Assessing Influences of Wildfires on Park Visitation Patterns Using Gravity

Project Lead: Nino Migineishvili, UW Computer Science and Engineering

Data Science Lead: Spencer Wood

Wildfires have been growing in size, duration, and destructivity, resulting in more decisive calls to improve forest health and protect communities. Wildfire fuel treatments – which  involve reducing or removing vegetation from fire-prone areas – are one strategy for reducing wildfire risk. Where to conduct fuel treatments implementation is primarily based on biophysical risk factors. Yet wildfires also disrupt recreational utilization of public lands, which in turn affects societal well-being and the numerous physical and mental health benefits of recreating in nature. Given this, the aim of this project is to develop approaches for estimating recreation on public lands and quantify how recreationalists respond to wildfires and wildfire treatments on the landscape. The approach uses gravity models with trips to public lands sourced from AllTrails.