September 28, 2018 | IN Blog

HazardHub Releases Advanced Wildfire Model

SAN DIEGO – HazardHub has launched its advanced Wildfire Model for the United States. The new model represents an incredible improvement over current wildfire models, combining fuel load, urban/wildland interface data, rainfall data, wind data, satellite imagery, and known wildfire perimeters to create the highest resolution, most detailed wildfire assessment ever available.

Brady Foust, Chief Science Officer at HazardHub, said “I have been developing wildfire models for many years. I have never felt more confident in a wildfire model. The HazardHub Advanced Wildfire Model captures and concentrates risk in the areas that are most susceptible to wildfire while resisting the temptation to simply label an entire area as dangerous.”

Foust adds “most static models concentrate on fuel load and distance to the Wildland/Urban Interface (WUI).  These are important variables, but we add an additional five: 1) fire season rainfall; 2) vegetation burn points; 3) distance to high or very high areas [based on fuel load and WUI]; 4) distance to historic wildfire perimeters; and 5) katabatic wind zones.  Properties located in these zones (e.g., the Santa Ana wind zone in southern California) are at a much higher risk than those outside these zones.

Most fire departments are fantastic at knocking down wildfires in the absence of wind. However, if a Santa Ana-type wind is blowing, all bets are off. Normal winds can blow dangerous firebrands a 1,000 feet or more, but a Santa Ana or El Diablo wind can propel them at least 2.5 kilometers (1.55 miles). The integration of wind parameters – along with satellite imagery and rainfall data – into our model is helping to highlight those areas that are at the highest risk of wildfire and concentrate the risk where it’s most likely to happen.”

In an analysis of 60,000 California properties, here’s the distribution showing that 97.9% of properties inside of known wildfire perimeters were in 20.5% of housing units, with “F” properties showing nearly 11 times the fire risk of the average California property.

Bob Frady, CEO of HazardHub states, “as a California company, we are keenly aware of Wildfires and the destruction they can bring. These additional data elements add incredibly important factors that can make the difference between firefighters successfully saving properties or a fire over-running an area. We are excited to bring the best Wildfire Risk Model ever available to any insurer who works in wildfire-prone states, as well as to consumers via our site. We are constantly striving to build incredible accurate, actionable and comprehensive data to the market. With our Advanced Wildfire Model, we’re pushing far beyond what is currently available. Best of all, carriers are welcome to test the model absolutely free.”