Wednesday, 19 November 2003: 4:00 PM
Exhausting relative greenness: Inaccurate Fire Potential Index for Florida?
The data that is prepared and processed will be used by the Florida Division of Forestry to attempt to demonstrate that the Fire Potential Index (FPI) that is used to measure the fire potential through out the United States may be an inaccurate index for the state of Florida. In the parts of the north western United States the study of fire behavior began because of vast areas of forested lands that were devastated by fire. The fire models based upon areas of fire history out west that have large geographic areas of burned forest. Florida on the other hand has a large history of fire. The fire history that is recorded indicates that Florida has many small but impacts over a geographical space. This is in part due to the higher than average dry season and an abundance of organic fuel buildup (both dead and alive vegetative debris that lay beneath the forest canopy and eight inches in the soil eight inches deep). Both variables are the susceptible to ignition by natural causes (lighting), prescribed fire prevention methods, and wildfire provoked by human deviance. Unlike most regions of the Northern America that contain geographic features with large differences in elevation, Florida has a general flat and limited geographic elevation with in the state. These issues combined with tropical latitude weather conditions sets forth the model of an unusual abnormal regularity of vegetation growth that may be misunderstood by the Keetch-Byram Drought Index that was developed for the study of fire behavior and prediction.