Mapping defensive actions and exposure at the 2017 california Tubbs Fire

How effective were firefighters’ defensive actions in limiting the destruction?

The very detailed analysis below documents in a “story map” format the locations of structures that were completely destroyed or damaged when the Tubbs Fire ran through Santa Rosa, California October 8, 2017.

A primary emphasis of the analysis highlights defensive actions taken by firefighters or others. It shows structures that were only damaged on the periphery of areas that experienced total destruction. The conclusion is that the protected “boxed in” structures show successful halting of the worst effects of the fire due to exposure and defensive actions. That could be the case, however there are many factors that affect the spread of a fire in an urban environment.

We thank Geospatial Measurement Solutions, LLC who put this mapping product together. Derek McNamara, owner, said by email:

As our firefighters continue to put their lives at risk to protect all of us and fires continue to rage in Southern California, I thought it pertinent to show what they face in these situations, the consequences of their actions, and what might happen without them. I have observed that firefighters take these losses to heart and I hope this gives them some validation of their unbelievable efforts.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.