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Fuels and Fire Behavior Data Collected on Wildland Fires by the Fire Behavior Assessment Team (FBAT)

  • Presented by: Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center, International Association of Wildland Fire, and the Joint Fire Science Program
  • Speakers: Alicia L. Reiner (U.S. Forest Service); Carol Ewell (U.S. Forest Service, Adaptive Management Services Enterprise Team)

Fire behavior and effects models are frequently used to inform fire and land management decisions despite a lack of testing against field measurements. The Adaptive Management Services Enterprise Team (AMSET, USFS) coordinates a module focused on the collection of pre- and post-fire fuels and fire behavior data during wildland fires to fill this knowledge gap, called the Fire Behavior Assessment Team (FBAT). FBAT goals are to: 

  1. Explore relationship between pre-fire fuels and fire behavior and effects with field data,
  2. Supply data and video useful for improving firefighter safety and public outreach, 
  3. Build a dataset useful for calibration of consumption, smoke production, and fire behavior and fire effects models, and 
  4. Measure fire effects on archeological, botanical, and biological values.

In coordination with incident management, sites are placed opportunistically ahead of the fire accounting for current and expected fire behavior, safe access, and fire management tactics. Each site consists of both heat resistant fire behavior equipment left on-site through the fire and fuel inventories. ince the inception of the FBAT module, the full data complement has been collected within 14 wildland fires (98 sites) and several experimental prescribed burns (32 sites). This webinar will outline the current methods and data variables collected by FBAT to demonstrate the utility of this data for fire managers and scientists.

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