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Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

Development of Interactive Web Based Maps for Predicting Expected Numbers of Large Fires on US federal Lands

Photo of Snapshot : A new tool for fire managers, allows anticipation of significant fire events and suppression costs

Principal Investigators(s) :
Preisler, Haiganoush K. 
Research Station : Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW)
Year : 2011
Highlight ID : 373


Systems for evaluating the potential for wildfires have been in existence for some time. Examples include the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) for the United States and the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System (CFFDRS). These systems use weather-station data and spatial interpolation to generate spatially explicit maps of the fire danger and fire weather variables. More recently, some fire danger indices have been based on moderate-resolution remote sensing data (e.g. Relative Greenness). Additionally, fire danger estimates are being produced at global to regional scales from meteorological climate models. Although these fire danger maps show the relative danger level between locations and dates, they do not provide managers with estimates of expected numbers of large fires. A large fire probability map is an estimate of the likelihood that ignitions will become large fires, given existing levels of fire danger variables. A weighted sum of the probabilities over a given region and time-span can provide an estimate of expected numbers of large fires in a forthcoming day or week. The interactive web sites are updated daily and can be accessed at the following links:

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • University of California and Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS), Center of the USGS ,Desert Research Institute (DRI) andUC Merced, Sierra Nevada Research Institute

Program Areas