CBI is developing a web application to help planners identify areas vulnerable to water contamination exposure in the event of large-scale fires.

CBI is working in collaboration with Oregon State University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Colorado Boulder on a project designed to help improve our understanding of post-fire community resilience. Central to the project will be the development of a RFID sensor network which will help support post-fire assessments of water infrastructure damage. These sensors will be deployed across a community’s freshwater pipeline network and will transmit data (e.g., temperature reached, pipeline material, exposure duration) that will help determine whether or not toxins have started leaching from the pipes into the freshwater supply.

To help support this effort, CBI is developing a web application (tentatively called the Wildfire Vulnerability Explorer) that will help planners identify areas that are vulnerable to water contamination exposure if a large-scale fire event were to occur. Estimates of vulnerability will be based on three primary factors: the probability of water contamination exposure, socioeconomic sensitivity, and the adaptive capacity of an area. Bringing this information together on an interactive map will help officials with both pre-fire planning and post-fire prioritization of recovery efforts.

*Funding for the project is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.


Photo courtesy of NASA (https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/144225/camp-fire-rages-in-california): Camp Fire in Paradise, California, which is one of the project study areas.

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