Over the years, rampant wildfires have plagued the state of California, creating economic and environmental loss. In 2018, wildfires cost nearly 800 million dollars in economic loss and claimed more than 100 lives in California. Over 1.6 million acres of land has burned and caused large sums of environmental damage. Although, recently, researchers have introduced machine learning models and algorithms in predicting the wildfire risks, these results focused on special perspectives and were restricted to a limited number of data parameters. In this paper, we have proposed two data-driven machine learning approaches based on random forest models to predict the wildfire risk at areas near Monticello and Winters, California. This study demonstrated how the models were developed and applied with comprehensive data parameters such as powerlines, terrain, and vegetation in different perspectives that improved the spatial and temporal accuracy in predicting the risk of wildfire including fire ignition. The combined model uses the spatial and the temporal parameters as a single combined dataset to train and predict the fire risk, whereas the ensemble model was fed separate parameters that were later stacked to work as a single model. Our experiment shows that the combined model produced better results compared to the ensemble of random forest models on separate spatial data in terms of accuracy. The models were validated with Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves, learning curves, and evaluation metrics such as: accuracy, confusion matrices, and classification report. The study results showed and achieved cutting-edge accuracy of 92% in predicting the wildfire risks, including ignition by utilizing the regional spatial and temporal data along with standard data parameters in Northern California.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Machine learning, Random forest, Spatial and temporal accuracy, Wildfire, Wildfire risks prediction
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Meteorology and Climate Science; Computer Engineering
Ashima Malik, Megha Rajam Rao, Nandini Puppala, Prathusha Koouri, Venkata Anil Kumar Thota, Qiao Liu, Sen Chiao, and Jerry Gao. "Data-driven wildfire risk prediction in northern california" Atmosphere (2021). https://doi.org/10.3390/ATMOS12010109