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Evaluating Rural Pacific Northwest Towns for Wildfire Evacuation Vulnerability

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In this work, we present a regional screening of Oregon and Washington communities to map wildfire evacuation vulnerability, assessed as the combination of wildfire hazard(burn probability and fire line intensity) and road network quality (assessed by simple geographic summaries of the paved road networks surrounding each town). Many places with relatively constrained road networks also coincide with high wildfire hazard. We hope that through this work, we can identify general geographic characteristics of communities that indicate greater wildfire evacuation vulnerability and help identify places that would benefit from more detailed analysis to aid in emergency response and preparedness. Alex Dye is a research associate at Oregon State University's College of Forestry, where he studies wildfire risk and climate change in the Western United States