Advanced Fire Environment Learning Unit

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Mission Statement

The Advanced Fire Environment Learning Unit (AFELU) provides leadership and technical expertise to the Fire Environment Committee on continuing education, training on technical tools, and outreach of new research.

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  • Nurture new knowledge, stimulate innovation, and share new skills.
  • Bring people together with peers and other fire environment professionals and researchers.
  • Facilitate development of standards of practice, guidelines, knowledge repositories, technical problem solving discussions, working papers and strategies.

2018 Fall Webinar: Season AAR

Date:  November 7, 2018

Target Audience:

Fire Behavior and Fire Weather Specialists including Fire Behavior Analysts, Long-term Analysts, Geo-spatial Analysts, fire behavior Technical Specialists, IMET, and Predictive Services personnel.

Summary:

Whether you worked this season or have been away for a while, this webinar will highlight some important topics as we conclude the 2018 fire season and prepare for what 2019 has to offer.

Presentation 1:  AFELU 2018 Webinar Introductions and back ground on the AFELU unit

The group tries to provide a platform to share information regarding: fire behavior, fire weather, fire occurrence, smoke and assessment tools.

Presentation 2:  Vita Wright Science Application Specialists RMRS – Overview of the Northern Rockies Fire Science Network

Bringing People Together, Sharing Knowledge about Fire and Fuels in the Northern Rockies. She highlights several emphasis areas the Northern Rockies Network coordinates and facilitates.

Presentation 3:  Overview of EDDI - Evaporative Demand Drought Index: Research Applications for Wildland Fire Management

Presenter: Dan McEvoy, Assistant Research Professor, Climatology Western Regional Climate Center. Evaporative demand drivers are strongly correlated with key fire weather variables, strongly related to fuel moisture and seasonal time scales, looking for additional testing and fire behavior applications.

Presentation 4:  416 Fire

Presenters: Cary Newman and Brad Pietruszka talk about modeling and risk management on the 416 Fire in Colorado in 2018.

If you would like presentation materials in a pdf, please contact chair Wes Hall at wahall@fs.fed.us

Webinar:  Fire Season Primer 2018

Date: February 28, 2018

Target Audience:

Fire behavior and fire weather analysts.

Presentation 1:  Infrared data products - watch the presentation at https://youtu.be/VPG3dj0XIvk

Presentation 2:  Unmanned Aircraft UAS on Incidents - watch the presentation at https://youtu.be/8R1KPUjq9Vs

Presentation 3:  EP curve assessments - watch the presentation at https://youtu.be/Re4TwMUZC0U

Presentation 4:  NFDRS 2016 Rollout - watch the presentation at https://youtu.be/QqS7PMD0zY8

Presentation 5:  Weather forecasting changes - watch the presentation at https://youtu.be/1Dgh1ZVec9E

If you would like presentation materials in a pdf, please contact chair Wes Hall at wahall@fs.fed.us

View the Webinar Questions Log.

Webinar: “Fire Season 2017 Hot Topics”

In the spring of 2017 the Advanced Fire Environment Learning Unit asked Mark Finney to provide some thoughts regarding different topics related to fire behavior modeling. There are pitfalls analysts can run into when running the models, Mark has provided some thoughts on model settings, calibrating, why use FSPro and what it takes to be a good analyst. These videos can be used as standalone refresher content for continuing education or included within established fire behavior curricula. There are 4 videos:

Presentation 1:  FSPro Settings

Mark Finney provides some considerations when setting up FSPro analyses - What is it you want to know from the analysis - is it the likely hood something is going to happen or is it the potential something is going to happen? These are different questions and the analyst can approach them differently or use different suites of tools to inform the decision makers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr_v2HBm3_Q&t=15s

Presentation 2:  What makes a good fire analyst: What makes a good analyst

Some thoughts from Mark Finney and his perspective of what makes a good analyst. An analyst is curious about fire behavior, they use judgement and interpretation to communicate and validate models in relation to the actual fire behavior. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIS27uMdfG8&t=17s

Presentation 3:  Why use FSPro?

