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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  2. Background Accurate simulation of wildfires can benefit pre-ignition mitigation and preparedness, and post-ignition emergency response management. Aims We evaluated the performance of Weather Research and Forecast-Fire (WRF-Fire), a coupled fire-atmosphere wildland fire simulation platform, in simulating a large historic fire (2018 Camp Fire). Methods A baseline model based on a setup typically used for WRF-Fire operational applications is utilised to simulate Camp Fire. Simulation results are compared to high-temporal-resolution fire perimeters derived from NEXRAD observations. The sensitivity of the model to a series of modelling parameters and assumptions governing the simulated wind field are then investigated. Results of WRF-Fire for Camp Fire are compared to FARSITE. Key results Baseline case shows non-negligible discrepancies between the simulated fire and the observations on rate of spread (ROS) and spread direction. Sensitivity analysis results show that refining the atmospheric grid of Camp Fire’s complex terrain improves fire prediction capabilities. Conclusions Sensitivity studies show the importance of refined atmosphere modelling for wildland fire simulation using WRF-Fire in complex terrains. Compared to FARSITE, WRF-Fire agrees better with the observations in terms of fire propagation rate and direction. Implications The findings suggest the need for further investigation of other possible sources of wildfire modelling uncertainties and errors. 
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  3. Wildfires are an essential part of a healthy ecosystem, yet the expansion of the wildland-urban interface, combined with climatic changes and other anthropogenic activities, have led to the rise of wildfire hazards in the past few decades. Managing future wildfires and their multi-dimensional impacts requires moving from traditional reactive response to deploying proactive policies, strategies, and interventional programs to reduce wildfire risk to wildland-urban interface communities. Existing risk assessment frameworks lack a unified analytical method that properly captures uncertainties and the impact of decisions across social, ecological, and technical systems, hindering effective decision-making related to risk reduction investments. In this paper, a conceptual probabilistic wildfire risk assessment framework that propagates modeling uncertainties is presented. The framework characterizes the dynamic risk through spatial probability density functions of loss, where loss can include different decision variables, such as physical, social, economic, environmental, and health impacts, depending on the stakeholder needs and jurisdiction. The proposed approach consists of a computational framework to propagate and integrate uncertainties in the fire scenarios, propagation of fire in the wildland and urban areas, damage, and loss analyses. Elements of this framework that require further research are identified, and the complexity in characterizing wildfire losses and the need for an analytical-deliberative process to include the perspectives of the spectrum of stakeholders are discussed. 
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  4. ABSTRACT Ground-motion time series are essential input data in seismic analysis and performance assessment of the built environment. Because instruments to record free-field ground motions are generally sparse, methods are needed to estimate motions at locations with no available ground-motion recording instrumentation. In this study, given a set of observed motions, ground-motion time series at target sites are constructed using a Gaussian process regression (GPR) approach, which treats the real and imaginary parts of the Fourier spectrum as random Gaussian variables. Model training, verification, and applicability studies are carried out using the physics-based simulated ground motions of the 1906 Mw 7.9 San Francisco earthquake and Mw 7.0 Hayward fault scenario earthquake in northern California. The method’s performance is further evaluated using the 2019 Mw 7.1 Ridgecrest earthquake ground motions recorded by the Community Seismic Network stations located in southern California. These evaluations indicate that the trained GPR model is able to adequately estimate the ground-motion time series for frequency ranges that are pertinent for most earthquake engineering applications. The trained GPR model exhibits proper performance in predicting the long-period content of the ground motions as well as directivity pulses. 
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  6. We present data and metadata from a centrifuge testing program that was designed to investigate the seismic responses of buried circular and rectangular culverts. The specimen configurations were based on Caltrans Standard Plans, and the scope of research was to compare the experimental findings with the design method described in the NCHRP Report 611 as well as to formulate preliminary recommendations for Caltrans practice. A relatively flexible pipe and a stiff box-shaped specimen embedded in dense sand were tested in the centrifuge at the Center for Geotechnical Modeling at University of California, Davis and were subjected to a set of broadband and harmonic input motions. Responses were recorded in the soil and in the embedded structures using a dense array of instruments. Measured quantities included specimen accelerations, bending strains, and hoop strains; soil accelerations, shear-wave velocities, settlements, and lateral displacements; and accelerations of the centrifuge's shaking table. This data paper describes the tests and summarizes the generated data, which are archived at (DOI: 10.17603/DS2XW9R) and are accessible through an interactive Jupyter notebook. 
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