Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Dr. Aixi Zhou


This thesis investigates the impacts wildfires have on those who live within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) areas. The Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) sponsored this investigation to provide insight on information concerning evacuee pre-movement delays and behaviors before the beginning of an evacuation, both in terms of types of behaviors and elapsed time for these delays. Furthermore, the analysis of evacuee behavior in wildfire past and present evacuations will assist in the construction of future evacuation models that will mitigate evacuee loses during evacuations. The investigation is based on literature reviews on wildfires and their evacuation processes, past and present documentation of occupant decision making during evacuations as well as studies conducted on various wildfires that have occurred in the past till now. Compiled information on human behavior will be assessed when analyzing to determine and understand human behavior/ knowledge gaps were information needs to be found to construct effective occupant decision making and evacuation models in wildland fires. Individual’s involved in past evacuations are also analyzed to gain an understanding of human behavior when dealing with decision making, pre-movement delays and occupant thought processes. To understand the behaviors of Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) evacuees and their decision-making process, supporting factors such as; country, population, type of fire, fire speed, and age demographics of evacuees need to be further assessed. This thesis concludes that although there have been studies on evacuations evolving occupants of various fire cases (building fires), overall there is little to no data on human behavior that can be used to validate most evacuation models produced by various safety professionals. Literature reviews on occupant behavior, calls, and emails to various fire safety professionals as well-as evacuation reports of various wildfire instances, aided in the construction of this research.

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Engineering Commons