Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Refining Fire Behavior Modeling

23.05.2012
Assessing Wildland Fuels and Hazard Mitigation Treatments in the Southeast
Research by USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station biometrician Bernie Parresol takes center stage in a special issue of the journal Forest Ecology and Management due out in June. Parresol is lead author of two of the five articles—and co-author of two more—in an issue that focuses on methods that incorporate fine-scale data into the tools Southeastern forest managers use to assess wildfire potential and plan mitigation treatments.

“Taken together, the research reported in these articles shows that fine scale measurements repeated over time can be put into a manageable framework and reduced to create dynamic fire behavior models useful to managers,” says Parresol. “They can also be used to help address scientific questions and to evaluate the effect of management conditions.”

Fire is an important part of forest ecosystems in the southeastern United States, especially in the the Coastal Plain. European settlers cleared most of the native longleaf pine forests of the region; industry later planted many of the same acres in loblolly pine plantations. Meanwhile, fire suppression policies broke the cycle of frequent low-intensity fires in the remaining natural forests, causing the buildup of fuels that leads to wildfires.

Over the last decades, southeastern land managers added prescribed fire to other forest treatments to reduce wildland fires, promote forest restoration, and improve wildlife habitat. Because of budget constraints and public concerns about fire and smoke, managers need to prioritize the areas where they will use prescribed fire. To do this, they use wildfire hazard assessments such as LANDFIRE and the Southern Wildfire Risk Assessment (SWRA), both of which use satellite images and other supporting data to represent fuels across a landscape. Although these tools work well enough at the state and regional levels, they don’t offer enough detail to land managers trying to decide which of their hundreds or thousands of acres should be burned first.

The special issue of Forest Ecology and Management focuses on a study conducted on the 200,000-acre Savannah River Site as representative of an actively managed forest landscape in the Southeast. Researchers used studies on the site to assess wildland fuels, potential fire behavior and treatments to reduce fire hazard. In his first article, Parresol and fellow researchers develop equations to describe fuel loads for both dead and alive materials on the site based on vegetation type, stand age, recent fire history and other aspects. These equations were then used to create custom landscape models based on the actual data from the site, then compared with results from LANDFIRE and SWRA to assess the effectiveness of those tools.

Most fire behavior analyses rely on sparse plot inventories and data from satellites, and often do not address the complexity found at the ground level where managers operate. For a second article, Parresol and fellow researchers demonstrated a statistical approach that can incorporate hundreds to thousands of fuel observations into models that managers can easily use to prioritize areas to treat to reduce the wildfire hazard.

Access the special issue of Forest Ecology and Management:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03781127/273

Bernie Parresol | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fs.fed.us

Further reports about: Ecology FIRE Forest Ecology Forest Service LANDFIRE Modeling Parresol SWRA forest ecosystem pine forest

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
14.12.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

nachricht Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>