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Here are some ideas to get you thinking about projects related to Wildland Fire problems. This list is by no means exhaustive; these ideas are examples of problems identified by some of our faculty and industry mentors. Teams are encouraged to either pursue one of these sample problems or one related to their own interests and ideas.

Also, if you missed the Winter Quarter Seminar series on Wildfires, you might want to hear some ideas shared by our great speakers.

Vulnerable Population Assessment

Quantify the number of premature births and low birth weight babies that would be prevent/saved by avoiding either elevated air pollution or wildfire smoke in CA.

Traffic data to predict a fire

Could traffic data be used to predict a fire?

Social Media to predict wildfires

Can social media be used as a indicator of fire ignition?

Fire lines and vegetation classification

Develop an effective and efficient machine learning model to process images for fire detection and vegetation type.

Vegetation Maps

Use Machine learning and/or GIS map vegetation, biodiversity, and monitor fuel treatment

Bluetooth or Wifi to estimate population

Can WIFI and Bluetooth scanning be used to estimate the number of people in an area?

Quantifying Vegetation Treatment Effectiveness

Minimizing Ignitions

Can utilities operate the grid differently than PSPS?

Infrastructure Inspection

Can AI be used to provide timely and accurate infrastructure inspections?

Tree Assessment Tool

Create a tool to automate the tree assessment process used by PG&E to reduce wildfire risk.

Wildfire Carbon Quantification

Use Planet data to improve carbon quantification metrics

Worldwide high fire threat district (HFTD) Map

Develop a tool that creates a high fire threat district map for the world.

Improving forestry services and defensible space

Supporting fire prevention efforts for forestry services and defensible space programs at CAL FIRE

Community Resilience

focus on ways to improve communication with vulnerable and traditionally under-represented populations

Wildfire Machine Learning / AI Capabilities

using satellite- and sensor-based wildfire data to improve impact tracking

Satellite image of Cuba's fires

Satellite Tracking

Improve tracking of wildfires from satellite images


Risk-based maintenance strategy

What does a risk based vegetation maintenance strategy look like that balance’s lifecycle costs, performance and risks on outages and ignitions? 

California Wild Fire Map

Public Health and Wildfires

Develop a system to track health impacts

Map of California

Evacuation routes

CALFIRE needs help developing real time evacuation tools

Map of California

Early Detection Using Cameras

Improve early detection of wildfires using wildfire tracking cameras

Pile of chopped wood

Smallwood Utilization

Developing new technologies and uses for harvested materials

Charity Navigator logo

Disaster Philanthropy

Tracking WIldfire Donations

Diagram of Equality vs Equity

Vulnerable Populations

Can you empower vulnerable populations?

N95 mask

Building Air Filters

Facilitating whole home air filtering

Forest fire by a cabin

Home Protection

What is the best investment for protecting your home at the WUI?

forest with section of trees cut down

Multi-benefit Forest Management

Balancing goals for recreation, forestry, grazing, and mining

Pile of chopped wood

Improved Smallwood Harvesting

We need improved ways to process accumulated fuels, preferably without fire.

unemployment sign

Economic impacts

What jobs are most impacted by wildfires?

COVID cell

Cascading disasters

How can competing disasters be managed?

Diagram of people with comment boxes

Public Opinion

What kind of public support is there for wildland fire policies?