Forest fire risk modeling of the Mark Twain National Forest
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Changing regional climate conditions have increased the sensitivity of many forests to fire. In Missouri, this increased risk has been realized in major stands such as Mark Twain National Forest. This thesis works towards a better understanding of the morphology of large scale forest fires and what regional conditions have the greatest effect on fire propagation. This study uses geographic information systems (GIS) coupled with fire simulation software (FARSITE) to model fire spread within Mark Twain National Forest. In particular, the goals of this research are to determine what conditions can give rise to large scale fires. The research found that precipitation has the greatest effect on fire propagation over a short time frame. However over longer time frames with only receiving precipitation on one or two of the days, the effects of precipitation are minimized. Studies of forest fire propagation under varying realistic conditions are needed to inform forestry management personnel and state decision makers of the potential for devastating large scale forest fires. These results could be used to assist in strategic fire prevention activities and preparations for mitigating damage to the forest, surrounding regions, and the local populations.
Access is limited to the University of Missouri - Columbia.