Analysis of factors influencing deployment of fire suppression resources in Spain using artificial neural networks
Daniel, Sarah N.
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In Spain, the established fire control policy states that all fires must be controlled and put out as soon as possible. Though budgets have not restricted operations until recently, we still experience large fires and we often face multiple-fire situations. Furthermore, fire conditions are expected to worsen in the future and budgets are expected to drop. To optimize the deployment of firefighting resources, we must gain insights into the factors affecting how it is conducted. We analyzed the national data base of historical fire records in Spain for patterns of deployment of fire suppression resources for large fires. We used artificial neural networks to model the relationships between the daily fire load, fire duration, fire type, fire size and response time, and the personnel and terrestrial and aerial units deployed for each fire in the period 1998-2008. Most of the models highlighted the positive correlation of burned area and fire duration with the number of resources assigned to each fire and some highlighted the negative influence of daily fire load. We found evidence suggesting that firefighting resources in Spain may already be under duress in their compliance with Spain’s current full suppression policy.