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

Thursday, 20 November 2003: 9:30 AM
FIREMON: Fire Effects Monitoring and Inventory System
Duncan C. Lutes, Systems for Environmental Management, Missoula, MT; and R. E. Keane, J. F. Caratti, C. H. Key, N. C. Benson, S. Sutherland, and L. J. Gangi
Poster PDF (267.7 kB)
FIREMON is a fire effects monitoring and inventory protocol developed for interagency use through a grant from the Joint Fire Science Program. It is designed to help the fire manager determine how plots should be placed on the landscape and what sampling methods should used at each plot location based on the project funding and objectives. FIREMON’s biggest asset is that it is highly flexible with only four required fields. Fire managers can select a simple sampling scheme – for instance, taking only photographs at every plot, at one point in time – to an intensive, statistical scheme requiring detailed sampling over multiple visits.

FIREMON consists of four main components. First, the Integrated Sampling Strategy leads the fire manager through text, guides and keys to suggest the appropriate sampling approach (relevé or statistical), sampling intensity (detailed, alternative or simple) and sampling methods based on project funding and objectives. Second, FIREMON includes a number of sampling methods allowing the fire manager to assess many ecosystem attributes in order to gauge the effectiveness of treatments. The sampling methods provide data for the following components: plot description, trees, down woody debris, fire severity, fire behavior and vegetation - cover, frequency and density. Third, data is stored in the Microsoft Access-based FIREMON database. Data entry forms look like field forms and dropdown lists limit data entry errors. Plot data can be summarized using built-in queries. Lastly, the FIREMON Analysis Tools package can summarize data across a number of plots by any stratification and, assuming the data was collected appropriately, allows statistical comparison of re-measured plots using Dunnett’s t-test. Text and graphical reports can be imported into documents using cut-and-paste commands.

While FIREMON can assist the manager in accomplishing many tasks it is important to note that the package does not do everything. It is not a corporate database - we will not be collecting and storing data. This is the duty of each monitoring lead. FIREMON does not have all data collection methods. Conspicuously absent are water and air quality methods, however these can be added at a later date if standardized sampling is developed. The statistical output in FIREMON is limited. Users can output comma-delimited files for use in other statistical packages if necessary.

FIREMON has been extensively reviewed in the field – across a number of ecosystems – and by station statisticians to ensure a useful, tested product. Final modifications are currently underway and we foresee its release by September 1, 2003.

Supplementary URL: