Fire Risk Mitigation Model for the City of Redlands, California

Publication Date


Committee Chair

Douglas M. Flewelling, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Fang Ren, Ph.D.


The City of Redlands is located near the Southern San Andreas Fault. History shows major earthquakes occur an average of one hundred and fifty years and the last major earthquake on the Southern San Andreas Fault occurred in 1812. Fires following earthquakes are a major problem because of the multiple sources of ignitions. The water supply is also an issue because water pipelines are damaged and water is required to fight the fires. This study explains how ModelBuilder, a modeling tool, was used to build a model to identify high-risk fire zones and display importation water system information. Using vector-to- raster conversion, Euclidian distance, slope, reclassification, and weighted overlay geographic information system (GIS) tools, this project analyzed vegetation, slope, and distance to buildings to identify fire-risk zones. The select by location tool allowed users to draw an area of interest on the map and factors for turning off valves, such as water valve size, number of turns. and turn direction displayed in the selected area. The model results indicated areas that high-risk fire zones are vacant, have weeds, and some are located on a moderate slope. Even though the some spatial accuracy was lost during the vector-to-raster conversion, the weighted overly combinations and ground truth analysis confirmed the model’s results. This model provides a method to share information about the City’s high-risk fire zones and is the first step in planning for water resources in the event of an earthquake.

Full text is available at the University of Redlands


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