Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Thomas Veblen

Second Advisor

Kathleen Tierney

Third Advisor

Dale Miller


This thesis discusses the impact that average household income levels have on the wildfire risk of wildland-urban interface communities. Sources of information included spatial fire risk data from the Colorado State Forest Service Wildfire Risk Assessment Project (Colorado 2016), social vulnerability data from the county Social Vulnerability Index (SOVI), and socioeconomic data from the U.S. Census Bureau (US 2015). The study found that communities with higher income vulnerability levels do not typically have higher wildfire risk levels. Moreover, the individual community income vulnerability levels do not match the county income vulnerability levels that they are in. Accordingly, county vulnerability levels are not a good indicator of community vulnerability levels, and the fire risk in each of these communities is not correlated with the income vulnerability category of the community.