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Center for Spatial Information and Research

Enhancing Rural Security Demonstration Project: Wildfire Mapping Analysis


RGIS-PN successfully developed a wildfire decision support tool through integrating an existing fire behavior model with a land use forecasting model. The fire behavior model, called FlamMap 3.0 uses data inputs that can be directly downloaded from the interent via an internet mapping tool called the Landfire Project, which was co-sponsored by the USDA-Forest Service. Based upon estimated, physical parameters for example, vegetation fuel models, topography, wind speed, and fuel moisture levels, FlamMap estimated fire behavior on a pixel by pixel basis by calculating the rate of fire spread (m/sec), heat per unit area (kW/m 2) , and fireline intensity (kW/m). The fireline intensity data was used as a hazard indicator because it incorporates the rate of spread and heat per unit area within its calculations. Both of these parameters are useful surrogates for describing wildfire hazards because the play a critical role in determining the effectiveness of wildfire fighting strategies. Based on existing literature the fireline intensity data was categorized into hazard ranges (e.g. no hazard, low, high, and extreme), which were then used to develop a wildfire hazard map for Kittitas County , Washington . Results of this research were documented within a RGIS Bulletin and presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers in April, 2007.

Read Wildfire and land use forecasting model integration bulletin-draft for more information.