Evaluation of Fire Forecast Products to Enhance U.S. Drought Preparedness and Response using Social Network Analysis

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Tuesday, 19 January 2010: 9:30 AM
B213 (GWCC)
Timothy J. Brown, DRI, Reno, Nevada; and G. Owen, D. Ferguson, P. Duffy, and S. Trainor

As the scientific community clarifies its understanding of how climate and wildfire interact, an increasing amount of effort and resources are being spent to deliver this science to the US wildfire community. One model that has shown great promise consists of the National Seasonal Assessment workshops (NSAW) and the Significant Fire Potential Outlooks produced during these annual workshops and monthly conference calls. However, it is not well documented who uses these outlooks, how they use them, or if the outlooks provide any economic benefit.

In this presentation we present preliminary results from the evaluation of the Outlooks of Significant Fire Potential, including their utility in decision-making regarding fire resource planning and suggestions for improving the products to better fit the needs of resource managers. By using social network analysis methods, we also show how fire and drought related information is processed, interpreted, and disseminated within the network of fire managers and decision-makers, in both regional (Southwest and Alaska) and national contexts.