Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Forestry Sciences


Natural Resources Management


College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Chis Dicus

Advisor Department

Natural Resources Management

Advisor College

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Though almost thirty years have passed since the 1991 Tunnel Fire, the wildfire hazard is still present in the Oakland Hills. This study was conducted to determine if the vegetation in the Oakland Hills had reverted back to fuel conditions that contributed to the Tunnel Fire, examine how the fire hazard has changed since 1991, and evaluate planned wildfire mitigation. The goal was to determine how fuel conditions have changed since 1991 and compare potential fire behavior to that of the Tunnel Fire. Additionally, the study examined the effectiveness of the mitigation actions described in the East Bay Regional Park District’s Wildfire Hazard Reduction and Resource Management Plan on lowering extreme fire behavior. Through the use of remote sensing, historical aerial imagery, satellite imagery, and Landsat imagery the 1991 and 2018 fuel conditions were analyzed. ArcGIS Pro and FlamMap 6 were used to compare hectares of fuel and changed in fire behavior between the two year. Mitigation actions were modeled with FlamMap 6 and ArcGIS Pro and fire behavior was compared between untreated conditions and post treatment conditions. The vegetation in the Oakland Hills, in the absence of fire, returned to a mature state, similar to the 1991 conditions. However, there was a reduction in the overall hectares of fuel model 147 in 2018. Modeled fire behavior indicated an overall reduction in extreme fire behavior when comparing 1991 to 2018. This reduction varied on a park level with each park performing differently. When modeled, mitigation was able to lower extreme fire behavior across the landscape but success varied on an individual park basis. In conclusion, should ignition occur presently, under foehn wind conditions, a fire would still exhibit very extreme behavior with a high potential for catastrophic loss, and implantation of planned mitigation measures may be able to lower the degree of extreme fire behavior.