National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Fire Occurrence, NFDRS

NFDRS header graphic. Decorative.

Fire occurrence data are required to conduct NFDRS2016 fire business analyses using FireFamilyPlus.

Fire occurrence is compared against calculated same-day fire danger values to find statistical relationships between fire activity and fire danger. This allows NFDRS2016 fire danger metrics to be used to help predict fire activity and related fire management business.

Fire occurrence data for federal agencies, and most states within the U.S., are available from multiple resources in a variety of file formats. There is no authoritative standard. There are also known data quality issues, which vary across the available corporate datasets. It can take an extensive amount of work to develop a fire occurrence dataset suitable for analysis.

For these reasons, it’s recommended that the Fire Program Analysis – Fire Occurrence Dataset (FPA FOD) be use for most historical fire business analyses. The FPA FOD is a national scale, quality controlled, consolidated dataset that draws from most of the available reporting systems. It is managed by Karen Short of the Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS), and is updated annually with an average of two years lag time. The current dataset contains data from 1996 through 2015, and has all the fields needed for a FireFamilyPlus fire business analysis.

The general process for using the FPA FOD in a FireFamilyPlus analysis is as follows:

  1. Obtain a FPA FOD dataset for 1992 thru 2015 for the entire United States.
  2. Use a spatial analysis tool or system (ArcGIS, AGOL, etc.) to import the QA/QC’d consolidated dataset and clip the data to the planning area or Fire Danger Rating Areas (FDRAs).
  3. In FireFamilyPlus, create custom agencies, units and sub-units as necessary to represent the planning area and/or any FDRAs.
  4. Organize the data by column identified by FireFamilyPlus in the data import function using Excel Spreadsheet, save as a .csv file.
  5. Import the final fire occurrence dataset into FireFamilyPlus, and associate the fires with one or more stations or SIGs.
Tech Tips for each of these steps AND for integrating more recent fire occurrence into an analysis will be posted here as they are updated, so please check back often for updates.
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