AIR Worldwide Updates Wildfire Model with Event-Based Risk Management Approach


Catastrophe risk modeling firm AIR Worldwide (AIR) has released an updated Wildfire Model for the United States designed to provide a comprehensive view of the risk of wildfire to property within the 13 westernmost conterminous states. The event-based modeling approach accounts for the variability in weather in the current climate regime and its impact on fire behavior, enabling the model to simulate correlated countrywide wildfire activity.

The model features a catalog of fire clusters and a historical event set that features 17 events, including the 2017 Tubbs/Atlas and Thomas fires in California. Each cluster consists of fires ignited within 150 miles of one another over a period of seven days. AIR uses historical fire data to characterize fire behavior in different ecological regions of North America, known as ecoprovinces, and uses unique spread models based on recent scientific approaches to create stochastic fires for each of these regions.
“With increasing residential and commercial development in the wild-war risk-prone areas, model AIRWorld’s senior scientist Tammy Viggato clearly explains this increasing penetration into the WUI [wildland-urban interface],” he said. “Nearly one-third of the US population now lives in WUI in the US, and most of the losses related to forest fires have come to fruition, and this figure continues to grow at a rapid pace. To address the increased risks, the model realistically captures fire behavior while moving from rural areas to suburban areas and more urban areas under extreme conditions. “

This enhanced forest fire model simulates how fires spread to areas based on wind speed and direction, the presence of fuels, the possibility of landfill and repression. It clearly explains the different ways of spreading fires including fire marking and spotting.

The model always calculates the length of the flame in the line, which is directly related to the intensity of the fire and is therefore used to estimate the severity of the damage. Based on these criteria, in conjunction with ever-evolving wind conditions and suppression efforts, the model can determine how and where the fire will advance through the landscape.

The Wildfire model also adds to the vulnerability of forest fire and NFPA’s riskiness specific to Firewise US communities.

The Wildfire Model for the United States is now available in Touchstone, Touchstone Re and CATRADER disaster risk management systems.

AIR Worldwide offers risk modeling products for individuals, businesses and the community. In 1987, AIR Worldwide founded the catastrophic modeling industry and today is modeling the risks of natural disasters, terrorism, pandemics, accidental disasters and cyber events. Insurance reinsurance, financial, institutional and government clients rely on AIR for advanced science, software and disaster risk management, insurance-linked securities, longevity modeling, site specific engineering analysis and advisory services for agricultural risk management. AIR Worldwide, a Verisk company in Boston, has additional offices in North America, Europe and Asia.

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