LF measures fine fuel loading using herbaceous cover and biomass seasonal variability in the Southwest U.S. These fuel loading measurements are used to capture changes to fire behavior fuel models based on the current fire season.
LF developed a method to seasonally modulate fuel model data in the Great Basin and Southwest to capture the inter-annual variability in herbaceous growth and that impact on available fuels. Ten years of Landsat imagery was analyzed to determine averages and ranges of vegetation index values for each pixel. These values were correlated with herbaceous cover and biomass measurements to determine fine fuels loading. A process was developed to create current year fuel loads using pre-fire season imagery, capturing the herbaceous vegetation green-up in the region. Using current year fuel loads, changes in fire behavior fuel models data are made reflecting current fire season fuel loads. Modeling exercises were used to evaluate the seasonal fuel model data and local fuels experts reviewed the process and data with positive results.
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Last updated: September 27, 2017