Category: 2019, CitiesIPCC Legacy Research Grant Program, Climate, Current, Grant


University of Alberta Faculty of Engineering



As global warming trends persist Alberta is experiencing an increased intensity in its annual fire season. Wildfires continue to occur earlier and burn longer.

The Edmonton river valley, which is the largest stretch of parkland in a North American city, runs directly through the urban area. In addition, increased use of the city’s green spaces adds to the potential threat of fires caused by human activity that may burn out of control due to higher temperatures and lower levels of precipitation. Coupled with the proximity of the river valley to both residential and commercial areas, the need for a fire-risk modeling and a comprehensive emergency response plan are significant to ensuring Edmonton is a climate resilient city.

The researcher’s objectives are to:
1. Determine the canopy and volume of undergrowth that acts as a key ignition source;
2. Develop a fire-risk model that will offer decision-making support to the City of Edmonton.

With funding from the CitiesIPCC Legacy Research Grant Program , this project will identify areas that need fire risk modeling by studying The City’s information about green spaces, vegetation and debris, topography, and bioclimate. This information will then be fused with data collected from satellite and aerial LiDAR images of the landscape, using specialized software to layer the information and create maps of specified information.

Using this information, city planners can design an effective emergency response and evacuation plan that includes information about transportation facilities and their accessibility.