Fuel Modeling for National Forests

Land managers, and citizens need to know where wildfires and their smoke are likely to go, and where to intervene. Brandon Caltrider reviews several tools aimed at these challenges.

Brandon Caltrider and Randy Swaty https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/volunteer-and-attend-events/find-local-events-and-opportunities/indiana-tnc-tv/?vu=indianatv
An excerpt slide highlighting the fire behavior models discussed during the presentation.

Figure 1: An excerpt slide highlighting the fire behavior models discussed during the presentation.

Greasy’s Challenge

In May of this year, I was given an open ended suggestion to “look into” fire behavior modeling. As the months proceeded I began to feel acquainted with some of the foundations of fire data science and wildfire modeling. I found that when it comes to wildfire modeling, its 20 % science and 80 % acronyms. Things like FFT 3.0, IFTDSS, FLAMP, BehavePLUS, and BlueSky Framework quickly became common vernacular.

Our fearless leader Greasy, aka..Randy Swaty, did what he does best and coerced me into a public speaking opportunity on behalf of my research. In collaboration with Dr. Beth Teeters, a fellow CDL member, I was able to present my knowledge of fire behavior models to a group of Nature Conservancy and USDA Forest Service fire specialists.

The goal of the presentation was to simply start a discussion about fire behavior models and their applicable use in fire land management. Our discussions flowed through specific use cases for each model as well as personal accounts from several of the Forest Service Staff on call.

The Slides

I developed slides in Google Slides, then Greasy transferred them to R using the slidify package by Ramnath Vaidyanathan. They are hosted as an HTML file on GitHub.

Check out the slides here