An attacker-defender model for analyzing the vulnerability of initial attack in wildfire suppression

Article Status: Published
Publication Year: 2018
Rashidi, E., Medal, H., and Hoskins, A.. Naval Research Logistics 65(2), 120–134.

Wildfire managers use initial attack (IA) to control wildfires before they grow large and become difficult to suppress. Although the majority of wildfire incidents are contained by IA, the small percentage of fires that escape IA causes most of the damage. Therefore, planning a successful IA is very important. In this article, we study the vulnerability of IA in wildfire suppression using an attacker-defender Stackelberg model. The attacker’s objective is to coordinate the simultaneous ignition of fires at various points in a landscape to maximize the number of fires that cannot be contained by IA. The defender’s objective is to optimally dispatch suppression resources from multiple fire stations located across the landscape to minimize the number of wildfires not contained by IA. We use a decomposition algorithm to solve the model and apply the model on a test case landscape. We also investigate the impact of delay in the response, the fire growth rate, the amount of suppression resources, and the locations of fire stations on the success of IA.