risk (equivalent to evacuation orders along coastal shorelines threatened by hurricanes), and

  • Strengthen insurance incentives to promote adoption of wildland fire risk mitigation guidelines set by the insurance industry or fire-related agency

The following are research challenges worthy of future consideration and study as identified by some forum participants:

  • The interaction of forest cover and climate change at different scales and trends in frequency of lightning and dry periods with climate change;

  • Cost effectiveness of mitigation actions, including costs of fighting fires and costs of limiting their extent;

  • Impact of forest “preservation” in relation to buildup of fuels;

  • Policy and practices related to fuel reduction through prescribed burns and thinning;

  • Effects of forest evolution/changes on fire hazard (e.g., Bar Harbor, Maine forest change prior to 1947 Fire);

  • Fire as an ecological agent of change;

  • Utility of field experiments and modeling, (e.g. the Canadian crown-fire research project);

  • Research on combustible factors in building technology,

  • Need for better remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) to model wildland fire risk factors (e.g., fuel, slope, climate, etc.);

  • Development practices (density, slope, construction materials/practices, water, road access and egress) to reduce urban/wildland fire hazard;

  • Utility of regulations (zoning, subdivision/landscape/building codes) to achieve better development and building practices;

  • Education and incentives (remodeling guidelines, demos for builders, tax abatement, permit fee waivers on retrofits);

Potential role of the private insurance industry in establishing voluntary or compulsory standards for fire risk reduction in urban/wildland fringe;

  • Development of training modules for fire personnel in techniques of risk assessment and fire suppression for urban/wildland fire, using computer graphics and simulation to enhance learning for operations in this dangerous environment;

  • Design and development of an interdisciplinary knowledge base regarding the vulnerability of communities exposed to risk of wildland fire; and

  • Development of computer-based models that simulate rapidly escalating urban/wildland fires and include the range of conditions that contribute to fire, as well as the range of conditions that inhibit it.

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