Tuesday, 18 November 2003: 9:30 AM
Fire Management Decision Support System at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, USA
Fire management at the landscape scale has been made easier by the continuing advancement of technologies such as geographic information system applications, web-based support, and database tools. Creating a process that integrates these technologies for practical management of fire resources has, however, been slow in development. At Eglin Air Force Base, an 185,000-ha reservation in the Florida Panhandle, USA, fire managers have combined these tools within a web-based fire management decision support system. This decision support system standardizes data collection efforts and data storage in order to generate reporting of performance indicators and program statistics specified by the Eglin Fire Management Plan. Burn Bosses select Eglin specific fuel model prescriptions for prescribed burn blocks and burn block maps from the fire management web site. Burn packets specify data required for all fire events, and datasheets are turned into fire dispatch after each event. Data is entered via the web into an Oracle database that serves as a central repository for fire event data. Geographic data for each burn is entered via GeoMedia software into Oracle, which stores the geographic data in an open architecture for easy access via the web or any GIS software. The Oracle spatial engine returns spatial reports and queries on fire event data in real-time on the web site as data are entered. These reports generate long- and short-term analyses of burn trends at the landscape scale. The reports also provide instantaneous analysis on fire ecology statistics, such as return intervals and time-since-last-burn, for fire-dependent communities and species across Eglin Air Force Base. Finally, Oracle calculates performance indicators of program success in real time for review by the fire management officer. One such performance indicator is burn effectiveness, which compares environmental data collected by field observers on each fire against prescription parameters chosen by each burn boss for a given burn block. The total number of prescribed burns and percent acres burned within prescription are displayed on the fire management web site. This decision support system provides a centralized and robust means for fire management officers to review program status and trends for wildfires, prescribed burns, personnel, and equipment.