Urban Evacuation from Wildfire Disasters

Blog Post created by dgorham Employee on Aug 9, 2016

The recent emergency evacuation of approximately 100,000 citizens of Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada has emphasized the need to build more resilient communities when threatened by a large wildfire. To effectively plan for scenarios requiring large-scale urban evacuation, like during the 2016 Fort McMurray Fire, several factors need to be considered including fire and smoke movement, vehicle transport, and crowd evacuation.


A new project funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will look at currently-available models for these different conditions and how they work together including the sharing and transfer of information. This project, e-Murrary, seeks to build a novel computational simulation toolkit that will aid in the planning, preparation, and training of a community near wildland. It will combine fire spread, traffic flows, and pedestrian movement all at the urban scale that will pave the way to better planning of safe and quick urban evacuations caused by wildfire disasters.


You can learn more about this project on the Research Foundation website.