Wildland Fire: Approaches to constructing a historical database of wildfire evacuation orders
Approaches to constructing a historical database of wildfire evacuation orders
Center on Food Security and the Environment
The frequency, size, and intensity of wildfires in California have increased substantially in recent years, leading to widespread mandatory evacuations affecting millions of residents. However, because evacuation orders are implemented by local agencies, there is limited quantitative evidence on the scope of evacuations statewide. To address this data gap, we initially assembled information on historical evacuation orders for two distinct wildfire-prone regions — Fresno and Sonoma counties. The assembled data were then used to understand how the frequency and extent of evacuations have changed over time in these areas and to characterize which sub-populations have been most affected by evacuation orders. Collectively, this work provides a starting point for creation of a public database of evacuation orders that could be used by researchers and policymakers to better understand dynamics and improve decision-making around wildfire evacuations.
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