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Workshop: NeurIPS 2023 Workshop on Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning: Blending New and Existing Knowledge Systems

Reinforcement Learning for Wildfire Mitigation in Simulated Disaster Environments

Alexander Tapley


Climate change has resulted in a year over year increase in adverse weather and weather conditions which contribute to increasingly severe fire seasons. These fires threaten life, property, ecology, cultural heritage, and critical infrastructure. In this paper, we introduce SimFire, a versatile wildland fire projection simulator designed to generate realistic wildfire scenarios, and SimHarness, a modular agent-based machine learning wrapper capable of automatically generating land management strategies within SimFire to reduce the overall damage to the area. Together, this publicly available system allows researchers and practitioners the ability to emulate and assess the effectiveness of firefighter interventions and formulate strategic plans that prioritize value preservation and resource allocation optimization.

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