WIT Press

Allocation Of Initial Attack Resources


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

187 - 195




298 kb


D. B. Rideout, Y. Wei & A. Kirsch


Increased scrutiny of federally funded programs combined with changes in fire management reflects a demand for new fire program analysis tools. We formulated an integer linear programming (ILP) model for initial attack resource allocation that operates in a performance-based, cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) environment. The model optimizes the deployment of initial attack resources for a user-defined set of fires that a manager would like to be prepared for across alternative budget levels. The model also incorporates fire spread, multiple ignitions, simultaneous ignitions and monitoring resources on a landscape. It also evaluates the cost effectiveness of alternate fire fighting resources and alternative pre-positioning locations. Fires that escape initial attack are costly during the extended attack phase of fire management. To address this within the scope of initial attack, we constructed and analyzed alternative objective functions that incorporate a proxy for internalizing the cost of fires that escape initial attack. This type of model can provide the basis for a wider scale formulation with the potential to measure an organization’s performance and promote a higher level of accountability and efficiency in fire programs. Keywords: integer programming, initial attack, wildland fire, optimal deployment. 1 Introduction Wildland fire organizations, including US federal land management agencies, customarily organize the suppression of unwanted fires into the three stages of suppression: initial attack (IA), extended attack (EA) and large fire management. Compartmentalizing this problem allows organizations to focus on the functioning and funding of different stages of fire management. This enables the analyst to focus with depth on the part of the problem of primary interest, but it introduces the problem of potential \“spill over” effects that can be costly. For


integer programming, initial attack, wildland fire, optimal deployment