Wind Damage >> Wildfire Caused By High Winds

High wind and tornado events could impact the initiation of other hazards. Wildfires could be ignited by downed or damaged electrical transmission systems. From a human-caused perspective, a high wind or tornado event could produce hazardous material releases, cyber disruptions, or Wildfire Caused By High Winds energy shortages, although these would most likely be smaller-scale events. 

It is also possible that a large scale tornado could cause localized civil disturbances. Environmental Impacts Impacts to vegetation and wildlife from tornadoes and high winds can include damage and death; however, Wildfire Caused By High Winds it is unlikely that such events would jeopardize the existence of rare species or vegetative communities throughout the State. 

The loss of crops or livestock can have far-reaching economic effects. Tree blow-downs can alter the visual landscape and dramatically change the local vegetation. Fallen trees can create dams, causing flooding upstream and Wildfire Caused By High Winds disruption of aquatic habitats. Tornadoes and high winds can damage historic structures, particularly roofs, requiring restoration activities. 

Tornadoes and high winds are unlikely to impact geologic features; however, soils and farmlands could be impacted, particularly in dry seasons. Blowing dust can impact vegetation and Wildfire Caused By High Winds structures. Tornadoes and high winds can temporarily halt recreational activities and damage parks. 

Development Trend Impacts The threat of wind and tornado events does not appear to have affected the occurrence of development in Idaho. Any new development could be affected by these hazards and will increase the State's vulnerability and Wildfire Caused By High Winds potential losses for an event. No critical or State facilities in Idaho are completely free of the threat of wind or tornados. 

Threats include loss of power and productivity from damages to utilities and the means of transportation to these places of work. Wind and Wildfire Caused By High Winds tornado events can directly affect these facilities through damage to roofs/structures or falling trees and limbs. 

As part of the 2010 Plan update, one action that the State identified was the need to collect improved and up-to-date State-owned facility and Wildfire Caused By High Winds infrastructure data in a geospatial format. As of the writing of the 2013 Plan update, this action is still considered in progress, although great strides have been made. 

The State Chief Information Officer (CIO) is currently working towards the realization of a State-owned facilities and Wildfire Caused By High Winds infrastructure geodatabase. This on-going process has been slowed by recent budget shortfalls in addition to inconsistent data holdings across many of the State’s Agencies. 

Once available, this database will enable for a more in-depth review of State-owned facilities and infrastructure, as it relates to both vulnerabilities to Wildfire Caused By High Winds hazards and the associated loss estimations. Vulnerability Assessment Based on past events, tornadoes can be expected to occur infrequently, averaging two to three events per year. 

Most Idaho tornadoes are considered "moderate,” with winds less than 113 miles an hour. A few have had winds up to 130 miles an hour, Wildfire Caused By High Winds which are considered "significant.” Tornadoes in Idaho have usually occurred from March to October, with the majority occurring in June. The majority also occur during the afternoon; between 12:00 and 6:00 p.m. 

Tornadoes are most often reported in the Magic and Upper Snake River valleys. The Disaster Center ( performed a nation-wide risk assessment for tornadoes. The assessment was performed "by dividing the square mileage of each state against the frequency of death, injury, number of tornadoes, and Wildfire Caused By High Winds cost of damages for each state. 

We then rank each State by these individual categories. We then add the total of each State's individual rankings and divided by the number Wildfire Caused By High Winds of factors (four). The data used covers the period of 1950 -1995.” The results of this assessment have Idaho ranked as the 46th lowest state at risk to tornado. 

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has produced a GIS dataset that defines the average annual sustained wind speeds across the State. This data was Wildfire Caused By High Winds produced as part of a Wind Power Classification study and the wind speeds are measured at a height of 50 meters. 

Although a majority of the state facilities in Idaho do not reach this height, it was assumed for the sake of analysis that a higher sustained wind speed at 50 meters would equate Wildfire Caused By High Winds to a higher wind speed at the structure level. Using the NREL data layer, vulnerability analysis was performed on the ICRMP locally-owned facilities data. 

Vulnerability was defined as those regions that were classified as being in the two highest Wind Power Classes (6 or 7), which roughly equates to average sustained wind speeds of 19 MPH or Wildfire Caused By High Winds greater (at 50 meters height). The results of this analysis show that none of these facilities fall within those highest wind risk areas. 

Map 3.13.F at the end of this chapter presents this information, although it is difficult to visually present structure-related information on a State-wide map. Additional details regarding the ICRMP data can be found in the introductory section of this chapter, Wildfire Caused By High Winds Section 3.0. Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Vulnerability Assessments 

Forty-seven local mitigation plans were analyzed to determine the major hazards in each jurisdiction. Of those, three localities ranked wind and Wildfire Caused By High Winds tornadoes as major hazards(see Map 3.13.G, atthe end of this section). It is generally noted that while several of the local plans indicated that high wind events occur regularly, they are not considered to be significant. 

BHS recognizes that these events occur with strong regularity and that almost all damage occurs on private property and does not directly affect county operations or State-level emergency management. In 2010, the data presented a different story, Wildfire Caused By High Winds as eight jurisdictions had wind and tornadoes documented as one of their three primary hazards. 

Further review of the five localities whose priorities changed seems to reveal that improved risk assessments may be the driving force. It also appears that these improved assessments may be helping to better align these Wildfire Caused By High Winds jurisdiction’s primary hazards to their Regional counterparts. No specific, statewide loss estimation exists for the tornado hazard. 

Historical losses tend to be related to property damage and loss of life and injury. From a general perspective, tornadoes damage and destroy public, commercial, and private property. The resulting costs are for debris removal, maintenance, repair, and Wildfire Caused By High Winds response. The economic costs of these disruptions can be significant, especially in areas with limited access options.

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