The wildfire hazard potential (WHP) map is a raster geospatial product produced by the USDA Forest Service, Fire Modeling Institute that can help to inform evaluations of wildfire hazard or prioritization of fuels management needs across very large landscapes. Our specific objective with the WHP map is to depict the relative potential for wildfire that would be difficult for suppression resources to contain. To create the WHP, we build upon spatial datasets of wildfire likelihood and intensity generated for the conterminous U.S. with the Large Fire Simulator (FSim), as well as spatial fuels and vegetation data from LANDFIRE and point locations of past fire occurrence . With these datasets as inputs, we produce an index of WHP for the United States at a 270-meter resolution. We produce two versions of the WHP map: 1) with continuous integer values, and 2) with five WHP classes of very low, low, moderate, high, and very high. Areas mapped with higher WHP values represent fuels with a higher probability of experiencing torching, crowning, and other forms of extreme fire behavior under conducive weather conditions.
On its own, WHP is not an explicit map of wildfire threat or risk. Its primary purpose is to highlight places where vegetation treatments may be needed to reduce the intensity of future wildfires. It is one of several factors used to prioritize limited fuel treatment resources. WHP is a tool for long-term strategic planning, but it is not a forecast or wildfire outlook for any particular season, as it does not include any information on current or forecasted weather or fuel moisture conditions.
FMI has produced the WHP map approximately every two years since 2012. Updates are dependent on updates to the primary input data sources described above. Each new version supersedes the previous versions. We don’t typically encourage detailed comparisons of different vintages of WHP due to differences in input data and methodology that have occurred between each. We make past versions available on this page as an archive, but products listed here should be considered deprecated.
The following national 270-m raster GIS datasets are available on the Forest Service Research Data Archive:
- WHP version 2018, classified
- WHP version 2018, continuous
- WHP version 2014, classified
- WHP version 2014, continuous
- WFP version 2012, classified
- WFP version 2012, continuous
*Versions of this product prior to 2014 were known as the Wildland Fire Potential (WFP) map.