Wildfire Spread

Team: 1016

School: Monte del Sol

Area of Science: Wild Sciences

Interim: Team Number: #1016
School Name: Monte Del Sol
Area of Science: Wildfires
Project Title: Wildfire Spread

Problem Definition:
Last year forest fires burned millions of acres of forest in the western United States, and 4.5 million American homes have been affected. The spread of forest fires can be influenced by many factors, such as an area’s humidity, wind speed, fuel type, elevation, among others. Our group wants to examine some of these variables so that we can collect data, make predictions, and understand how we may better handle wildfires in the future.

Problem Solution:
We are using the NetLogo agent-based modeling program to generate data in different areas. One model tests the effect of wind, while the second model examines different types of vegetation. Another model tests humidity and the last one manipulates elevation. Once we run trials in each model, we will compare our data and observe which factors affect wildfires the most, which affect them the least, and which one might generate an approach that we can use to solve the problem. It will also be interesting to see how these interact once we put them all together in one model.

Progress to Date:
Our overall progress so far is we have met with two of our mentors. The first was a firefighter who talked to us about how fire spreads and how we can prevent or reduce the chance of a fire spread. We also met with a code mentor who looked over our four Netlogo models and gave us feedback on how we can make it better. Our models are almost complete, and we would like to combine the four into one. We decided to test these variables based on our information obtained in our interview and online research about which factors influence the spread of forest fires.

Expected Results:
We expect to create a fully-functioning model through the refinement of these variables: vegetation, wind, elevation, and humidity. We hope to help predict the spread of wildfires based on these prominent conditions that affect, shape, and alter their course. By finding both the most and the least optimal conditions for wildfires, we can help to better gage appropriate preventative actions to cut down on wildfires and the successive spread of wildfires.


Avraham, T. B. “Wildland Fire Behavior Presentation.” Santa Rosa Junior College.
Available at

Chudnoff, I. New Mexico Highlands University. Personal interview. November 22, 2019

Gabbert, B. “New Mexico Wildfire.” August 1, 2019

Insurance Information Institute “Facts + Status: Wildfires.” Available at

Untamed Science. “The Basics of Wildfires.” Available at from

Team Members:

  Nefi Guevara
  Hebert Soto
  Maximillian Montoya
  Shayla Anthony

Sponsoring Teacher: Rhonda Crespo

Mail the entire Team