Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


KELLEY, Daniel F., Natural and Social Sciences, Bowling Green State University, Firelands College, One University Drive, Huron, OH 44839, SUMRALL, Jonathan, Department of Geography and Geology, Sam Houston State University, Lee Drain Building Suite 332, Huntsville, TX 77341 and MAST, Will, Health and Sciences, Pikes Peak Community College, W-209, Box R13, Rampart Range, 11195 Highway 83, Colorado Springs, CO 80921,

The LSU Geology Field Camp is located on a wooded 1300 acre property just south of Colorado Springs, CO. The property is located in the service area of the Highway 115 Volunteer Fire Division. They have for a number of years been interested in working with LSU to mitigate fire hazard on the property and plan for firefighting. In the summer of 2012, during LSU’s 6-week field camp program, the Waldo Canyon Fire nearby in Colorado Springs plus a vehicle fire on the LSU property accentuated this need and desire for LSU to collaborate with the fire division. As a result, an exercise was developed utilizing the field camp students for data collection and creation of maps to work toward this goal, while learning to analyze spatial data using GIS. Students were directed to explore a problem of their own design, related to the issues of fire risk on the LSU property. The students collected location data for all roads, ATV paths, hiking trails, utilities, and buildings on the property. They then combined this data with digital elevation models, vegetation, soil type, and precipitation data. They analyzed the data and created maps of the property which related to the central issue in 4 ways: risk of wildfire outbreak, potential for firefighting, lightning strike potential, and a detailed trail/road map. These maps are all interrelated and clearly demonstrate the current and future risks for the outbreak of a wildfire on the property. Wildfire risk analysis was based on vegetation type, proximity to roads and buildings, slope of the land, and surface water. Results of the project included the determination that many of the areas at the highest risk for a fire to start were also areas that are the most accessible, and therefore easiest potential to fight. However, it was determined that due to inaccessibility, terrain, and vegetation, it would be very difficult to fight fire in most of the property. In addition to demonstrating the current ease or difficulty of accessing different portions of the property for firefighting, the maps have been used to work together with the Volunteer Fire Division to plan for trail clearing and road improvement in the future. This project accomplished the goals of the fire division and LSU while at the same time allowing students to take an active role in investigating an issue that was very current.