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

Monday, 17 November 2003: 3:30 PM
Core Fire Science Caucus
David V. Sandberg, USDA Forest Service, Corvallis, OR; and C. C. Hardy, D. R. Weise, R. Rehm, and R. R. Linn
Poster PDF (119.7 kB)
The Core Fire Science Caucus is a self-directed team of fire scientists who are dedicated to improving the core physical science basis for fire management. Our goal is to provide fire managers with the ability to plan for and predict (in real time) the nature of the combustion process, fuel involvement, heat transfer, and atmospheric interaction that occurs from the first point of ignition to the last moment of smoldering on the landscape. We are developing an ego-less, turf-less community expression of the priority topics for core fire science and core fire behavior modeling development over the next 5-20 years.

The Caucus is an open process available to all fire scientists and managers limited only by the time and energy that each can contribute. We are led by the authors, by colleagues at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the National Institute for Standards and Technology, by fire scientists at each of the USDA Forest Service Research Stations, and by Washington Office Research Staff.

The intent of this paper is to review our progress with the fire management and fire science communities and to recruit your participation with us to develop a clear statement of need, i.e. a Strategic Plan, over the next year.

Core fire science includes the combustion process and all that precedes or interacts with a fire or that defines the fire behavior environment. Core fire science embraces management action, fire weather and climate, dynamic fuel characteristics and conditions, and the release of heat and combustion products to the environment.

The goals of core fire behavior modeling is to provide a community modeling framework that provides mechanistic simulation of the entire combustion process in complex wildland fuelbeds, up to the event scale, in a form useful for fire management planning and operations, policy analysis, and scientific investigation. Our focus is on simulation of the thresholds (initiation and cessation) of each phase of combustion (ignition, propagating flaming, residual flaming, initial smoldering, and propagating smoldering), fire behavior (initial spread, steady-state propagation, extreme fire behavior, resurgence), involvement of each wildland fuelbed stratum (duff, litter, low vegetation, downed woody, shrubs, trees) and spatial element (natural fuelbed, manipulated fuelbed, anthropogenic fuels, structures). We will prioritize the core fire behavior processes most critical to our management clients, and focus research and development on those components of simulation.

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