USDA Forest Service
 

Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team

 
 

Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team
Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory

400 N 34th Street, Suite 201
Seattle, WA 98103

(206) 732-7800

 

 

 

Fuel and Fire Tools

Overview

FFT (version 2.0) is a software application that integrates the Fuel Characteristics Classification System, Consume, FEPS, Pile Calculator, and Digital Photo Series into a single user interface. As the interagency fuel treatment decision support system (IFT-DSS) evolves, integration of FFT modules is expected.

Fuelbeds are the common currency in FFT. FCCS requires a list of one to many fuelbeds to run calculations. Because Consume predicts consumption by burn unit and passes results to FEPS, both modules require fuelbeds to be assigned to a burn unit with a percentage area entered for each fuelbed.
  • The Fuel Characteristic Classification System Module (v.3.0) stores and classifies fuels data as fuelbeds and calculates fuel loadings, carbon and other summary fuel characteristics. It predicts surface fire behavior and a 0-9 index of surface, crown fire and available fuel potentials.
  • The Consume Module (v.4.2) predicts total fuel consumption, pollutant emissions, and heat release based on known fuel loadings, fuel moisture, and other environmental factors. It is also available as a command line version and as a module within BlueSky and WFEIS.
  • The Fire Emission Production Simulator Module (FEPS v.2.0) predicts hourly fuel consumption, pollutant emissions, and heat release characteristics of prescribed burns and wildland fires. The FEPS calculator module can be run in command line and has been integrated into BlueSky and VSmoke.
  • The web-based Digital Photo Series (DPS) can be launched within the FFT fuelbed editor for reference purposes. It is also available as a separate web-based tool on the FERA website.
  • The Pile Calculator is integrated within the FFT’s Fuelbed Editor to allow the creation and editing of pile information within fuelbeds. It is also available as a web-based tool or stand-alone tool on the FERA website.

Release Notes (September 14, 2015)

We are pleased to announce the latest release of the Fuel and Fire Tools (version 2.0). This version contains the following updates:

  1. A fully supported version of the Fire Emissions Production Simulator (FEPS) including:
  • Reports and graphs
  • Up to 3-day burn events
  • Ability to specify custom fire growth and daily meteorology (FEPS with files option)

2.     Improvements to the FFT user interface, including:

  • Refinements to ecoregion, vegetation form and structural class selection from maps and images
  • Tooltip fuelbed descriptions for listed FCCS fuelbeds
  • Minor changes to saving and managing burn units
  • Assignment of consumption equation by ecoregion

Differences Between FFT and Stand-alone Versions of FCCS, Consume and FEPS

Changes to FCCS
  • Multiple fuelbeds are supported by the fuelbed editor. Some input screens were consolidated and the stratum and category icons were removed. The basic fuelbed organization has been preserved with tabs that should be familiar to FCCS 2.2 users.
  • The Pile calculator is integrated into the fuelbed editor.
  • The Environmental scenario interface supports only one scenario per FCCS calculation. The dry, benchmark scenario (D2L2 fuel moisture scenario, no slope and 4 mph wind speed) is always run alongside user-specified scenarios, so users have results under two environmental scenarios (in contrast to three supported by FCCS 2.2).
  • Fuel loadings may be entered by the user. Optional fuel loading inputs were added for shrubs, litter, lichen, moss, upper duff, lower duff, basal accumulation and squirrel midden categories.  If you do not have loading values, leave the optional fuel loading input blank, and FCCS will calculate a loading value for you based on your other inputs.
  • Reports are offered as printable reports (pdf format) and simple tabular outputs. All reports are based on multiple fuelbeds; single fuelbed reports are not available at this time.
  • Graphs available including fuel loading, carbon, surface fire behavior (rate of spread, flame length, and reaction intensity) and FCCS potentials (summary potentials, surface fire potential, crown fire potential and available fuel potential).
  • A command line version of FCCS is included in the FCCS_30 subdirectory within the Fuel and Fire Tools main folder and is particularly useful for running large batches of fuelbeds through FCCS 3.0.
Changes to Consume
  • FCCS and Consume are fully integrated.  Consume users select FCCS fuelbeds, specify a burn unit, then specify environmental inputs and calculate results.  Users are able to view both FCCS and Consume outputs in the Results screen.  A burn unit must be specified for Consume to run.
  • Users may specify a consumption equation by fuelbed in the Burn Unit screen.  Consume no longer assigns a regional consumption equation based on fuelbed type and ecoregion. The default consumption equation is Natural-Western.  Other options include Activity (for fuelbeds with recent logging slash or windthrow), Natural-Boreal, and Natural-Southern.
  • FFT does not support "Projects", which means that project summary reports cannot be generated for selected burn units. We are aware that some Consume users require project summary reports and plan to include project summaries in the next version of FFT.
  • The Pile Calculator has been fully integrated into the FFT so that users may create and edit pile information within a fuelbed and view pile consumption and emissions. If users wish to only view outputs for piles, they should use the online pile calculator, available at /pnw/fera/research/smoke/piles.
  • Reports are offered as printable reports (pdf format) and simple tabular outputs, and by fuelbed or burn unit.  Graphs include consumption, consumption by stratum, and emissions by pollutant species.
  • A command line version of Consume in included in the Consume_4 subdirectory within the Fuel and Fire Tools main folder. The command line version relies on an output fuel-loadings file from FCCS 3.0.
Changes to FEPS
  • FEPS is now fully integrated with FCCS and Consume. To run FEPS, users select fuelbeds, save them as a burn unit, and specify environmental inputs. Because FEPS depends on FCCS and Consume calculations, environmental inputs are required for all three models and calculated results are available for all three models as well.
  • Due to the integration with FCCS and Consume, many features in the stand-alone version of FEPS (version 1.0) were retired, including system defaults, fuel loading and fuel consumption inputs.
  • FFT allows FEPS users to provide intermediate input files (growth.txt and diurnal.txt) to specify custom fire growth and diurnal weather inputs.
  • A command line version of FEPS is included in the FEPS subdirectory within the Fuel and Fire Tools main folder.

Notes to Users

Installation

  • We do not recommend that the "Elevated" option (found on Forest Service computers) be used to unzip, install, or run FFT. Some users have experienced problems when going down that path.
  • Installation instructions [.pdf]

 

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