Laurie Kurth and Don Helmbrecht, both of FMI, assisted with a RapidSPOT workshop that was led by Alan Ager in Portland, Oregon, on November 6-8. SPOT is an acronym for Strategic Placement Of Treatments and RapidSPOT refers to a 3-day workshop in which participants learn and apply the basic concepts of SPOT. People from seven Forest Service regions and several agencies in Alaska worked on nine projects to determine placement of fuels treatments to reduce fire potential in their particular areas of concern.
The RapidSPOT process utilizes stand and/or raster data, such as LANDFIRE, in ArcFuels. ArcFuels has been developed by Alan Ager and it brings together several software tools, including Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS), the Fire and Fuels Extension (FFE-FVS), BEHAVE Plus and FlamMap. Initially fire behavior is run on the existing landscape and then compared with a landscape that is modified to reflect potential treatments. ArcFuels allows the user to easily modify the landscape, conduct fire behavior analysis, and compare results rather seamlessly. Participants left the workshop with a thorough understanding of how to conduct the analysis and a recognition of the particular data or analysis needs that should be completed at their home units.