A forest fire is burning down a narrow valley 3 miles wide at a speed of 40 feet per minute. The fire can be contained by cutting a firebreak through the forest across the valley. It takes 30 seconds for one person to clear one foot of the firebreak. The value of lost timber is $4,000 per square mile. Each person hired is paid $12 an hour, and it costs $30 to transport and supply each person with the appropriate equipment.
a) Develop a model for determining how many people should be sent to contain the fire and for determining the best location of for the firebreak (draw a picture first!).
b) Implement your model on a spreadsheet and find the optimal solution using solver.
The solution provides detailed explanation how to find the optimization strategy by using excel solver. It includes a hand-drawn graphic illustration of the problem and the excel spreadsheet with the working out.