Landfire

Discussions of forest fires and fire management.

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edfrank
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Landfire

Post by edfrank » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:17 pm

Landfire
http://www.landfire.gov/index.php
landfire_banner_a1.jpg
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LANDFIRE, also known as the Landscape Fire and Resource Management Planning Tools Project, is a five-year, multi-partner project producing consistent and comprehensive maps and data describing vegetation, wildland fuel, and fire regimes across the United States. It is a shared project between the wildland fire management programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and U.S. Department of the Interior. The project has four components: the LANDFIRE Prototype, LANDFIRE Rapid Assessment, LANDFIRE National, and Training/Technology Transfer.

LANDFIRE data products include layers of vegetation composition and structure, surface and canopy fuel characteristics, and historical fire regimes. LANDFIRE National methodologies are science-based and include extensive field-referenced data. LANDFIRE data products are designed to facilitate national- and regional-level strategic planning and reporting of wildland fire management activities. Data products are created at a 30-meter grid spatial resolution raster data set.

LANDFIRE National data products are produced at scales that may be useful for prioritizing and planning hazardous fuel reduction and ecosystem restoration projects; however, the applicability of data products varies by location and specific use, and products may need to be adjusted by local users. LANDFIRE meets agency and partner needs for data to support large landscape fire management planning and prioritization.


Principal purposes of LANDFIRE data products:

Provide national-level, landscape-scale geospatial products to support fire and fuels management planning.
Provide consistent fuels data to support fire planning, analysis, and budgeting to evaluate fire management alternatives.
Provide landscape–scale, cross-boundary strategic products for fire and land management activities.
Supplement planning and management activities, including monitoring, that require consistent vegetation data.
Supplement strategic and tactical planning for fire operations.
Supplement and assist in:
Identification of areas across the nation at risk due to accumulation of wildland fuel
Prioritization of national hazardous fuel reduction projects
Improved collaboration between agencies with regard to fire and other natural resource management
Modeling of real-time fire behavior to support tactical decisions to ensure sufficient wildland firefighting capacity and safety.
Regional modeling of potential fire behavior and effects to strategically plan projects for hazardous fuel reduction and restoration of ecosystem integrity on fire-adapted landscapes
Community and firefighter protection, effective resource allocation, and collaboration between agencies and the public
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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Don
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Re: Landfire

Post by Don » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:47 pm

Ed-
This is a bit clunky, spatial resolution is a little coarse (30 meter, Landsat MS stuff, but for national level analysis appropriate), but has lots, and lots, and lots of information about vegetation. It was unclear to me what the vegetation classification was based upon, but with a little 'ferreting' of metadata, that could be obtained.
Did your Geology background take you into GIS systems?
Have you dinked around with LANDBASE yet?
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
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Josh Kelly
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Re: Landfire

Post by Josh Kelly » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:14 am

Ed, Don,

Landfire is a hot (pun intended) tool for assessing not only fire ecology, but forest condition. The software not only maps, but forcasts based on assumptions about the disturbance dynamics of various forest types. Many national forests are using Landfire to support management prescriptions. Here in the Southern Appalachians, Landfire has major issues. One is that the large cell size of the mapping does not capture the fine scale ecological variation created by the interaction of topography, elevation, aspect, soils and other factors. Another is that Landfire operates under the assumption that stand replacement fire occurs in every forest type and creates a ratio of various even-aged successional stages. In my experience, most forest systems in the Southern Appalachians are mixed-age systems with very infrequent stand replacement fire. Even systems that receive regular fire are often uneven-aged and are influenced by gap-phase dynamics and storm disturbance as much as by fire. There is an ongoing effort to help Cherokee National Forest understand and accomplish ecological restoration that hopes to use Landfire. I hope to have an update on that in the future.

Don, most of the vegetation classification is modified from NatureServe. Unfortunately, many of the forest types for the Southern Appalachians have no peer review. For example, Southern Appalachian Cove Forest (not peer reviewed) is modeled as having a higher frequency of disturbance than Western Mixed-Mesophytic Forests (peer reviewed) of Indiana, Illinois and Ohio that receive less rainfall, more tornados and have less protection from ridges.

Josh

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edfrank
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Re: Landfire

Post by edfrank » Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:49 am

Don, Josh,

I came across the Laqndfire site through a post on Facebook and thought it looked like a good source of information. I thought it would be worthwhile to post the link here for others to see and use, and for people to comment upon. I had not seen the site before.

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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