Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Intelligence

Domain #2

Disaster resilience

Challenge 2.1. Optimisation of prediction of disaster


Open Call #2 laureate

Figure 1. Simulation of the fire spread and impacts on the WUIs. The platform can estimate the number of buildings threatened and destroyed by the fire as well as metrics on the fire behaviour.

Description of the project

The exposure and vulnerability of communities at the wildland-urban interface (WUI) is increasing as we see a significant rise in adverse weather conditions and wildfire activity. Communities and built areas in these zones where human activity and wild vegetation intermingle face a greater risk of being negatively impacted by fire events.

WUI-Secure will be an effective modelling tool that incorporates both wildfire propagation modelling with building vulnerability and risk assessment. This tool, based on expert knowledge, will integrate information on wildlife behaviour and WUI vulnerability to identify the most-vulnerable zones and at-risk assets of a community at the time of a wildfire event. It will provide valuable information for fire services, first responders, industry, and other key decision makers, as well as encourage better protective and preventative action from local authorities and community members.

Mid-term project update

At the project midterm stage, WUI-Secure is advancing well into the development stage of the prototype components. In the first half of the project, our team worked to define the main needs of the intended users of our tool and how the components of the WUI-Secure prototype will address and visualize these needs in an easy and effective manner.

Our team has been working on the creation of the Building Structural Vulnerability Index—an index that evaluates the vulnerability of buildings at the wildland-urban interface in terms of their structural and surrounding elements—and preparing for its validation. The next steps for our project include the creation of the prototype platform, the integration of the index with wildfire model simulations, and the final implementation of both the building vulnerability and fire behaviour modelling into an intuitive and useful tool—the WUI-Secure software prototype.

Project consortium