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Atlas of potential control locations

The potential control locations atlas displayed below is built from a series of measured and modelled conditions that occurred where fires stopped or kept burning on this landscape in the Eastern Cascades of Washington State.
The potential control locations atlas displayed below is built from a series of measured and modelled conditions that occurred where fires stopped or kept burning on this landscape in the Eastern Cascades of Washington State.
Two big questions drive the operational decisions of fire management teams.

  1. Where are the best available opportunities to engage a fire when containment is the strategy?
  2. Where are the places where fire is likely to continue burning regardless of what management actions are taken?

Researchers with the RMRS Wildfire Risk Management Science Team are helping both incident response teams and fire planners answer these questions by turning to analytics to understand where and under what conditions fires have been successfully contained in the past, and conversely where containment efforts have failed. 

Building models from these data allows researchers to produce near real-time predictions of the best and worst locations for engaging fire during active fire management operations, and to develop spatial planning tools that integrate fire into land and resource management.

By building the model off of historical fires that burned under similar conditions on the same landscape, researchers produce a customized product that identifies conditions where fires tend to spread or slow, and which factors are most important for successful containment.