13th Conference on Applied Climatology and the 10th Conference on Aviation, Range, and Aerospace Meteorology

Thursday, 16 May 2002: 8:45 AM
Monitoring climate for wildfire, prescribed fire, and fire use
Timothy J. Brown, DRI, Reno, NV; and B. L. Hall
For the past two years, the Desert Research Institute (DRI) Program for Climate, Ecosystem and Fire Applications (CEFA) has prepared western U.S. climate assessment reports for interagency wildfire managers, fire specialists and meteorologists. These reports (available at http://www.dri.edu/CEFA) were requested by land management agencies in order to provide a better understanding of the climate factors and influences on the fire season. The analyses comprised an examination of anomalies relevant to fire danger and occurrence, such as temperature, precipitation, relative humidity and wind. Upper-air flow patterns, lightning occurrence, and the potential role of ENSO and the Southwest monsoon were also discussed. These reports have lead to an interest in developing a near real-time climate monitoring system of these same climate elements directed at land management agency uses, including, but not limited to wildfire, prescribed fire and fire use. This paper offers a discussion of the development and implementation of a climate monitoring system for fire management. A description of the users will be provided, along with their role in designing the system and the associated output. Potential uses of the system will be noted, along with derived value-added information.

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