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Title: Linking Fuel Inventories With Atmospheric Data for Assessment of Fire Danger

Author: Woodall, Christopher W.; Charney, Joseph; Liknes, Greg; Potter, Brian

Year: 2006

Publication: In: Proceedings of the sixth annual forest inventory and analysis symposium; 2004 September 21-24; Denver, CO. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-70. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. 126p.

Abstract: Combining forest fuel maps and real-time atmospheric data may enable creation of more dynamic and comprehensive fire danger assessments. The goal of this study was to combine fuel maps, based on data from the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, with real-time atmospheric data to create a more dynamic index of fire danger. Fuel loadings were estimated for points on a meteorological modeling grid network (4 x 4 km) based on FIA?s strategic-scale fuel inventory. In addition, fuel moisture at each grid point was predicted based on atmospheric observations over an 11-day period. A Burnable Fuels Index (BFI), combining both fuel loadings and moisture predictions, was investigated for changes in fire danger over the modeled period of time. The BFI was temporally and spatially variable due to heterogeneous forest fuel conditions and dynamic weather events. Overall, combining fuel-loading estimates with atmospheric data enables the current assessment and 1 to 2-day prediction of fire danger and greater understanding of fire danger across forest ecosystems with varying fuel loadings and weather conditions.

Last Modified: 8/11/2006

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