5th Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology and the 2nd International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress

Wednesday, 19 November 2003: 1:30 PM
Development of a statistical validation methodology for fire weather indices
Brian E. Potter, USDA Forest Service, East Lansing, MI; and S. L. Goodrick and T. J. Brown
Poster PDF (24.4 kB)
A variety of indices are in use for prediction and measurement of the atmospheric component of risk for various aspects of widlfire behavior. These include, among others, the Fosberg Fire Weather Index, the Haines Index, the Davis Stability Index, the Canadian Fire Weather Index, and the Ventilation Index. For various social and political reasons, few if any of these indices have been subjected to rigorous, methodical validation to demonstrate that they do, indeed, distinguish low risk/probability situations from high risk/probability situations, or that the index correlates with fire size, number, growth rate, or any other measure of fire activity. The authors will describe plans to create a protocol for the validation and evaluation of atmosphere-related fire indices. This protocol will include a standard set of fire data and basic meteorological data (e.g., temperatures, humidities, wind speeds) for use in validation, as well as specific statistical measures and procedures to be performed on the index and fire data. The ultimate goal is to set standards for the validation and evaluation of these types of indices, so that future indices can be readily tested and compared to determine whether they are improvements over existing indices.

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