Reinforcement Learning for Wildfire Mitigation in Simulated Disaster Environments (Papers Track)

Alexander Tapley (The MITRE Corporation); savanna o smith (MITRE); Tim Welsh (The MITRE Corporation); Aidan Fennelly (The MITRE Corporation); Dhanuj M Gandikota (The MITRE Corporation); Marissa Dotter (MITRE Corporation); Michael Doyle (The MITRE Corporation); Michael Threet (MITRE)

Paper PDF Poster File NeurIPS 2023 Poster Cite
Reinforcement Learning Disaster Management and Relief


Climate change has resulted in a year over year increase in adverse weather and weather conditions which contribute to increasingly severe fire seasons. Without effective mitigation, these fires pose a threat to life, property, ecology, cultural heritage, and critical infrastructure. To better prepare for and react to the increasing threat of wildfires, more accurate fire modelers and mitigation responses are necessary. 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. The repositories are available for download at