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FlamMap

Abstract

FlamMap is a fire behavior mapping and analysis program that computes potential fire behavior characteristics (spread rate, flame length, fireline intensity, etc.).

Purpose

 

FlamMap is part of a suite of fire behavior systems that includes BehavePlus, FARSITE, and FSPro. These are complementary systems that are based on essentially the same fire models. BehavePlus is a point system with input supplied interactively by the user. FlamMap, FARSITE, and FSPro are spatial systems that use the same base GIS data.

 

Overview and Applicability

The FlamMap fire mapping and analysis system calculates fire behavior for each pixel within the landscape file independently, so FlamMap does not calculate fire spread across a landscape. Potential fire behavior calculations include surface fire spread (Rothermel 1972), crown fire initiation (Van Wagner 1977), and crown fire spread (Rothermel 1991). Dead fuel moisture is calculated using the Nelson model (Nelson 2000) and FlamMap permits conditioning of dead fuels in each pixel based on slope, shading, elevation, aspect, and weather. FlamMap uses the same spatial and tabular data and incorporates the same fire behavior models as FARSITE.

The FlamMap software creates raster maps of potential fire behavior characteristics (for example, spread rate, flame length, crown fire activity) and environmental conditions (dead fuel moistures, mid-flame wind speeds, and solar irradiance) over an entire FARSITE landscape. These raster maps can be viewed in FlamMap or exported for use in a GIS, image, or word processor.

Restrictions and Limitations

FlamMap is widely used by the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and other federal and state land management agencies in support of fire management activities. It is designed for use by users familiar with fuels, weather, topography, wildfire situations and the associated terminology. Because of its complexity, only users with the proper fire behavior training and experience should use FlamMap where the outputs are to be used for making fire and land management decisions.

Because environmental conditions remain constant, FlamMap will not simulate temporal variations in fire behavior caused by weather and diurnal fluctuations as FARSITE does. Nor will it display spatial variations caused by backing or flanking fire behavior. These limitations need to be considered when viewing FlamMap output in an absolute rather than relative sense. However, outputs are well-suited for landscape level comparisons of fuel treatment effectiveness because fuel is the only variable that changes. Outputs and comparisons can be used to identify combinations of hazardous fuel and topography, aiding in prioritizing fuel treatments. 

FlamMap is not a replacement for FARSITE or a complete fire growth simulation model. There is no temporal component in FlamMap. It uses spatial information on topography and fuels to calculate fire behavior characteristics for a single set of environmental conditions.

Technical Support

The first level of technical support for FlamMap is provided through your local support channels. The second level of technical support is available from the Fire Applications Help Desk.

The second level of technical support is provided by the USDA Forest Service Fire and Aviation Interagency Incident Applications (IIA) HelpDesk. The IIA HelpDesk is available for help with software issues only and cannot answer fire behavior questions.

Phone: (866) 224-7677 or (616) 323-1667,
Fax: (616) 323-1665
E-mail: IIA-Helpdesk@fs.fed.us
Website: https://iia-hd.peckham-enclave.us/ (link is external)

Citation

Finney, M. FlamMap. Available online at https://www.firelab.org/project/flammap.

Release Notes

FlamMap 5.0.1.3 is the most recent certified version (December 19, 2012).



Research Topics: 
Fire
National Strategic Program Areas: 
Wildland Fire and Fuels
National Priority Research Areas: 
Forest Disturbances
RMRS Science Program Areas: 
Fire, Fuel and Smoke
RMRS Strategic Priorities: 
Fire Sciences
Geography: 
National