This tool was developed to help inform risk based decisions associated with values at risk and probability of fire impacts to those values. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TilrOpDuJc&t=86s

Presentation 4:  FSPro Calibration

Why is calibrating the fire behavior models important to predicting fire behavior - an interview with Mark Finney a Research Scientist at the RMRS Fire Sciences Lab. Mark highlight's considerations an analyst should make when validating fire behavior models to fire behavior. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-emPLE8j_Y&t=56s

Webinar: Sharing Fire Behavior Practices & Lessons Learned: Fire Season 2016

Date: November 2, 2016

Target Audience:

Fire Behavior and Fire Weather Specialists including Fire Behavior Analysts, Long-term Analysts, Geo-spatial Analysts, fire behavior Technical Specialists, IMET, and Predictive Services personnel

Summary:

As the fire community aspires to promote firefighter safety and best practices, this webinar strived to share information regarding lessons learned from the 2016 wildfire season. Every fire season there are parts of the country that receive a lot of fire activity and consequently numerous fire specialists begin focusing on these areas to ensure fire-fighter safety and to develop short-, mid-, and long- term fire behavior assessments to support these efforts and management decisions. An incredible amount of knowledge is gained and shared during these short periods of intense focus; yet often these practices and lessons learned are stored away, and not shared beyond the incident.

Presentation 1: Fire analysis and assessment in Alaska using http://akff.mesowest.org

Robert Ziel (Zeke) is the Fire Analyst for the Alaska Fire Science Consortium after working 4 years at the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center with Predictive Services. He is an NWCG qualified FBAN since 1994 and LTAN since 2002 and spent 34 years as a forester and fire manager in the Great Lakes states. Zeke has presented several times on our webinars and workshops and is an institution in the Fire Behavior community.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZB-bMcgXO4

References for this presentation:

Presentation 2: Using IRAWS observations and alternative NWS point forecasts in Near Term Fire

Cary Newman is the Fire Planner for the San Juan National Forest in southern Colorado. Cary is a Long Term Fire Analyst who used some different methodologies for modeling fire behavior on the Soberanes Fire in California during the 2016 season. Working with geospatial fire behavior models for more than a decade he has learned that in spite of model limitations or inferior data there are often alternative methodologies that can be used to improve modeled results. Cary has presented at our events before and has been a pioneer in exploring new approaches to unique problems in fire behavior modeling.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ykg0c17ZpQQ

Presentation 3: The evolving role of the IMET and their interaction with other intelligence folks

Ryan Walbrun is the Fire Weather Program Leader and Incident Meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Monterey CA since 2003. Ryan received his degree in atmospheric and oceanic sciences from the University of Wisconsin in 1996. Currently he is on the teaching cadre for the S-590 course taught at NAFRI in Tucson. He has been deployed on over 40 wildfires in the western US as an Incident Meteorologist (IMET).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESbqISHdudg

Webinar: “Sharing Fire Behavior Practices & Lessons Learned: Fire Season 2015”

Date: November 16, 2015

Target Audience:

Fire Behavior Specialists including Fire Behavior Analysts, Long-term Analysts, Geo-spatial Analysts and fire behavior Technical Specialists

Note: The webinars were taped for these informational sharing sessions. Due to the length of the sessions the webinar taping was split into 2 sessions, one for the Alaska Fire Behavior Modeling and the other for the Crown Fire Methods.  Please review the attached links for the full presentation.

Summary:

As the fire behavior community aspires to promote best practices amongst a range of fire behavior experience, this webinar strives to share information regarding lessons learned from fire behavior prediction on 2015 wildfire incidents. Every fire season there are parts of the country that receive a lot of fire activity. Fire-fighting resources are assigned and consequently numerous fire behavior specialists begin focusing on these areas to ensure fire-fighter safety and to develop short-, mid-, and long- term fire behavior simulations to support these efforts and management decisions. An incredible amount of knowledge is gained and shared during these short periods of intense focus; yet often these fire behavior practices and lessons learned are recorded, stored, and not shared beyond the incident.

Some considerations worth exploring/sharing or discussing on the webinar include:

  • What were some unique circumstances that influenced your fire behavior forecasts such as unusual fuels or weather events and how did that change your forecasts?
  • What information would you want to share with future Fire Behavior Specialists who are working on an incident in the same location/same unit?
  • What modeling techniques are you using most often when assisting with strategic planning?
  • What worked as far as model calibration for the area you were working in? Common fuel model changes? Adjustment of dead and live fuel moistures?

Outcomes:

  1. Information sharing and recording amongst the fire behavior specialists’ community.
  2. Summary of lessons learned for attendees.
  3. Improved fire behavior analyses in the future.

Presentation 1: Analyst considerations in Alaska (concepts applicable to the lower 48); https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7E6og43F8k

​Presentation 2: Finny versus Scott and Reinhardt crown fire methods in FSPro. (applicable to other fire spread models); https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh__DlPBXsE

Below are four PowerPoint presentations that were used in the webinars:

 

 

 

Chair: 
Wes Hall
NWCG Coordinator: 
Paul Schlobohm
Parent Committee: 
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
2019-06-13