Fire Potential Index and Large Fire Probability Maps

Revised Fire Potential Index and Large Fire Probability Maps Based on Satellite and Surface Observations Including Wind

USGS EROS, in conjunction with the USFS-PSW and USFS-RMRS developed new methods for forecasting and displaying the probability of large wildland fires on federal lands in the conterminous United States. This work updates a previous paper titled “Fuel Models and Fire Potential from Satellite and Surface Observations”, published in 1998. The work done in developing the national fire danger fuel model map remains unchanged and so is deleted from this update. The current paper addresses an earlier revision to estimate the ratio of live to dead fuel, as well as to add wind speed, dry bulb temperature, and rainfall to the FPI calculation. This work also discusses the evaluation of two additional probability-based fire risk metrics: The probability of a large fire occurrence (more than 500 acres) and the probability of an existing one-acre fire spreading to more than 500 acres. The models are then used to develop daily WFPI maps and two probability maps. The probability models are also used to evaluate the skill and accuracy of the maps in predicting fire risk.