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Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment

 
 

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Strategic Planning
and Resource Assessment

RP-E Rm 602
P.O. Box 96090    
Washington, D.C. 20090-6090

Telephone
703-605-4480
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703-605-4199
Email
Bjohnston@fs.fed.us

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Forest Service 2003 Success Stories

Success Stories: An Integrated Weather/Fire Modeling System for Fire Management

The 1996 Bee Fire that burned 3,848 hectares of the San Bernardino National Forest was, as Southern California fires go, unremarkable, except perhaps to the community of Idyllwild some six miles away. Under different wind conditions, the Bee Fire could have overrun the popular mountain retreat. For fire scientists at the Pacific Southwest (PSW) Riverside Fire Lab , however, the impact of the Bee Fire persists to the present day.

The Bee Fire is the first case study to couple weather, fire, and statistical modeling methodologies that one day will become standard tools for fire planning. The Fire Meteorology Research Unit at Riverside used a high resolution weather model developed by cooperators at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to simulate the weather on the Bee Fire. The FARSITE fire behavior modeling system was used to simulate the growth of the fire in its early stages, and the accuracy of the simulations was assessed using a new statistical method also developed at Riverside . The combined models will help fire planners to not only predict how fires will grow, but also to evaluate the quality of the predictions. The results of this research project will ultimately make fire operations safer for firefighters and wildland communities.

Figure 1

[Graphic]: Screenshot graphic showing a FARSITE simulation of the Bee fire that a planner might have generated using the integrated modeling approach developed at the Riverside Lab.

This image shows a FARSITE simulation of the Bee Fire that a fire planner might have generated using the integrated modeling approach developed at the Riverside Fire Lab. Two-dimensional and three-dimensional perspectives of the predicted fire perimeters are shown, along with the winds predicted by the high resolution weather model.

USDA Forest Service - Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:19:04 CST


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