What Is the Fire Danger Now? Linking Fuel Inventories with Atmospheric Data

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Abstract:

The combination of forest fuel maps with real-time atmospheric data may enable the creation of more dynamic and comprehensive assessments of fire danger. The goal of this study was to combine fuel maps, based on data from the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program of the USDA Forest Service, with real-time atmospheric data for the creation of a more dynamic index of fire danger. Results indicated fuel loadings and moisture could be estimated for specific points on a meteorological modeling grid network (4 × 4 km; based on FIA's strategic-scale fuel inventory and atmospheric data) enabling the current assessment and 1- to 2-day prediction of fire danger as well as refined understanding of fire danger across forest ecosystems.

Keywords: Forest Inventory and Analysis; environmental management; fine woody fuels; fire danger; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; mesoscale; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Research ForesterNorth Central Research Station USDA Forest Service 1992 Folwell Ave, St. Paul MN 55108, Email: cwoodall@fs.fed.us 2: Research Meteorologist North Central Research Station USDA Forest Service East Lansing MI 48823, Email: jcharney@fs.fed.us 3: Research Physical Scientist North Central Research Station USDA Forest Service 1992 Folwell Ave, St. Paul MN 55108, Email: gliknes@fs.fed.us 4: Research Meteorologist North Central Research Station USDA Forest Service East Lansing MI 48823, Email: bpotter@fs.fed.us

Publication date: September 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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