Modeling Wildfire Risk At Vandenberg SFB

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Recurrent heatwaves and droughts across the western half of the United States, as well as the natural environment of the region, have historically caused the area to be plagued by wildfires. Each year, California and other western states struggle to contain fire spread and limit damage to buildings, land, and lives. These issues have only increased in frequency and intensity.

These wildfires threaten military installations across the western United States, as evidenced by recent evacuations and mission impacts in 2017 to Vandenberg SFB, Calif., and in 2020 to Travis. AFB, Calif. As wildfires pose one of the largest threats to mission security in the west (and only heightened today by lengthening seasons and changes over time of site vulnerability), it is important to tabulate and quantify risk, uniformly, to better account for future impacts on defense operations and personnel safety.


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[*]Author note: At the time of publication Capt Napolean Robinson was a graduate student at AFIT.

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The Military Engineer

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